Hans Rorsman

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


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 http://www.squadronmedical.co.uk/synthroid-levothyroxine/ 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.


Zalfa Abdel-Malek


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


Thanks for sharing

Liz Grimm


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


Alessandra Napolitano


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.


Julian Menter


We lost a giant in the field.

Caroline Le Poole


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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