Archive for the ‘ESPCR’ Category

Prof. Rosina Cicero (Univ. Bari)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Prof. Rosina Cicero (Univ. Bari) - second from right - with her colleagues and collaborators Anna Gallone, Gabriella Guida and Immacolata Maida in Bari (2007), at the 14th ESPCR annual meeting she hosted and co-organized with Prof. Mauro Picardo

Prof. Rosina Cicero (Univ. Bari) - second from right - with her colleagues and collaborators Anna Gallone, Gabriella Guida and Immacolata Maida in Bari (2007), at the 14th ESPCR annual meeting she hosted and co-organized with Prof. Mauro Picardo

We are very sad to inform you of the passing today (December 10th, 2015) of professor Rosina Cicero. She was member of ESPCR for several years and she organized the 14th ESPCR meeting in Bari (Italy), in 2007. Regarding melanogenesis, she was mainly interested in extracutaneous melanogenesis in Amphibia. Professor of experimental biology in university of Catania, Bari and Foggia (Italy), she always had gentle manner and was an example of dedication to work for all of us. She was a Master of life for our group of experimental Biology of Bari.

Anna Gallone, Gabriella Guida, Immacolata Maida

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I am very sorry to learn the sad news about passing of Professor Rosina Cicero. I have in good memory the 14th ESPCR meeting she organized in Bari and I will remember her kindness and friendliness. My deepest sympathy to the Bari Group.
Tadeusz (Tad) Sarna

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I am deeply saddened by the news of Prof. Rosina Cicero passing. My thoughts are with her  family and colleagues in Bari.

She will not be forgotten.

ALIDA DEPASE

ESPCR Supporting Member

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I am very sorry to learn the passing of Prof. Rosina Cicero. Together with my colleagues from the University of Murcia, in Spain, the Bari group, led by Rosina Cicero, was always very close. I remember her and her team attending and enjoying the 12th ESPCR meeting I organized in 2006 in Barcelona and, thereafter, helping them to organize the meeting in Bari, from which I have very good memories too, and which provided all of us an excellent excuse to enjoy both science and culture in a beautiful city by the coast of Southern Italy. My most sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleages.

Lluis Montoliu, ESPCR Treasurer and webmaster

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It is indeed a sad announcement . I had the pleasure to co organize the ESPCR meeting in Bari with Rosina and besides enjoying the organization I remember having many nice moments with Rosina.  She will dearly missed.

Mauro Picardo

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I am very sad for the passing  of Rosina. She was a very nice person and professor and I appreciated so much the ESPCR meeting in Bari,  where I was involved. God bless her.

Silvia Moretti

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It was very sad to learn of the passing of Rosina. I  had the opportunity to meet her on the occasion of the Reston IPPC, several ESPCR meetings and particularly the Bari meeting that was the occasion of a closer interaction. I appreciated  her enthusiasm and passion for research. I would like to express my condolence to her colleagues and collaborators in Bari.

Sincerely

Alessandra Napolitano

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Thanks to all colleagues for the words of esteem and sincere friendship and simpaty towards Professor Cicero.
We thank you for the closeness that you have shown us.
Anna Gallone, Gabriella Guida and Immacolata Maida
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ESPCR Honorary Member Prof. Jan Borovansky (1943-2015)

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
ESPCR Honorary Member Prof. Jan Borovansky (1943-2015)

ESPCR Honorary Member Prof. Jan Borovansky (1943-2015)

In Jan Borovansky, who died on 24th August 2015, the ESPCR – and indeed the entire Pigment Cell Community – lost a major figure and contributor to our melanic brotherhood. He made fundamental contributions to the body of knowledge that underpins our shared interest and endeavours and was an inspiring teacher and much-loved colleague.
Jan was very significant in the development of the biology of the melanosome and published many important papers devoted to the properties of these organelles. In particular, his researches touched on the metal-chelating properties of melanins and the importance of free radical mechanisms in melanocyte biochemistry and their significance to the development of malignancy.
He was a charismatic, intelligent, imaginative, encouraging, diplomatic, engaging, and loyal academic colleague. His gentle humour and modest demeanour endeared him to all his many friends. He had a well-deserved  international reputation for scholarship and was an influential and admired pedagogue at Charles University, much loved by his students.
Jan Borovansky was born on 4th February 1943 into an academic family in wartime Czechoslovakia. His father was the distinguished Professor of Anatomy at Charles University, Prague, and Jan’s early years were steeped in the scholastic tradition which he emulated throughout his life. His mother was a well-known ophthalmologist. As a young boy Jan wished to become a diplomat, but his family environment predetermined his career. He qualified in Medicine from Charles University, Prague, in 1966 and successfully defended his PhD thesis in 1976. His early career was greatly constrained by the political situation in Czechoslovakia at the time, but he was fortunate in becoming the right hand of Professor Jiri Duchon and, in this capacity, made fundamental contributions to melanin biology. His work on the isolation of melanosomes and the delineation of their properties, especially in relation to metal binding, was fundamental to many aspects of melanin biochemistry that are encompassed within the status of knowledge we rely on today. He was elected a Fellow of the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in 1967 and thereafter was successively appointed to assistant professor (1970-1974), associate professor (1974-2004), and full professor (from 2004 onwards).
Professor MUDr. Jan Borovansky, CSc.

