International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies


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


COUNCIL MEMBERS: Zalfa Abdel-Malek (PASPCR); Dorothy C. Bennett (ESPCR); José C. García-Borrón (ESPCR); 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 members of three Regional Pigment Cell Societies


It is sad to remember the year 2001, the beginning of the 21th century, as the year of threats to peace in the world. I do believe that humans will eventually solve these difficult problems with their wisdom. When we talk about progress, however, I think that the past year has been remarkable one for pigment cell biologists. Scientists have made incredible advances in many areas of pigment cell biology, and these are now being disseminated to broader fields of biology and medicine. As the President of the IFPCS, I am glad  that the annual meetings of the ESPCR (in Rome), the PASPCR (in Minneapolis), and the JSPCR (in Sendai) were successful and covered  a broad range of topics in the pigment biology. I wish to congratulate the Chairs of those meetings: Drs. Mauro Picardo, Richard A. King, and Shigeki Shibahara for their successful meetings.


The IFPCS Council 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.


The first goal was achieved with the IFPCS becoming an official sponsor of Pigment Cell Research ( The journal is now in the 15th year of publication and Dr. Vincent J. Hearing should be congratulated for his success in increasing the reputation of the journal in the last 2 years.  I also want to thank Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Shiseido, and Unilever for their generous support of the journal.  This support has helped Dr. Hearing expand the color figures and other aspects of Pigment Cell Research, and all regional society members are grateful for this continued corporate support.  To further promote the growth of the journal,  the numbers of subscribers and submitted papers need to be increased. I urge all members of the  Regional Societies to subscribe to Pigment Cell Research, to encourage your Institution's library to subscribe, to submit papers, and to cite PCR’s pertinent references in your publications. For more details, please look at the accompanying message from the Editor.


The second goal may be the most visible among the several efforts of the IFPCS. 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 with one of the regional Societies have co-organized the IPCC on a rotating basis among the ESPCR, PASPCR, and JSPCR. The 15th IPCC was  held in London in 1993, the 16th IPCC in Anaheim in 1996, and the 17th IPCC in Nagoya in 1999. The 18th IPCC, will be held on September 9-13, 2002, in the Netherlands with Dr. Stan Pavel as Organizer. The meeting will be held at the Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee, originally a fisherman village in the north part of the Netherlands, only 30 km from Amsterdam. The hotel has excellent facilities including indoor swimming pool, sauna and squash, and is surrounded by fine restaurants and gift shops, and the IPCC will be the only occupants of the hotel during the meeting. The International Program Committee is completing plans for the scientific program and you will receive the second announcement/call for abstracts in February. I urge each of you to plan to attend this exciting and stimulating Conference and to present your new findings. Please note that the deadline for submission of abstracts will be May 1, 2002.


The 19th IPCC in 2005  will be organized by the PASPCR. I am happy to inform you that the IFPCS Council at its recent meeting in Sendai, Japan approved the plans of Dr. Vincent J. Hearing to organize the 19th IPCC at NIH on September 18-23, 2005. The theme of this meeting will be human pigmentary diseases and this should be another opportunity for an outstanding international meeting.


The third goal is being achieved through several activities including the establishment of the IFPCS Visiting Scientist Award Program.  The grants from corporate support, established in 1997, are intended to allow investigators from one of the regional Societies to visit the laboratory of an investigator in another regional Society to learn specialized techniques and/or to establish inter-Society collaborations. This program has been supported by Beiersdorf, Clairol, Johnson and Johnson, Kanebo, L’Oreal, Shiseido, Nihon Surfactant, Procter and Gamble, Sunstar, Taisho, and Unilever, and  has been quite successful.  In 2001 Dr. Nico Smit of Leiden University, the Netherlands, was supported to visit Dr. Patrick A. Riley’s laboratory in London and Dr. Olga Solovieva of Institut Curie, France, visited Dr. Takahiro Kunisada’s laboratory at Gifu University, Japan. We hope to continue this program with a renewal of corporate contributions.


Another initiative for achieving this goal was the establishment of a standing committee of the IFPCS to maintain awareness of the animal resources used by members. Specific duties of this committee, chaired by Dr. Lynn Lamoreux, include an annual survey of animals of values to pigment cell research, a means of identifying threatened animal colonies, and the development of solution for problems with research animals. You should hear more about this new committee in 2002.


I sincerely hope that we will see healthy and steady progress in our 3 regional Pigment Cell Societies, ESPCR, JSPCR, and PASPCR in 2002.  I wish to welcome new faces to the IFPCS Council: Dr. Zalfa Abdel-Malek (new President of the PASPCR). Finally, I urge each of you to contribute to your Society in any way you can: submitting your abstracts to the next IPCC, 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 peaceful and successful year 2002.


January 1, 2002

Shosuke Ito