Dr Knechtli underwent his general training in Clinical & Laboratory Haematology in the West Midlands and the Bristol/Bath area. In the middle of this training, he spent a 3 year period as a Research Fellow developing the use of the polymerase chain reaction to amplify immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genes as a means of assessing minimal residual disease in the bone marrow of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia before and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Dr Knechtli spends most of his time treating patients with various forms of haematological cancer (mainly lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, chronic myeloid leukaemia and myeloma) but enjoys advising patients on non-malignant haematological conditions (including anaemia, low platelet counts, myeloproliferative disorders and myelodysplasia as well as common coagulation problems).
Since his appointment as a Consultant Haematologist in Bath in January 2000, he was appointed as Clinical Director for Oncology & Haematology, a post that he held for 10 years until October 2010. He set up the Oncology & Haematology Clinical Governance Committee in March 2001 and has led it ever since. He was elected chairman of the Avon, Somerset & Wiltshire Cancer Services Haematology Site Specialist Group from December 2001 to July 2006 and still plays an active role in the group.
He is a regular member of the South West Regional Cancer Drug Fund Panel since its inception in January 2011. He is a member of the Panel of Examiners' for the Royal College of Pathologists which is responsible for ensuring that trainees in haematology meet the minimum standards to act as a Consultant.