Professor MUDr. Jan Borovansky, CSc.

In many ways, Jan Borovansky was conducive in the advancement of European ambitions in the melanin field and his bold undertaking to host the 3rd European Workshop on Melanin Pigmentation (under the Chairmanship of Professor Duchon) in 1981, whilst Prague was still under Soviet domination, had many important sequelae – one of which was the resolution, adopted at the 6th EWMP, to found the ESPCR, and all the manifold political developments that emerged from this, ending in the formation of the IFPCS and the world-wide collaborative network that we now share.
Jan was an exceptional researcher with a deep knowledge of biochemistry, a topic that he taught with enthusiasm and brilliance. He was much in demand as a lecturer for the clarity of his presentation, and his enthusiastic exposition of the functional aspects of melanosome structure, particularly with regard to free radical reactions, inspired much new research in the field.
Jan Borovansky was Professor of Medical Biochemistry at Charles University, a member of the Senate of the University, and served with distinction as Editor and was on the Editorial Boards of many Journals. He was active in the encouragement of cooperative ventures and was a member of the Organising Committees of many scientific meetings. Under the auspices of the British Council scholarship scheme he spent several periods at University College London where he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biochemical Pathology and was appointed an Honorary Research Fellow of UCL in 1984.
Jan was a founder member of the ESPCR and was the Organiser of the 8th ESPCR Annual meeting in Prague in 1998. He served on the Council of the ESPCR between 1990 and 1998 and as a member of the Editorial Board of Pigment Cell Research from 1995 to 1999. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the ESPCR Bulletin from 1999 to 2012 and was appointed to Honorary Membership of the ESPCR in 2010. He was a prominent and much-loved member of the Quintox Group, and was an elected Fellow of the Totteridge Institute for Advanced Studies.
Jan struggled for many years with chronic renal failure and was helped enormously by a successful renal transplant in 2001. However, in recent months he was afflicted by a malignancy that proved resistant to energetic therapy. He was courageous and optimistically philosophical to the end.
He was a fine man, an imaginative and careful scientist, a pillar of the pigment cell community, and, above all, a wonderful, loyal, and irreplaceable friend.
He is survived by his wife Jana, two children, Jitka and Jan, and four grandchildren.

Patrick Riley, 26 August 2015

Jan Borovansky (right) with Patrick Riley, at the 14th ESPCR meeting in Bari (Italy), in 2007

Jan Borovansky (right) with Patrick Riley, at the 14th ESPCR meeting in Bari (Italy), in 2007

