The Pan-American Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR) is preparing to hold the 23rd Annual PASPCR Meeting in Bar Harbor, Maine on October 2-4, 2019, spearheaded by PASPCR Council Member Craig Ceol, Ph.D. The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester will be the applicant organization. The meeting will be held at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, which has extensive experience hosting medical and scientific events with a six-member full-time staff who support roughly 30 meetings, courses and workshops per year. The 2019 PASPCR Meeting theme, ?Embrace the darkness: melanin and melanocyte function in development, photobiology and disease? will highlight advances in pigment cell biology and medicine. The program will include talks on the latest research in: melanin photobiology and photochemistry; vitiligo and pigmentary disorders; pigment cell development, differentiation and function; genetics and genomics of melanocytes and melanoma; and melanoma signaling and therapeutics. The first session of the meeting on melanin photobiology and photochemistry will be a joint session with the American Society of Photobiology (ASP). This joint session will kickoff the meeting and stimulate synergy between PASPCR and ASP members who are focused on the biology and chemistry of pigment cells and disorders thereof. Ample opportunity, including a session dedicated to trainee talks, will be available for young investigators, including graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, to present their recent advances in pigment cell biology. A unique feature of the meeting is the emphasis on mentoring, with the opportunity for trainees and young investigators to learn from more experienced investigators in academia, government, and industry in both structured and one-on-one forums. The National Scientific Council has identified selected basic and clinical scientists to participate in the conference as invited speakers. These individuals represent a diverse spectrum of experience and interests and have been chosen because of their expertise that is aligned with the overall theme and goals of the meeting. The ultimate goal of the PASPCR 2019 Annual Meeting is to stimulate interdisciplinary discussions between clinicians, basic researchers, and pigment cell researchers, leading to new collaborations and insights that will advance the field. Although members of PASPCR are well- represented at other traditional discipline-oriented conferences, this forum is unique in that it brings together investigators from different disciplines, ranging from chemistry, genetics, developmental biology, and the clinic, in an intimate setting in order to spawn new scientific interactions and collaborations. The overall objective of PASPCR 2019 is to increase our knowledge of the normal and abnormal chemistry and biology of the melanocyte, its role in the generation of species and individual diversity, and its contribution to health and disease.
The 2019 PASPCR Conference at The Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine will be organized by scientists and clinicians working predominantly in the Northeast, but also including representation from the American Society for Photobiology, in conjunction with a National Scientific Council comprised of PASPCR and ASP leadership. This conference will bring together investigators studying pigmentary disorders including those disproportionately affecting persons of color such as vitiligo, genetic pigmentation syndromes, and melanoma, as well as the fundamental biological and photobiological determinants of those disease states. The theme of the conference is, ?Embrace the Darkness: Melanin and Melanocyte Function in Development, Photobiology, and Disease? and is relevant to public health as the conference will disseminate the latest findings on the etiology, treatment, and prevention of disorders and malignancy of pigment cells. Through formal mentorship opportunities, the conference will foster the participation of young investigators, especially women and underrepresented minorities. !