September 20, 2016

In Memoriam

On September 18, 2016, our society lost one of our most valued members and researchers, Professor Arie Bastiaan Johan Groeneveld at the age of 60 years, after a long, devastating disease.

A devoted ESICM member, PACT contributor, faculty member and colleague to many over the years, Johan Groeneveld was granted honorary membership in 2015 after a long and illustrious career in intensive care medicine. Described by colleagues as a trendsetter in intensive care medicine in the Netherlands, he was also very active and respected internationally.

Graduating from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam with a degree in medicine in 1979, Johan specialised in internal medicine at the hospital of the same university and he worked as a research fellow critical care medicine at the Medical School of Chicago, under the supervision of Professor Max H. Weil. The late Professor Bert Thijs, one of the founders of ESICM was his mentor and promoter in his PhD thesis, entitled "Peripheral vascular function in septic shock. A clinical and experimental study" which he finalised in 1988. This pivotal collaboration marked the beginning of a longstanding collaborative relationship between the two.

Johan Groeneveld was a passionate researcher with an enormous enthusiasm for physiology and pathophysiology, driven by pure curiosity. His knowledge on the broad field of intensive care was unmatched and he was always willing to share his knowledge and ideas with others. It is not surprising then, that he collaborated with so many investigators, colleagues, and students, leading to a huge number of publications, chapters in books and PhD theses.

He was a highly respected and sought after speaker not only at national and international conferences, but also at small-scale educational sessions for young students, physicians and registrars for intensive care. His scientific arguments were peppered with humor during pro-con debates, which was always a highly appreciated extra for those in attendance. 

Johan acquired several prominent titles and awards throughout his career, including that of a top reviewer and editor of several journals, including our own journal Intensive Care Medicine. His drive to document his ideas, data and understanding of physiology, pathophysiology and intensive care medicine was enormous, and it was in fact one of his major pleasures of his life. This became a fortiori visible when he was confronted with a disease that was not curable. Despite his illness, he demonstrated an enormous willpower and strength to continue his work, helping others in their research and being a mentor for many young investigators and colleagues. 

Above all, to those who knew him personally, he was an exceptionally kind, supportive and truly humane person. He has left an indelible mark on ESICM and intensive care medicine as a whole and will be truly missed.


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