Comments received

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I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Professor Borovansky. I will always remember his smile and gentle demeanor. His contributions to our field of pigment cell research are enormous. I will miss meeting him at IPCC meetings. My condolences to his family, his friends, and to the IFPCS community.
Sincerely,
Zalfa Abdel-Malek
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I am a relative late-comer to PASPCR, but I did have the chance to meet Prof. Borovansky at the international conference some years ago. He was a gentleman and a scholar!
I will miss him.
Julian Menter
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The entire ESPCR and IFPCS families are saddened with the loss of Prof. Jan Borovansky. I met him several times at ESPCR and IPCC meetings and I could always learn from him. His comments and remarks will be missed in our pigment cell conferences. We will remember him in our ESPCR meeting in Edinburgh, due in two weeks. My most sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Lluis Montoliu
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Jan and I were close friends and we spent much time together at meetings. I will miss him.
John Pawelek
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What sad news this is. Truly a great and much-loved member of our pigment cell research community has passed. My condolences to his family, and to his close colleagues, including Stan Pavel and Pat Riley.
Caroline Le Poole
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It is the deep sadness to hear that Prof. Jan Borovansky passed away. Jan and me were friends and colleagues at the same University in Prague for a very long time. My condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and pigment cell researchers.
Jiri Vachtenheim
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I am so sorry.
I met Prof. Jan Borovansky at a ESPCR meeting in Amsterdam the first time many any years ago and I will always remember him as a gentleman and a brilliant scientist
Alida Depase
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Indeed a very sad news. I had known Jan personally for almost 35 years. I remember him as a friendly, warm person and a great scientist, who made significant contributions to melanosome biology and melanin biochemistry. This is a huge loss to melanin research.
Tadeusz Sarna
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I have similar sentiments and he was a major reason that I spent a lot of time I in Prague pre 1989 helping them keep science alive
Frank Meyskens
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It is very sad. My heart felt condolences goes to his family and friends
Manickam Sugumaran
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I had the opportunity of meeting Borovansky at scientific conferences and I was impressed by this enthusiasm, and by his encyclopaedic knowledge of the pigmentation field.
A sad loss indeed.
Marisol Soengas
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I am saddened with Jan’s passing. I had many opportunities to appreciate his scientific capabilities and extreme kindness. I have very enjoyable memories of his participation at the ESPCR meeting in Rome that I will cherish.
Mauro Picardo
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It is with great sadness to hear that Professor Jan Borovansky passed away. I have personally known him since early 1980 when I and my wife visited Late Professor Dushane, another pioneer of pigment cell research in Charles Univeristy, Praha. During this visit, Dr. Dushane introduced me Professor Borovansky as his future successor. One of great contributions of Professor Borobansky to pigment cell reaseach is to introduce the importance of metals in melanosomes. He was kind enough to visit Sapporo when I organized IPCC in 1988.
May his soul rest in peace! And may his spirit always live!
Kowichi Jimbow, MD, PhD, FRCPC
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I am also saddened with Jan’s passing. I had many opportunities to appreciate his scientific capabilities and extreme kindness. I have very enjoyable memories meeting him on numerous scientific conferences where we discussed science and politics or politics and science, depending what was more exciting. He was also a friend of my mentor Dr Andrzej Bomirski.
This is a big loss for Pigment Cell Community
Andrzej Slominski
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I think to Jan when playing a CD of traditional Christmas music from Bohemia he gave me at the occasion of the IPCC in Bordeaux. My grandchildren love the this nice set of XVIIIth century pieces with drums and wind instruments which give an atmosphere of fairy happiness. We met at several pigment cell societies and unfortunately I missed the Prague meeting. He will be remembered both for his kindness and mentoring achievements. Please transmit my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Alain Taieb
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Still in shock over Jan Borovansky’s death. We email often and the last email I received 2 months ago, he was very pleased about the results he was getting with the chemo. He was very optimistic.  I have known him for a long time (since 1985) and I would send him items (for example,color film) that he could not get in stores while the Communists ruled.  I also did a 6 month sabbatical with him in 2004. We worked in his lab and then he would take my wife and I all around to see the country. As those of you that knew him, he was a wonderful person to be around. He had a very sly since of humor. He was very proud of his Czech Republic. My wife and I were planning to go to Prague to see him this Fall. I truly regret we waited too long to go. He will be greatly missed. Prayers  for him, his wife Jana, daughter Jitka and son Jan (Honsig).
Roger Bowers
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I am very sad about the Jan Borovansky passing.I had met Jan for many ESPCR meetings. He was a friendly person and always spoke about his work with modesty. I remember particularly of the 8th meeting of ESPCR organized in 1998 in Prague by Jan and Matous in honour of the 650th anniversary of the “Charles University”. The introductory lecture was done by his mentor Jiri Duchon on “Charles University and pigment cell research”. I had the opportunity to collect some lectures of this meeting as guest editor in a special issue of “Cellular and Molecular Biology” 1999, vol.45, N°7, 877-1129.
Robert Aquaron
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What sad news to hear that Jan Borovansky has passed away. He was a lovely man and will be missed by so many.
Tony Thody
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Melanocyte Course and Melanoma Meeting Reports: Reykjavik (Iceland) 21-26 June 2015

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Students and teachers at the university

