Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

Our Society is almost five years old and I think it is now the right time for an unbiased balance of facts and situations and a look at those at hand. As a first remark, I would like to express my warmest appreciation for all of you who have actively contributed to bring the Society to the prominent position it presently occupies within the whole pigment cell community. Our membership is cantinuously expanding and this is in my opinion the most important symptom of good health.
Another tangible token of the state of health of our Society is undoubtedly provided by our Bulletin. Thanks largely to the deep involvement of the Editor, Ferdy Lejeune, and the members of the editorial staff, Ferdinando Serri, Leszek Wolfram, Tony Thody, and the skilful assistance of Ghanem Ghanem. The Pigment Cell Research Bulletin has now reached a well defined shape. In compliance with the original project of an informative and stimulating newsletter.

With the support of the Lawrence M. Gelb Foundation and I'Oréal, the current literature review service has been potentiated to extensively cover the most topical aspects of research on pigment cell biology and melanin pigmentation, and several contributions cormnunicating urgent and outstanding results in the field are now regularly published.

We all believe that one of the primary aims of the Bulletin is to favour the rapid spreading of scientific information, and I would solicit all members to submit preliminary research reports, commentaries and any other form of communication that is deserving of special attention. In this connection, I am very pleased to announce that the EORTC Malignant Melanoma Group has officially joined the ESPCR in the Bulletin, and from this issue on we will be regularly informed about their scientific activities and initiatives. Dr U.R. Kleeberg formally sends his best wishes to our Society and looks forward to a closer interaction between our groups.

Starting from this issue, Professor Ferdinando Serri relieves Ferdy Lejeune as the Editor of the Bulletin, and I would like here to express, on behalf of the Society my sincere appreciation to Ferdy for his devotion to this entreprise, and wish Ferdinando Serri a successfull work.

During the last years the ESPCR has played an important role for communication, promotion of research and support to the whole pigment cell community. Formal recognition of this role has come on several occasions, including prestigeous manifestations like the Second International Conference on Malignant Melanoma, excellently organized in Venice by Natale Cascinelli. Mention should also be made here of the concerted action to the EEC on melanoma, coordinated by Dr. Dirk Ruiter, a massive and integrated multidisciplinary program of great social relevance that the ESPCR in encouraging and supporting.

Last year has witnessed a number of important scientific events in the field of pigmentation, but all those who attended will concur that the 2nd meeting of the ESPCR, held in Uppsala an June, has been among the most outstanding ones. The high quality standards of the scientific presentations, published in a special issue of the Bulletin, the liveliness of the debates anbd the warm hospitality of Bengt Larsson and his associates in Sweden marked the meeting with an unforgettable tinge of excellence, making it a cordial and constructive scientific and social rendez-vous.

What has been said so far is of great satisfaction to us all, and is reflective of a general ferment that apparently pervades also the other regional societies, namely the JSPCR and the PASPCR. Hopefully. This state of affairs should lead in the near future to the establishment of an International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies. This should act as a coordinating body of the regional societies whose purposes should be:

a) to establish and maintain harmonious links between the societies;
b) to organize and sponsor the international pigment cell conferences;
c) to appoint a Committee for the assignment of the Myron Gordon Award and other prizes;
d) to deal with the publication policy of the journal Pigment Cell Research;
e) to promote initiatives of social and educational value.

Unfortunately, up to the present time, things have moved very sluggishly, and we hope that the whole matter will come to an end on the occasion of the XIVth International Pigment Cell Conference, to be held in Kobe, Japan, on October 1990. Professor Yutaka Mishima, the Chairman of the Conference, reports that plannings for the meeting are well under way, and we all look forward to participating in what promises to be a very exciting scientific event.

In closing, I would like to express my warmest appreciation and thankfulness to our Honorary Secretary, Patrick Riley, for having greatly contributed with his experience to the running of the Society. and to solve all the little and great problems that we had to face during all these years.

Yours sincerely.