Sheffield Teaching Hospitals consultant elected as President of prestigious national society

A consultant haematologist who has been at the forefront of advancing treatment and care for patients needing bone marrow or stem cell transplantations has taken up the role of the President of the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

By Henry Smith
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 9:01 am
John Snowden EBMT 2018
John Snowden EBMT 2018

Professor John Snowden, who is based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ specialist haematology unit and is Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Programme in Sheffield, was elected into the prestigious national leadership role by members of the professional society.

The role, which he will hold until December 2022, will see him use his significant experience and expertise to improve outcomes for patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplantations.

Bone marrow or stem cell transplantations are intensive treatments which involve replacing damaged blood cells with healthy cells that are taken from the patient’s own blood or from a donor’s blood. These are then transplanted into the body following a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The treatments are often lifesaving for people with blood-related conditions such as lymphoma or leukaemia.

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Professor John Snowden

Professor Snowden, who was also appointed as the Secretary of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation last year, has played a pivotal role in helping to develop new treatments, services and national standards for patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplantations, acting as Clinical Lead for various NICE Guidelines and Chair of the NHS England Clinical Reference Group from Bone Marrow Transplantation between 2016 and 2020. Most recently he has been actively involved in helping to develop critical Covid-19 guidance for patients who have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

He was also a co-investigator for the landmark ‘MIST’ trial, which was the first to show that autologous stem cell transplantation, a complex procedure used to treat blood cancers for many years, could reverse multiple sclerosis in patients with the relapsing remitting form of the disease. Sheffield was the sole UK site involved in the international trial.

Internationally he has also advocated high quality patient care through his long association with the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and JACIE – The Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy and the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, who accredit and assess haematopoietic stem cell transplantation facilities.

He is the author of over 250 specialist publications and book chapters on bone marrow transplantation, haematology-oncology and autoimmunity, and has been at the helm of many clinical trials, grant awards, educational meetings, teaching, supervision, examination, journal editorship and scientific peer review. He has been awarded honorary professorships from The University of Sheffield and University College London.

Professor John Snowden, consultant haematologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Programme in Sheffield, said: “I am delighted and honoured to be elected into this prestigious role, which in tandem with my role as Secretary of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation will enable me to act as an ambassador for patients receiving bone marrow or stem cell transplants at the highest national level. I look forward to using the experience I have gained in Sheffield as part of a leading centre for the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers and a regional specialist centre for stem cell transplants to innovate and exchange ideas and best scientific practice to the benefit of both patients and the Society at this pivotal time.”