Students and teachers at the university

Final Report of the International Course

The international course From Melanocyte Development to Melanoma Therapies – Basic Science and Clinical Applications, occurred at the University of Iceland, in Reykjavik June 21-24, 2015. Major advances in basic research of melanoma have lead to novel treatment options that are making a difference for melanoma patients. However, multiple challenges lie ahead and further progress is necessary, particularly with respect to resistance to the novel therapies. Our course taught the basic biology and development of the melanocyte how these cells are transformed into melanoma, and how the disease is diagnosed and treated. A particular emphasis was on novel therapeutic options and the resistance that arises against the new drugs. Another main issue was to bring together the future leaders in the field with an MD and/or a PhD background.
The course had seven main themes: (i) Introduction to melanocytes and melanoma. (ii) Clinical diagnosis and prognosis, (iii) Histology and histopathology, (iv) Molecular and (epi)genetic techniques, (v) Experimental animals, (vi) High throughput data analysis, and (vii) Therapy, current clinical practice and preclinical advances.
The objective of this course was clearly defined. In recent years, research into melanocytes and melanoma has lead to giant steps in treatment of melanoma patients. The goal of this course was to teach students about the basic biology of melanoma with a particular emphasis on therapeutic options. The students learnt about this rapidly advancing field, and since the students came from both basic and clinical sciences, they learnt from each other in order to advance melanoma diagnosis and therapy in the future.
Hosting the course in Iceland allowed us to bring together European and American students and taught them about the latest advances in the field. This three day course was followed by a three day meeting “Melanoma: from basic science to clinical applications“ (http://www.melanoma2015.is) where leaders in the field will talk about their latest results. This allowed us to include some of the most important players in the field as teachers in the course. This meeting was highly appreciated by the 120 participants.
The success of the course relied on the active contribution of participants who were proactive and participated in all of the events organized including: (i) presentation of their own scientific project with a 8 minutes oral presentation, and (ii) participation in the “career development” workshop during the last day of the course.
The course will have a broad view of the melanocyte lineage, including the establishment of the lineage during embryonic development and the renewal of melanocytes from normal melanocyte stem cells. The similarities between the cellular and molecular mechanisms that occur during development, renewal and melanomagenesis will be explored for further clinical advancement. Lectures on epigenetics, genomics and clinical aspects of melanoma will bring a broader view of the field for the PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and junior scientists attending the course.
Lunches and Dinners were attended by both teachers and students giving opportunities for further discussions and this time was used as round tables.
In figures, 28 students (3 Master students, 17 PhD/MD-PhD students, 4 Post-docs, and 4 MD) with 17 females and 11 males participated to this course. We got a feed-back from the survey of the course from 23 students. These students came from Iceland (8), France (7), North America (4), Sweden (2) and also from UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland and Hungary. Overall, they were either satisfied or highly satisfied by this course.
In conclusion, it was a real pleasure for the organizers, the teachers and the students to participate to this course. We are ready to organize a similar course in 2017. The location is still unclear, but an option is taken in Israel.
The organizers : Lionel LARUE, Eirikur STEINGRIMSSON, Thorunn RAFNAR and Colin GODING
Students and teachers at the blue Lagoon

Students and teachers at the blue Lagoon

Final Report of the Melanoma Meeting

The international meeting Melanoma: From Basic Science to Clinical Applications, was held in the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland, June 24-26, 2015. Major advances in basic research of melanoma have lead to novel treatment options that are making a difference for melanoma patients. However, multiple challenges lie ahead and further progress is necessary, particularly with respect to resistance to the novel therapies. The meeting covered topics ranging from the basic biology and development of the melanocyte to how these cells are transformed into melanoma, and how the disease is diagnosed and treated. A particular emphasis was to bridge the basic and clinical sciences of melanoma and to span the Atlantic divide by bringing American and European melanoma scientists together. Another main issue was to bring together the future leaders in the field.
The meeting was divided into five sessions: (i-ii) Melanocyte and melanoma development 1a and 1b. (ii) Gene regulation in melanocytes and melanoma, (iii) Cell biology to Pathology, (iv) Pathology to Genomics, (v) Clinical advances. One of the lunch breaks was conducted as a separate session termed Luncheon clinical Update and Current Needs.
The meeting was very successful. First, the speakers gave outstanding talks and ample time was allowed for questions and discussions. Second, the frequent coffee breaks and social events allowed further discussions and interactions. And third, the social events, including the Welcome reception, Conference dinner and the trip to the Blue Lagoon further enhanced interactions and discussions. We have received nothing but praise and adulation for the organization of the meeting, its scientific content, the location in Iceland and the friendly and interactive atmosphere we succeeded in creating.
The meeting was attended by a total of 120 people from 17 different countries. The speakers were from both Europe and the US, 14 females and 22 males. They were both established leading investigators and younger speakers selected from abstracts.
Support for the meeting was obtained from various institutions and companies, including Institut Curie, University of Iceland, ESPCR, PASPCR, The French Embassy in Iceland, the Icelandic Cancer Society, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Provectus, Incyte, Amgen, Metabolon, Lytix biopharma, Viralytics and Bristol Myers Squibb. We thank all these organizations for their generous contributions.
The organizers: Lionel LARUE, Eirikur STEINGRIMSSON, Thorunn RAFNAR, Robert ANDTBACKA, Rene GONZALEZ, Karl LEWIS, Caroline ROBERT and Ze’ev RONAI

