For several decades now, the Netherlands have belonged to the best performing countries in thrombosis and haemostasis research. This leading position is remarkable for a small country like the Netherlands. The first steps to thrombosis and haemostasis research in the Netherlands were made by Prof S. van Creveld (1939-1965), paediatrician and founder of treatment facilities of children with haemophilia. This was followed by Prof. F.L.J. Jordan (1953-1971), founder of the anticoagulation clinics in the Netherlands and Prof. E. A. Loeliger (1954-1985), founder of the international quality assurance standards for anticoagulation. In the 1970s, thrombosis and haemostasis research in the Netherlands expanded rapidly. Several leading research groups were established at different locations throughout the Netherlands. Utrecht became the center for platelet research and was headed by Prof. J.J. Sixma. The Amsterdam group, which was headed by Prof. J.W. ten Cate, became a leading research group for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with thrombosis. The group of Prof. C. Hemker in Maastricht became the center for the biochemistry of clotting. The university hospital in Leiden grew into the center of aetiologic venous thrombosis and haemophilia carriership research and the Gaubius Institute in Leiden introduced antithrombolytics as a therapy. The key to continued success has been the joining of forces of the Dutch research groups. A crucial element has been the establishment of Thrombosis Haemostasis Research Netherlands (THON) in 1972, facilitating the cooperation between leading international institutes in the Netherlands. Sixteen years later, the Netherlands Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (NVTH) was established. Its successive chairmen were Rogier Bertina, Ernest Briët, Flip de Groot, Marcel Levi, Frits Rosendaal, Tilman Hackeng and Saskia Middeldorp.
The NVTH has always promoted collaboration between national societies. In 2006, it organised a joint congress with the British Society of Haematology in Edinburgh, and in 2010 a joint meeting with the British Society on Haemostasis and Thrombosis in Noordwijk, as well as with the German Gesellschaft für Thrombose- und Hämostaseforschung (GTH) in Nuremberg. Given this history, it can be no surprise that the NVTH hosted the first European Congress on Thrombosis and Haemostasis in The Hague in 2016.
Dr Mettine Bos, LUMC, Leiden