Letter from the President


Letter from the President

Manchester, UK, October 2013

Dear Friends,

The European Society for Photobiology (ESP) is a wide-reaching international society, and whilst it is the pivotal society for Photobiology in Europe, its membership extends worldwide, with substantial representation in Australasia, USA, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Africa. We seek to further expand knowledge of photobiology through promotion of an increasingly diverse membership. Fellowships are provided for scientists requiring support to attend our biennial Congress  in addition to Fellowships for a range of activities of young scientists (http://www.photobiology.eu/education_and_training). Furthermore, we provide places at our biennial multi-disciplinary Photobiology School at very low cost to attendees.

Photobiology is a crucial discipline for the 21st Century. It encompasses the science and application of sunlight effects on living organisms, both animals and plants, and includes artificial sources of non-ionising radiation (ultraviolet, visible and infra-red). As such, basic and translational photobiology science has vast societal impact including in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease; environmental safety; climate change; and agricultural developments. A great strength of the ESP is the “meeting house” it provides for multi-disciplinary scientists from backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics and medicine, stimulating leading-edge developments including in nanotechnology, spectroscopy, dermatology, oncology and plant biology, and providing a modern and relevant approach to research, education and training.

ESP Congresses take place over 4 days and occur every 2 years, the most recent in Liege, Belgium, September 2013. The high profile Plenary and Keynote talks (including Douglas Brash: cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers – the path to skin cancer; Johan Hofkens: fluorescent proteins for super resolution imaging; Kristian Berg: photochemical internalisation in drug delivery), and the wealth of parallel symposia, alongside the convivial social engagements, can be appreciated through the 2013 conference link (http://liege2013.photobiology.eu/).

The high quality research of our Young Investigators is illustrated by the joint award to Abhishek Garg, Belgium: danger signals in PDT-induced anti-cancer immune responses, and Katie Dixon, Australia: vitamin D in photoprotection. A total of 28 Fellowships were granted to assist the attendance of ESP members (http://www.photobiology.eu/education_and_training).

The ESP has an established Photobiology School, occurring on alternate years to the Congress. Founded in 2010, the ESP Photobiology School provides an excellent grounding in the basic principles of photobiology, photochemistry and photophysics, and also in their translation to a wide range of applications. Designed with PhD students in mind, the School also welcomes Masters’ students and others who wish to broaden their understanding of photobiology. Certificates are provided for attendance on the course, and also for the end of course examination for those opting to take this. The next School will be in Bressanone, a charming town in Northern Italy, from 16th – 21st June 2014, and early application is advised for this well- subsidised course delivered by leading figures in Photobiology, as there is a maximum of 40 places.

The ESP promotes scientific publications through the Society’s leading peer-reviewed journal, Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences. The Journal appears on a monthly basis and produces a wide range of special interest issues (http://pubs.rsc.org/en/journals/journalissues/pp#!recentarticles&all).

We bring to your attention that membership of the ESP is provided at extremely low cost. In particular, we offer 2 years membership including the online issues of Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences for only €100 in total. This rate also entitles you to the reduced registration fee at the Congress. Fellowships and Photobiology School attendance are only open to ESP members.

To join, please follow the link: http://www.photobiology.eu/membership.

The term 2013-15 will be an exciting one! Scientific excellence remains at the forefront, capturing the latest developments within our field and forging new collaborations. Means for fostering this include the leading-edge Keynote talks and inter-disciplinary translational science symposia in development for our next Congress. The venue of Aveiro, Portugal, known as “little Venice” for its attractive canals is the site of the forthcoming ESP Congress, to be held from 31st August – 4th September 2015. Please put this date in your calendar: you are warmly invited to join us there. More details will appear regarding the Congress in due course, via the ESP website. Meanwhile, early industrial enquiries to sponsor activities may be directed to the chair of the local organising committee, Amparo Faustino (Faustino@ua.pt).

Our external profile will be further promoted through enhanced communications with international and national scientific bodies, governmental agencies and the public, alongside informative communications to our membership. To this end, a communications workgroup has been appointed to improve the nature and reach of our communications, working closely with our website and membership workgroups. Please continue to check this website, looking out for its forthcoming face-lift, and reviewing the contents for information on all the above activities, training and career opportunities. We wish to serve you.

Do contact me if you wish to provide information or views on developments in Photobiology that you feel would benefit or interest the ESP.

Thank you very much for your interest and support

Lesley Rhodes
ESP President