ESPCR Meeting 2015: Register Now

Monday, August 10th, 2015
ESPCR Meeting 2015: Register Now

ESPCR Meeting 2015: Register Now

Dear colleagues,
We are rapidly approaching our ESPCR conference on September 15th-18th here in Edinburgh. There, you have a great opportunity to meet, to discuss and to present your work. This year’s meeting has a fantastic line up of speakers from around the world speaking on topics ranging from genetics of pigmentation to melanoma therapy via cell biology and developmental biology.  The list of speakers is here and the full programme is here.
Edinburgh is an exceptional city to visit and we have a great venue close to the centre, but on the edge of Holyrood Park, a huge area of almost wild land containing Arthur’s Seat, a 250m high volcanic plug.
You can register here, and thanks to those of you who have already registered. If you want to present a poster we still have spaces available, email after registration and we can send a link for your abstract submission.
I hope we will see you in September
Ian Jackson, President ESPCR
and
Liz Patton, ESPCR Board

Meeting report: 1st International Workshop on Oculocutaneous Albinism in Subsaharian Africa

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
1st International Workshop on Oculocutaneous Albinism in Subsaharian Africa

1st International Workshop on Oculocutaneous Albinism in Subsaharian Africa

Last week, on 24-25 July, the 1st International Workshop on Oculocutaneous Albinism in Subsaharian Africa took place at the Sawa hotel, in Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. This meeting was organized by Robert Aquaron (Univ. Aix-Marseille, France), Albert Mouelle (Univ. Douala, Cameroon) and Charlotte Baker (Lancaster Univ., UK) and counted with the participation of several additional scientists from different countries, including: Patricia Lund, Benoît Arveiler, Alain Taïeb, Alain Froment, Pierre Bey, Robyn Kerr, Jennifer Kromberg, Martial Zannou and Lluís Montoliu. The meeting was co-sponsored by Lancaster University, Wellcome-Trust, Avene/Pierre-Fabre laboratory and the European Society for Pigment Cell Research (ESPCR), among many other government (Yvonne Matuturu, from UNESCO, Burundi, several ministries in Cameroon) and non-government institutions (Jon Beale, Standing Voice). The meeting was attended by more than 120 participants coming from several countries in Africa, including: Cameroon, Burundi, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Niger, Nigeria and Republic of the Congo.

From left to right: Robert Aquaron, Charlotte Baker, the Rector of the University of Douala, Albert Mouelle and the President of ASMODISA

From left to right: Robert Aquaron, Charlotte Baker, the Rector of the University of Douala, Albert Mouelle and the President of ASMODISA

This meeting was in many ways unique and exceptionally successful and the organizers must be praised for having managed in bringing to Cameroon many different people with a common interest on albinism in Africa. Basic researchers, clinicians, anthropologists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, experts in human rights, professors at universities, members of associations and organizations in support of people with albinism, advocating for albinism, people with albinism themselves, students and public in general gathered in Douala to discuss both scientific and social aspects of albinism, particularly focused into topics that affect people with albinism in Africa. Albinism is the same genetic condition present in Europe and Africa, and everywhere else in the world. However, whereas people with albinism in Europe can concentrate their efforts in the visual handicapping features of albinism, while protecting their skin from the sun with adequate creams and clothes, the absence of these simple materials in Africa makes these individual unfortunately and unnecessarily prone to develop skin cancer, and with fatal consequences if tumors are not treated in time. Hence, the dermatological aspects of oculocutaneous albinism, mainly OCA2, the commonest form of albinism in Africa, become extraordinarily relevant and, consequently, were the subject of many presentations and discussions throughout this workshop in Douala.

Two participants with oculocutaneous (OCA) albinism attending the conference in Douala. The person on the left is OCA2, the person on the right is OCA1.

Two participants with oculocutaneous (OCA) albinism attending the conference in Douala. The person on the left is OCA2, the person on the right is OCA1.

