Michael Groves (1933–2022)

On 15 May 2022, Michael Groves, aged 89 years, of Nashville, Tennessee. Mr Groves was a former Fellow of the Society.


Mike studied pharmacy at the University of Nottingham and, after graduating, worked for Boots research laboratories on particulate contamination of intravenous fluids. He achieved his PhD from Loughborough University and then took on an academic role at King’s College London. Many postgraduate pharmacy students learned the rigorous art of laboratory discipline from him. Mike enjoyed an informal pastoral role, bringing overseas students home to enjoy weekends with his family. He inspired huge loyalty from his students, some of whom continued to correspond with him throughout their working lives.

1n 1978, Mike was offered a research post in the Baxter Travenol laboratories, Chicago, Illinois. Given the parlous state of the UK economy, and underfunding of the universities at that stage, his decision to emigrate to the USA was understandable. For a few years, he worked on particle sizing, emulsions, and the stability of intravenous feeding systems. Mike was also one of the early investigators of the use of skin for drug delivery. However, he missed academia, so he was delighted to be appointed as professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Illinois. He took on additional responsibilities as director of the Institute of Tuberculosis Research (ITR)  in Chicago, where he worked on characterisation of TB, and its use in bladder cancer. He stayed at ITR until he retired, aged 70 years.

Mike authored many academic papers and several text books. He was on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical journals and chaired a number of international pharmaceutical technology meetings and conferences. A map of the world on his office wall was peppered with pins marking his various travels for work. He supported local pharmaceutical societies and associations, and contributed to the future of the industry by nurturing, mentoring  and supervising many students from all over the world.  He was very proud to be awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Nottingham, in recognition of his significant contribution to the field of pharmaceutics.

Somehow, he found time for his own interests. He built a fixed-wheel bicycle as a teenager, and cycled from his home in Coventry to visit Roman ruins all over England. He was an archer, shooting an unfashionable long bow until work and family pressures intervened. Classical music was a constant accompaniment to his life, and he loved Chicago for the opera and the Ravinia festivals. He read voraciously, always factual and usually on military matters or history. Exploring civil war battlefields became a focal point of most of his holidays. When the time came for him to take his American citizenship exam, he naturally knew far more detail on the history of his adopted country than did his examiner. Mike never lost his British accent. He enjoyed the American lifestyle, but he also had sympathy for its culture and was a committed supporter of first nations charities. He admired the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Chicago, and made full use of the city museums, particularly the Art Institute of Chicago. Mike developed considerable expertise on the international cuisine of Chicago. Having been an avid collector of Roman coins, ginger jars and mortar and pestles as well as beautiful, handmade rugs from all over the world, his flat was a fascinating place and a homage to a truly cosmopolitan man.

Mike is survived by his two children and his third wife. 

Clare Groves

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2022, Vol 308, No 7961;308(7961)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.144558

1 comment

  • Malcolm Costley

    Mike was my tutor at Chelsea College University of London where I studied for my B.Pharm. degree from 1968 to 71. I was so sad to read of his passing , but fascinated by his career after leaving Chelsea . I can totally concur with his wonderful warmth and help he gave me as a student. I too was invited to his home for a meal and he introduced me to the delights of Indian and Chinese cuisine! which was edifying to a naive young man from The Black Country! My sincere condolences to his family Malcolm Costley B.Pharm. M.R.Pharm.S.


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