Sunday, September 04, 2011

The FAB Group

I had a visit yesterday from Jerry Marti from Washington. Jerry is writing a history of CLL and he interviewed me for 3 hours in my office. By interviewing senior figures he is able to get a seecond-hand look at the truly greats like Davic Galton who are no longer with us.

David was one of the FAB group (French-American-British) who defined many of the malignant hematology diseases that we treat today. My link to David was via Ghulam Mufti, who was my research fellow for 6 years in the 1980s. Ghulam, who is now a Professor of Haematology at Kings Collge London, was a young fellow at the time and we had received a research grant from the the LRF for me to supervise him in research into MDS. One of the specifications of the grant was that we should both learn from David Galton and so we had regular trips to the Hammersmith hospital where David would serve us Darjeeling tea and teach us from his vast experience. Any case we mentioned would trigger a memory and he would pull down a blue notebook in which he had kept a record of a similar case.

Of the other members of the FAB group, I, of course, know John Bennett very well since we jointly edit Leukemia Research, but I also met Claude Sultan fron the Henri Mondor hospital in Paris. I was attending the World Apheresis Association meeting in Dijon, when I was president of the European Haemapheresis Society. Claude picked me up at Gare de Nord off the Eurostar, took me to lunch (oysters), showed me over his hospital and then put me on the train at Gare de Lyons.

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