Raising positive awareness and advocating for people with albinism was a common aim for all organizations attending this workshop in Douala. ALBA and Genespoir, the Spanish and French associations in support of people with albinism, contributed with copies of the book on “Albinism. One genetic condition: two realities, Spain and Senegal”, originally published in Spanish by ALBA in 2009 and later translated to French by Genespoir in 2012. French copies of this book with many testimonials by people with albinism from both Europe and Africa were distributed among representative delegates from African associations in support of people with albinism. Two flyers, sponsored by ESPCR, dealing with the workshop and with oculocutaneous albinism type 2, OCA2, were distributed to all the participants.

Robert Aquaron distributing sun protection cream among participants (click on image for VIDEO)

Robert Aquaron distributing sun protection cream among participants (click on image for VIDEO)

The meeting closed with a Gala Dinner where sun protection creams (50+ SPF) generously donated by Avene/Pierre-Fabre laboratory, were distributed among people with albinism participating in this conference and the corresponding associations representing them. At this Gala Dinner we could enjoy performances by several groups with people with albinism sharing their talent dancing, singing or in a fantastic mannequin parade where a local fashion designer is using them to present his creations. Among these performances there was one outstanding, by John Chiti, from Zambia, a gifted music composer that uses the language of music and his rhythmic songs to talk about his albinism and albinism in general, advocating for this genetic condition and increasing positive awareness among the society.

Dances at the Gala Dinner of the Albinism Conference in Douala (click on image for VIDEO)

Dances at the Gala Dinner of the Albinism Conference in Douala (click on image for VIDEO)

Performance of John Chiti, music composer from Zambia, at the Gala Dinner of the Albinism Conference in Douala (click on image for VIDEO)

Performance of John Chiti, music composer from Zambia, at the Gala Dinner of the Albinism Conference in Douala (click on image for VIDEO)

In summary, this was a splendid conference where we all shared our progress into the understanding and treatment of albinism, where we could discuss, face to face, directly with people with albinism in Africa and their associations, listening to their needs and their requests for help and support. This should be the first of many additional workshops to come, in Africa, to keep this momentum and push forward the awareness on albinism in this continent where the priorities and requirements for life are somehow different from what we are used to hear in Europe. Attending a meeting in Africa is always a moving and very emotional experience, where you are directly confronted with the problems and the difficulties one usually reads in the books and journals, or watches on TV. But being there is something else. There is a saying that goes: “when you leave Africa, Africa doesn’t leave you any more”. Robert Aquaron told me about it some years ago, when I still didn’t have the chance to visit Africa. Now, after coming back from Cameroon I can only say: so true!.

Robert Aquaron near Mount Cameroon

Robert Aquaron near Mount Cameroon

Many thanks are due to Robert Aquaron and the rest of his colleagues for having promoted this conference on albinism in Africa.
Lluis Montoliu

@EuSPCR: the new official twitter account for the ESPCR

Sunday, June 21st, 2015
@EuSPCR: the new official twitter account for the ESPCR

@EuSPCR: the new official twitter account for the ESPCR

The European Society for Pigment Cell Research (ESPCR) has a new official twitter account: @EuSPCR. Please follow us to stay alert about activities, meetings, courses, workshops, awards, conferences promoted, organized, supported and/or sponsored by the ESPCR.

Meeting and Course: From Melanocyte Development to Melanoma Therapies, Reykjavik, Iceland, June 21-26, 2015

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
Meeting and Course "From Melanocyte Development to Melanoma Therapies", Reykjavik - Iceland, June 21-26, 2015

Meeting and Course "From Melanocyte Development to Melanoma Therapies", Reykjavik - Iceland, June 21-26, 2015

The European Society for Pigment Cell Research (ESPCR) is pleased to co-sponsor the following two consecutive events on melanocyte and melanoma research that will take place in Iceland next June.

At first, the course From Melanocyte Development to Melanoma Therapies – Basic Science and Clinical Applications, which will be held at the University of Iceland, in Reykjavik, Iceland, June 21-24, 2015. Major advances in basic research of melanoma have lead to novel treatment options that are making a difference for melanoma patients. However, multiple challenges lie ahead and further progress is necessary, particularly with respect to resistance to the novel therapies. This course will teach the basic biology and development of the melanocyte how these cells are transformed into melanoma, and how the disease is diagnosed and treated. A particular emphasis will be on novel therapeutic options and the resistance that arises against the new drugs. This course is organized by: Lionel LARUE – Institut Curie, FR; Eirikur STEINGRIMSSON – University of Iceland, IC; Thorunn RAFNAR – deCODE Genetics, IC; and, Colin GODING – Ludwig Institute, UK

Next, the Conference Melanoma: from basic science to clinical applications, will be held in Harpa, the Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland, June 24-26, 2015. The conference will involve lectures from leaders in melanoma and melanocyte research. Speakers and poster presentations will be selected from abstracts. The conference is designed to stimulate discussions between basic scientists and clinicians and has the ultimate aim of improving therapeutic options in this disease. This meeting is organize by Eirikur Steingrimsson, Lionel Larue, Ze’ev Ronai, Thorunn Rafnar, Caroline Robert, Karl Lewis and René Gonzalez.

