Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has appointed Professor Antonio Pagliuca as Chief Medical and Scientific Adviser. He replaces Professor Alejandro Madrigal who left the charity in March 2020 following his retirement.
Professor Pagliuca is currently Divisional Medical Director, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Stem Cell Transplantation at both King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. He will join Anthony Nolan in October where he will lead the charity’s research portfolio, including the Anthony Nolan Research Institute, two days a week.
Professor Pagliuca will play a crucial role in driving forward research to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing patients in need of lifesaving stem cell transplants – from understanding more about what makes the best possible stem cell donor match, to reducing the risk of transplant complications, such as Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD).
Having worked in the field of stem cell transplantation since the 1980s, Professor Pagliuca brings a wealth of experience to the charity, which was established in 1974. He says: ‘Anthony Nolan has been instrumental to many clinical and research developments.
‘Every year around 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant from a stranger. As the charity approaches its 50th year I’m excited to join Anthony Nolan at a time when its vision will be to strengthen its translational base and ensure that its research agenda focuses on tangible opportunities. The fields of immunogenetics, bioinformatics and the exciting era of cellular therapy in the 21st century can play a vital role in ensuring that as many of the 2,000 people who need a stem cell transplant in the UK annually, receive the best possible match.
‘I’m very much looking forward to meeting and getting to know the team and collaborating with them to make progress on research which has real world benefits for patients, donors and clinical practice’
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: ‘We are delighted to appoint Tony as Chief Medical and Scientific Adviser at Anthony Nolan and look forward to his expert input and leadership.
‘Together, we will drive lifesaving research and turn it into action. Tony’s experience, insight and sector knowledge will be a huge benefit to the patients we work for, every day, who have always been, and continue to be, at the heart of our work.’
Anthony Nolan recruits people aged 16-30 to its stem cell register as research from the Anthony Nolan Research Institute has shown younger people offer better survival rates for patients. The charity also provides information and support to patients after a stem cell transplant, through its clinical nurse specialists and psychologists, who help guide patients through their recovery.
It costs £40 to recruit each potential donor to the register, so Anthony Nolan relies on financial support to make sure the charity can continue giving patients the best possible chance of life.
Find out more at anthonynolan.org.