• Departments of Pediatric Surgery/Intensive Care and Medical Informatics at the Erasmus Medical Center – Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam
• Director of Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, USA
• Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology & Physiology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
John van den Anker is Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Experimental Therapeutics and Director of Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, in the USA and he is Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology & Physiology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and holds the Evan and Cindy Jones Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology. He is also a member of the Departments of Pediatric Surgery/Intensive Care and Medical Informatics at the Erasmus Medical Center – Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam.
John received his Medical Degree in 1983 from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and was a resident in Pediatrics (1984-1988) and fellow in Neonatal Medicine (1999-2001) at Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam. After his clinical training he conducted clinical pharmacology studies investigating the impact of renal function development on clinical pharmacokinetics in the neonate which resulted in the successful defence of his PhD in 1995. In 1997 he became Director of Neonatology and Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Erasmus University. John has been granted several major awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and leads one of only four NICHD-funded Research Centers Specialized in Pediatric Developmental Pharmacology in the USA. He has published over 250 peer reviewed papers in the field of neonatal and pediatric clinical pharmacology and serves on the editorial board of several Clinical Pharmacology journals. John’s continued commitment and active participation in pediatric clinical pharmacology in Europe has resulted in his election as President of the European Society of Developmental, Perinatal and Paediatric Pharmacology (2006-2008), past member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and current member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the Committee on Drugs of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Of his professional achievements John has a number of them that he is particular proud which include being the First Holder of the Endowed Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology at Children’s National Medical Center called: “Evan and Cindy Jones Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology” since 2005; his role as President of the European Society for Developmental, Perinatal and Paediatric Pharmacology from 2006-2008, receiver of the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology in 2008, his role of Adjunct Professor in Medicine, Pediatrics, Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA since 2011 and also being the recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC in 2012.
With his work the most important goals that John realistically hopes to achieve are to improve the safe and effective use of medicines in neonates, infants, children and adolescents and to train the new generation of pediatric clinical pharmacologists who will secure the future of the discipline of pediatric clinical pharmacology. The most important and realistic aims in pediatric research that John believes colleagues worldwide should focus on today are to think about pediatric clinical pharmacology when they design clinical studies involving medicines in neonates, infants, children and adolescents and to involve experts in pediatric clinical pharmacology early on during the development of clinical trials. Also, looking to prevent large scale clinical drug investigations being conducted using the wrong dose, due to lack of involvement of pediatric clinical pharmacologists.
John’s hopes for the achievements and impact for GRIP at the end of the project are that there will be in place an outstanding training program in pediatric clinical pharmacology consisting of an accredited fellowship program, a master’s program and a program for both support staff and clinical investigators that can be accessed from all over the world and that continued funding from the EU will assure that the developed programs can be continuously monitored and improved. In addition there is the hope that funding will be acquired to not only develop an electronic pediatric formularium that can be used anywhere in the world but assure continuous quality control of this formularium.
A number of people have had an influence on John’s life, the most significant being his parents who are and have been his strongest supporters in anything he has wanted to do throughout his whole life; His wife, Dr Natella Rakhmanina, who is not only a wonderful partner and the best mother their son could ever wish for, but also an established clinician-scientist in the area of pediatric HIV/AIDS; Prof Ronald de Groot who introduced John to clinical research and Dr Gregory Kearns who taught him the discipline of pediatric clinical pharmacology and is not only his mentor but has become like a brother to him. In his spare time John’s interests lie in sharing quality time with my family members and close friends, traveling, enjoying excellent food and wine and photography.