Research award for haematologist

Published: 26 November 2001

Haematologist Dr Kenneth Douglas has won a prestigious research award from the UK's leading blood cancer charity, the Leukaemia Research Fund

Haematologist Dr Kenneth Douglas has won a prestigious research award from the UK's leading blood cancer charity, the Leukaemia Research Fund (LRF). The LRF Clinical Research Fellowship will allow him to push forward with his medical research and carry out pioneering studies on blood-forming cells called stem cells.

The thirty five year-old will be working alongside Dr Gerry Graham at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Glasgow. "I am delighted that LRF has given me the opportunity to join Dr Graham who is one of the UK's leading leukaemia scientists," he said.

Leukaemia Research Fund has today announced that it is spending £140,000 on the research programme to be carried out by Dr Douglas. He is looking at ways of increasing the numbers of stem cells that are given to leukaemia patients by a donor during a bone marrow transplant.

"Stem cells in the bone marrow are the key to successful transplants because they restore the body's normal blood cell production when the bone marrow is not functioning properly," Dr Douglas explains.

A frequent problem with BMT is obtaining enough stem cells to make transplants work effectively. Dr Douglas is looking for ways of artificially stimulating the production of stem cells to overcome this problem.

Scientific Director of Leukaemia Research Fund, Dr David Grant, comments: "Thousands of patients with leukaemia and other forms of blood cancer need a bone marrow transplant each year. For many, a transplant is their only hope of survival."

"Despite improvements, sadly many people still die after a transplant because of infections, or because of problems that occur if the patient's body rejects the donor's cells.

"We believe that research like this will help us to move towards one of our objectives - an even higher success rate for bone marrow transplants."

Around 21,500 people are diagnosed with leukaemia or one of the related cancers of the blood in the UK every year.

Leukaemia Research Fund is the only national charity devoted exclusively to improving treatments, finding cures and learning how to prevent leukaemia, Hodgkin's disease and other lymphomas, myeloma and the related blood disorders, diagnosed in 21,500 people in Britain every year. Further information, including patient booklets, is available from:

your nearest LRF voluntary fundraising Branch (see Yellow Pages)

* LRF, 43 Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JJ tel: 020 7269 9068 ;


Media Relations Office (

For more information please contact Andrew Miller on 020 7269 9019.

1- Prior to starting his position as LRF Clinical Research Fellow, Kenneth Douglas was a Specialist Registrar in Haematology in West of Scotland for a period of nearly five years.

First published: 26 November 2001