COURSE APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 23, 2015
Course WEB site: training.curie.fr/course/iceland2015
Meeting WEB site: melanoma2015.is
CONTACT: c.iceland2015@curie.fr

Hans Rorsman

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Above (from left to right): Shosuke Ito, Giuseppe Prota and Hans Rorsman. Below (from left to right): James Nordlund, Yutaka Mishima, Richard King, Hans Rorsman, Joseph Bagnara, and Giuseppe Prota. Pictures kindly provided by Alessandra Napolitano.

Above (from left to right): Shosuke Ito, Giuseppe Prota and Hans Rorsman. Below (from left to right): James Nordlund, Yutaka Mishima, Richard King, Hans Rorsman, Joseph Bagnara and Giuseppe Prota. Pictures kindly provided by Alessandra Napolitano.

Sadly, we have to inform the ESPCR of the passing in August this year of Hans Rorsman, one of our Honorary Members. Hans was a clinician and scientist who published almost 200 papers in many areas of pigment cell research across a career spanning six decades, from his first in 1957 to his last in 2004. The last was a memoir of his work in Pigment Cell Research (volume 17 Pp 191-202) in which he tells us that, as a person with red hair, he had a personal as well as scientific interest in UV protection and sunburn! He was one of the first to characterise phaeomelanin and its chemical constituents
He was President of the International Pigment Cell Society (the precursor of the IFPCS) from 1988 to 1990, and indeed helped create the IFPCS in its present state as a Federation of regional Societies. Among his many awards was the Myron Gordon Award from the IFPCS in London in 1993, and was made an Honorary Member of ESPCR in 1997. I did meet Hans on several occasions, including in London in 1993 and at other regional Society meetings and I found him a thoughtful and open scientist. He will be much missed by the pigment cell community.

Ian Jackson, ESPCR President

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Additional messages from IFPCS colleagues in memoriam of Hans Rorsman:

I am very saddened to hear about Dr. Rorsman’s passing away. I had the honor and pleasure to meet him on many occasions during various IPCC at ESPCR meetings. He was always positive, encouraging, and very collegial. His contributions to our understanding of the properties of pheomelanin and the identification of pheomelanin metabolites as markers of metastasis in melanoma patients are among his numerous contributions to the clinical and basic science aspects of melanin. I last met him in 2009 in Stockholm, and as usual, he was very friendly and welcoming. We owe our progress in the field of pigmentation to giants like Hans who paved the way and left us landmarks so we can walk in their footsteps.

My deepest condolences to his family and particularly to my friends and colleagues in ESPCR and in the IPCS who knew him.

Sincerely,

Zalfa Abdel-Malek

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Indeed very hard to improve on Zalfa’s heartfelt testimonial

Hans was one of the people who encouraged me greatly in the early days and had many wry things to say about science and life.

He will be missed

Frank L. Meyskens

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Thanks for sharing

Liz Grimm

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I would like to join Zalfa and Frank in acknowledging the contribution of Hans Rorsman to the study of human pigmentation.

I also had the pleasure to meet him on several occasions and everytime I was impressed by the interest he showed for the results communicated in our meetings, particularly pheomelanins even if the work was presented by a much younger colleague as I was. He helped and supported me a lot at the beginning of my carrier. Also, I would like to highlight that his studies pioneered identification of biological markers for the follow up of melanoma, and opened the door to the investigation of the role and structure of red hair pigments.

We all received much from him

sincerely

Alessandra Napolitano

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Hello all,

I am breaking my own rule of not repeating what has been already said by others. I never personally met Hans Rorsman,   but his work has been an inspiration to me in many ways. I am very sorry for his loss and that of PASPCR.

Sincerely,

Julian Menter

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We lost a giant in the field.

