Former Cardiff dermatology professor, Prof Ronald Marks writes:
Cardiff has many distinctions. A visually delightful Capital City by the sea, the home of superb opera with an exciting Millennium Performance Centre, a passion and proficiency at rugby with another Millennium Centre – the stadium in the centre of the city. Add to these delights a vigorous, ‘ginormous’ and prestigious university and one has the perfect city! Now we are proud to announce another distinction for Cardiff. Dermatology doesn’t usually fan the furnace of popular interest. Only patients stricken with a chronic disabling and life destroying skin disorder such as severe psoriasis are genuinely interested in dermatological research. Yet, advance in this discipline is important for the wellbeing of a significant proportion of the community. Cardiff has been one of the few sites in Europe where in the past three decades there has been a steady beavering away resulting in a significant increase in the understanding of the tangled web of the pathogenesis of skin diseases. The whole process is now likely to speed up because the Cardiff department has been successful in attracting a “Hi flyer” to be the new Professor of Dermatology and Head of Department. Professor Vincent Piguet is from Switzerland (Geneva) and has a first rate track record in immunological research. His research interests fit in perfectly with those of other recently appointed Heads of Departments, promising an interesting and productive time ahead for the Medical School. Professor Piguet’s skills are widely recognised in Europe as he currently has the honour of being elected as President of the pre-eminent dermatological research organisation in Europe – the European Society for Dermatological Research. The Department clearly has a sustained tradition of research as it is one of the very few that now has the ESDR Presidency for the second time – Professor Marks being President in 1981. The scene is set for real success. Professor Piguet has already been successful in obtaining substantial research grants. So watch this space and hopefully exciting research milestones will add lustre to the Cardiff scene.