International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies

Officers: Shosuke Ito (JSPCR, President); Stan Pavel (ESPCR, Vice-President); Richard A. King (PASPCR, Secretary/Treasurer)

COUNCIL MEMBERS: Dorothy C. Bennett (ESPCR); Jose C. García-Borrón (ESPCR);; Sally Frost-Mason (PASPCR); Masako Mizoguchi (JSPCR); James J. Nordlund (PASPCR); Shigeki Shibahara (JSPCR); Vincent J. Hearing (Ex Officio member as the Editor of Pigment Cell Research) and Stan Pavel (Ex Officio member as Organizer of the 18th IPCC)

A Letter from the IFPCS President to the ESPCR members

At the end of the 20th century, I found this past year a remarkable one for pigment cell biologists. Scientists have made incredible advances in many disciplines of pigment cell biology, and those are now being disseminated to broader fields of biology and medicine. As the President of the IFPCS, I am glad to hear that the annual meetings of the ESPCR (in Ulm, Germany), the JSPCR (in Sapporo), and the PASPCR (in College Station, Texas) were excellent ones covering a broad range of topics in the pigment cell field. I wish to congratulate the Chairs of those meetings: Drs. Ralf U. Peter, Kowichi Jimbow, Lynn Lamoreux, and Estela Medrano for their successful meetings. In addition to the good news, however, we must recall sad news as well: the deaths of two prominent pigment cell scientists, Dr. Fritz Anders who died last December and Dr. Yoshiaki Hori who died last March. Dr. Anders will be remembered not only for his great contribution to the genetics of melanoma but also for the cheerful, yet successful 12th IPCC that was held in Giessen, 1983. Dr. Hori had been among the leaders of the pigment cell field in Japan for many years and served as the Vice-President of the IFPCS from 1996 to 1999. He will also be sorely missed by all who knew him.

The IFPCS has established the following goals for the Federation (also available on the IFPCS Web page at

1. To encourage the dissemination of knowledge related to pigment cells by the establishment, sponsorship and support for the publication of books, bulletins,          newsletter, journal, reports or other means.

2. To organize a tri-annual international meeting, to honor outstanding contributions in the field by awarding the Myron Gordon award at that meeting, and to select a scientist who has made recent and significant advances in the field to present the Seiji Memorial lecture.

3. To foster and enhance research on pigment cells and pigmentation among the regional Societies and to foster scientific collaboration, cooperation and communication among the regional Societies.

Goal #1 was achieved by establishing an official IFPCS-sponsored journal, Pigment Cell Research ( The journal is now in the 13th year of publication. I wish to congratulate Dr. Vincent J. Hearing for his success in further raising the reputation of the journal in such a short time after succeeding as Editor at the beginning of this year from Dr. Jiro Matsumoto. To further promote the growth of the journal, it is essential that the numbers of subscribers and submitted papers be increased. I wish to urge all ESPCR members to subscribe to Pigment Cell Research, to make sure your Institution's library is subscribing, to submit papers to it, and to cite its pertinent references in your publications.

Goal #2 may be the most visible one among the several efforts that the IFPCS has been making; The International Pigment Cell Conference (IPCC) has been held every three years since 1946 when Dr. Myron Gordon held the first meeting in New York. Since the inauguration of the IFPCS in Kobe in 1990, the IFPCS and one of the regional Societies have co-organized the IPCC on a rotating basis among the ESPCR, PASPCR, and JSPCR. The 15th IPCC was thus held in London in 1993, the 16th IPCC in Anaheim, California in 1996, and the 17th IPCC in Nagoya last year. I am happy to inform you that the venue of the 18th IPCC is a splendid, five star hotel in Scheveningen on the North Sea coast. The Chair of the next 18th IPCC, Dr. Stan Pavel, and his Organizing Committee, are working hard to welcome you to the Netherlands in September 8-13, 2002. The basic framework of the scientific program is now being planned, and will be finalized after consultation with the International Program Committee; you will receive the first announcement early next year. I wish to urge each of you to start planning to attend this exciting and stimulating Conference and to present your new findings.

Goal #3 is being achieved through related and important initiatives that the IFPCS has taken in the past several years. Special Interest Groups have been established and are providing substantial benefits to our scientific community, as shown on our Web page. We now have Special Interest Groups in the subdisciplines of Biology of Melanoma, Pigment Cell Development, Genetics of Pigmentation, Hypo/Hyperpigmentation, Ocular/Extracutaneous Pigmentation, and Vitiligo. The Federation Council has decided to continue these Interest Groups as a mechanism to promote pigment cell research. We expect that some of those Groups will hold their own Satellite symposia at the next IPCC, as they did at the Nagoya IPCC. The Pigment Cell Development group is also organizing an open workshop on April 4-6, 2001 at the NIH, Bethesda, USA. Further information will be available from Drs. Dorothy Bennett and Bill Pavan.

Another initiative to achieve Goal #3 was the establishment of the IFPCS Visiting Scientist Award. The grants, established in 1997, are intended to support investigators from one of the regional Societies who wish to visit the laboratory of an investigator in another regional Society to learn specialized techniques and/or to establish inter-Society collaborations. You will find a full description of that program, the name of generous corporate donors, and the name of awardees on the IFPCS web page. The initial 3-year period of the program will end this year with 9 awardees being selected, but as the program has been quite successful, we hope to continue this program with a renewal of corporate donations.

I sincerely hope that we will see healthy and steady progress in our 3 regional Pigment Cell Societies, ESPCR, JSPCR, and PASPCR at the beginning of the new 21st century. In this respect, I wish to welcome new faces to the IFPCS Council; Drs. Dorothy Bennett (new President of the ESPCR) and JoseGarcía-Borrón (new Secretary of the ESPCR). Finally, I urge each of you to contribute to your Society in any way you can: submitting your abstracts to the regional Society meetings, publishing your papers in Pigment Cell Research, collaborating with other members, and recruiting others scientists and clinicians to join us. Let me take this opportunity to wish each of you and your colleagues a wonderful and successful year 2001, the beginning of the 21st century.

Shosuke Ito

President, IFPCS