Scientific activities

My 'scientific career' started in September 1975, when I did an internship at the London Hospital Medical College with Andrew Herxheimer, dermatologist and pharmacologist. There I had to learn, among other things, how to conduct scientific research and how to publish the results. I particularly liked the latter, because the prospect of seeing my name above an article heavily appealed to me. My first child was 'Herxheimer A, de Groot AC. Some effects of injected hyoscine butylbromide: a versatile class experiment in human pharmacology. Clin Pharmacol 1977;4:337-342'. Admittedly, this article was written almost entirely by Andrew alone.

During my training (1-1-1976 to 1-1-1980) I got on very well with Dr. Johan Nater, the head of the allergy department in Groningen. He had already published extensively in his field. In addition, he participated in the back then already famous book series Meyler's side effects of drugs.

Prof. dr. Johan Pieter Nater

Meyler was professor of pharmacology in Groningen and had initiated the book in 1957. In the beginning, the various chapters were often provided by specialists from different departments of the University Hospital Groningen, and Nater wrote the chapter 'Drugs used on the skin'. Every year a Side effects of drugs Annual was published with all new literature, which was included and summarized every 4 years in a new edition of Meyler's side effects of drugs ('the big Meyler'). This clearly met a need. There were no computers in those days. New side effects of drugs were described in a large number of different journals and it was impossible to keep track of the relevant literature and often very difficult to find whether a certain side effect of a drug had already been described. All that literature was presented in a clear way in the books, which explains why 'Meyler' has been the standard work in the field of side effects of medicinal drugs from the first edition in 1957 to the present day. Probably because of our good relationship (he couldn't know whether I could write well, there are only few people who can) Johan asked me if I wanted to co-write these chapters and I was apparently interested in it.

Seeing my name in these publications filled me with some pride, as I recall, and it left me wanting more. Now, 43 years later, I have more than 560 publications to my name, mostly science 'with a small s'. But let's not be too modest, or falsely modest, because that doesn't suit me. It also includes internationally known works, especially the book Patch testing, which has been the global standard work since 1986 and still is the standard for determining test concentrations and vehicles (bases) for epicutaneous allergological research (patch tests). This book has recently been incorporated in full into the websites of the American Contact Dermatitis Society and the European Society of Contact Dermatitis and is available online for all members.

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