Caroline Le Poole

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I’m very sorry to hear about Hans. I had the opportunity to meet him and enjoyed some pleasant discussions with him which not only included science but his love for Italy. He was a clever and pleasant person and will also be remembered for his elegant style during his talks. All of us had something to learn from him and he will be missed.

Mauro Picardo

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2015 ESPCR JOINING/RENEWAL CAMPAIGN: Welcome letter from ESPCR President: Prof. Ian Jackson

Friday, November 21st, 2014
2015 JOINING/RENEWAL CAMPAIGN: Welcome letter from ESPCR President: Prof. Ian Jackson

2015 JOINING/RENEWAL CAMPAIGN: Welcome letter from ESPCR President: Prof. Ian Jackson

Dear ESPCR members, dear colleagues interested in Pigment Cells, Pigment Cell Biology, Pigment Chemistry, Pigment Biophysics and Pigment Cell-related genetics, Pigment Cell-related pathology. The 2015 Joining/Renewal Campaign has just been launched. We expect that all of you, already ESPCR members, will renew in 2015 and those that are not yet members of the ESPCR Society will consider joining in 2015. In order to trigger the registration/renewal please visit the JOIN web page. You can also download a welcome letter prepared by our ESPCR President, Prof. Ian Jackson. Looking forward to receiving your membership application & renewal requests!.

Meeting Report: 2nd European Days of Albinism, Valencia, Spain, 5-6 April 2014

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Meeting Report: 2nd European Days of Albinism, Valencia, 5-6 April 2014

Meeting Report: 2nd European Days of Albinism, Valencia, 5-6 April 2014

During the past weekend, April 5-6, 2014, Valencia (Spain), could be considered the World Capital of Albinism, due to the 2nd European Days of Albinism (2EDA) that took place at the ONCE Foundation in Valencia, with great success, organized by ALBA, the Spanish association in support of people with albinism, and with the participation of several additional European associations and many specialists in the field, from Europe, USA and Japan. This meeting was co-sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research (ESPCR), and also received the support from the EU Commission, the Spanish Rare Disease Initiative (CIBERER-ISCIII) and a number of additional entities and firms.

The 2EDA meeting, devoted to all aspects of ALBINISM, from research to social, from the latest investigations to educative programs, was built following a successful pioneer 1EDA meeting held in Paris, in October 2012, and organized by Genespoir, the French association in support of people with albinism. Three concurrent sessions took place over the entire weekend, focused in three aspects of albinism: research, associations and young people with albinism. Anyone interested could grasp the intensity, committment and success of this 2EDA meeting by simply browsing these beautiful pictures taken by Ana Yturralde and Merce Montoliu.

The scientific sessions of the 2EDA meeting gathered different professionals working directly on albinism: molecular biologists, cellular biologists, biochemists, human geneticists, ophthalmologists, neurobiologists, dermatologists, experts in rehabilitation medicine, clinicians and researchers in general, rarely coinciding at the same meeting but discussing in Valencia on albinism, with a multidisciplinary view, and across fields, a real privilege and a wonderful and most rewarding experience for those attending this focused meeting. The 26 invited speakers present at 2EDA in Valencia included ESPCR members as Alain Taïeb (Bordeaux, France), Vittoria Schiaffino (Milan, Italy), Robert Aquaron (Marseille, France), José Carlos García-Borrón (Murcia, Spain), Mónica Martínez-García (Madrid, Spain) and Lluís Montoliu (Madrid, Spain), as well as PASPCR members as Murray Brilliant (Marshfield, WI, USA) and Esteban Dell’Angelica (Los Angeles, CA, USA) and a JSPCR member, Tamio Suzuki (Yamagata, Japan). Shari Parker, from Sydney (Australia), representing the Albinism Fellowship of Australia also generously attended this meeting and share with the participants her experience and knowledge on rehabilitation

The number of genes whose mutations are associated with albinism has recently increased, hence the complexity of this group of genetic conditions and the definition of the albino phenotype, the common traits present in all people with albinism, need to be reviewed and discussed. Additional syndromes have been descrined, such as FHONDA, closely related to albinism, challenging our view on this rare disease. All these aspects, as well as biochemical, cellular, ophthalmological, dermatological, and, overall, clinical, aspects were discussed in depth during this fruitful 2EDA meeting in Valencia.

The Organizers from ALBA and the Scientific Committee need to be praised for their great work done and the success accomplished. The next 3EDA meeting will be taking place in Italy, in 1-2 years. Details will be announced in due time. Anyone interested on the EDA-meeting series initiative can contact Lluis Montoliu or ALBA, at: contactar@albinismo.es