Cardiff’s Dermatology Professor Vincent Piguet is president of the European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR). He published the following article in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology to mark the fortieth birthday of the organisation:
Systemic Mentoring on Three Continents
ESDR: many mentoring opportunities for young investigators
The European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR) celebrated its fortieth birthday in 2010. With this degree of maturity and over 900 active members, the ESDR has adopted as a core mission the mentoring and fostering of talented individuals interested in basic and clinical research in skin diseases.
One of our recent initiatives has been the launch of the ESDR/Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology (JSID)/Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) Young Fellow Collegiality Awards Program. The aim of this program is to help promising researchers obtain international exposure for their work at an early stage in their career by stimulating attendance at the meetings of other societies,specifically the JSID and SID. In conjunction, the ESDR supports a visit for awardees to a department or institute at which they can present their research and enjoy academic discussion, as well as local hospitality.
In addition to collegiality, the ESDR believes in supporting young individuals starting their own research groups focusing on dermatological research. The ESDR was instrumental in launching the European Skin Research Foundation (ESRF) in 2007. This foundation fosters and promotes research and development in dermatology and venereology in Europe through research grants and offers fellowships for training in dermatological research. The ESRF has already awarded two rounds of grants http://www.euroskinresearch.org/j15).
Separate from the ESRF, the ESDR is currently launching a new research award for innovative research in immunology and inflammation related to dermatological diseases. The award will be given for the first time at the 2011 ESDR meeting in Barcelona, Spain (7–10 September 2011). It is aimed at younger researchers from Europe in the field of dermatology to encourage original research and to make valuable contributions to the understanding of dermatological diseases.
Finally, in addition to awards, the ESDR has started two programs intended to foster the development of young clinicians and scientists interested in dermatological research. The first has been developed in collaboration with the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), entitled ESDR/EADV Summer Research Workshop. The inaugural workshop took place in Vienna, Austria, in 2010, with 25 participants from 12 countries. It comprised direct teaching and practical laboratory work focusing on common laboratory methods in dermatology. A similar approach will be taken for future courses.
The second program, which will launch in 2011, is the ESDR Academy for Future Leaders in Dermatology. This annual meeting will bring together renowned scientists from dermatology and basic science with the brightest young dermatologists working in the field. Selected participants will have the opportunity to interact with senior scientists in their fields of interest. The ESDR anticipates that this will foster excellence in academic dermatology throughout Europe.
All these programs are outlined in detail on the ESDR’s website (http://www.ESDR.org). These recent initiatives show that the ESDR is fully embracing its role as an organization that mentors young colleagues early in their research careers.
President, ESDR, Cardiff University
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2011) 131, 549–550.