The ESPCR is born

A foreword by Giuseppe Prota, President

Dear Members,

More than one year has passed since the European Society for Pigment Cell Research was inaugurated in Naples on the 11th December, 1985 by Natale Cascinelli, Patrick Riley and myself. I feel it is my first duty, as the President of the ESPCR, to express my thankfulness to all the people who have enthusiastically joined in this enterprise.

A grateful acknowledgement should also be given to Fondazione Pro Ricerca Dermatologica (Rome), Clairol (Stamford, USA), and I'Oréal (Paris), which have provided us with the necessary funds to meet the initial costs of the establishment of the Society.

The exigency of pigment cell researchers from all Europe of having a coordinating body to give cohesiveness and organizational support to scientific activities gained progressive ground in the successful series of the European Workshops on Melanin Pigmentation and acquired a definite form during the last VIth EWMP in Murcia in 1985. We all should, therefore, be very grateful to the Colleagues who, over the years, have opened the doorway to this Society by excellently organizing in turn the EWMPs J.P. Ortonne and J. Thivolet (Lyon, 1978), A.S. Breathnach (London, 1979), J. Duchon (Prague, 1981), J.A.A. Hunter (Edinburgh, 1982), C. Aubert (Marseille, 1984), J.A. Lozano (Murcia, 1985).

Although the ESPCR is still in its embryonic phase, in the very first months of its life it has infused new energy and incentives into the pigment cell community. An account of the actions taken by the Executive Council has already been given by the Secretary, Patrick Riley, in his letter of September, 1986.

Here, it is just sufficient to mention the active role played by the ESPCR in promoting the restructuring of the International Pigment Cell Society currently underway and the launching of the Pigment Cell Research Journal.

Our organization is growing rapidly, we have now more than 150 active members, including several from countries outside Europe, and I fell confident that many more will join us in the near future. Such a wide participation of scientists from all countries and with a broad spectrum of interests will surely contribute to the furtherance of one of the major aims of the Society, i.e. to stimulate pigment cell research and its application to urgent human diseases. In pursuance of this and other aims of the Society, the active participation of all members is warmly encouraged, since many problems still remain to be faced and initiatives to be taken. Among these latter, a prominent place is occupied by the launching of the periodical ESPCR Bulletin, which will be edited periodically by Ferdy Lejeune in collaboration with Aodan Breathnach and Leszek Wolfram. This should not only represent a means by which news and information concerning the ESPCR activities are circulated, but, especially, should provide an open forum where new ideas are presented, the results of outstanding experiments are preliminarily communicated and controversial topics are discussed. A most significant section will be the Current Literature Compendium, where the relevant, up-to-date literature in all fields of pigment cell research will be gathered and presented in an easily accessible form. It seems superfluous to stress here the importance of this Compendium as a professional aid for a large segment of investigators and scientists. Rather, I think we all owe a word of acknowledgement to Miss Linda Albrecht (Clairol, Stamford ) for her valuable assistance in the computer literature search, as well as to the Lawrence M. Gelb Research Foundation for bearing the costs of such a demanding service. I would also like to express my warmest appreciation for the active cooperation and financial contribution provided by Ferdinando Serri through the "Fondazione Pro Ricerca Dermatologica" (Roma) which allowed the editing and distribution of the Bulletin without any additional charge for the members of the Society.

Finally, I am very pleased to announce that the first Meeting of the ESPCR will be held in Sorrento (Naples) on October 11-14, 1987. Work is underway to make this event an intellectually stimulating and socially enjoyable occasion for all members to meet and discuss problems of common interest. My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming you in Sorrento.

Giuseppe Prota
President ESPCR