2020 IFPCS Awards

New York, NY, USA

17 January 2020

Dear IFPCS Members,

Happy New Year, I hope 2020 is a happy, healthy and successful year for you all. It is my pleasure to announce the awards that will be presented at the 2020 IPCC meeting in Yamagata later this year. Congratulations to the remarkable slate of awardees who have made many and far-reaching contributions to our understanding of pigment cells and pigment disorders, as well as to our community of pigment cell biologists.

Thank you very much to the various selection committees and pigment cell society councils who participated in the process of deciding the awardees.

Prashiela Manga, PhD
President of IFPCS

IFPCS awardees at IPCC2020 and their ONLINE lectures (webinars) available from the IFPCS YouTube channel 

Caroline Le Poole, PhD, 2020 Myron Gordon Award

ONLINE Lecture: Redirecting Treg to impact autoimmune and anti-tumor responses

Caroline Le Poole is Professor of Dermatology and Microbiology-Immunology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, USA.

Dr. Le Poole has made important contributions to our understanding of vitiligo, melanocyte immunobiology and melanoma. She has also served the pigment cell community in multiple capacities including as President of the Pan-American Society for Pigment Cell Research (2014 – 2016) and IFPCS Vice-President (2014 – 2017) and Treasurer (2008 – 2011).

Lluis Montoliu, PhD, 2020 HS Raper Medal

ONLINE Lecture: The structure and function of the mouse Tyr locus

Lluis Montoliu is CSIC Research Scientist,at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Centre of Biotechnology, Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Montoliu has lead key efforts to use animal transgenics to investigate pigment disorders such as albinism. He has also been an untiring champion for people with albinism and is working on developing tools for improved diagnosis of the various types of albinism. Dr. Montoliu has been a critical member of the IFPCS where he previously served as Treasurer (2014 – 2017) and currently serves as Secretary and Webmaster. He is also the President of the European Society for Pigment Cell Research.

William J. Pavan, PhD, 2020 Seiji Memorial Lecture

ONLINE Lecture: Genetic and Genomic Investigations of Melanocyte Development and Disease

William J. Pavan is Chief of the Genetic Disease Research Branch and Head of the Genomics, Development and Disease Section,at The National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Dr. Pavan has been a trailblazer in the use of genetics and genomics approaches to study pigmentation. His work has transformed our understanding of the regulation of melanocyte developmental pathways and the use of mouse genetic mutants to model human diseases. Dr. Pavan’s group was the first to delineate role of the neural crest cell transcription factor SOX10 in Waardenburg Syndrome and melanoma.

Mitsunori Fukuda, PhD, 2020 Takeuchi Medal

ONLINE Lecture: Essential roles of Rab small GTPases in melanosome biogenesis and transport

Mitsunori Fukuda is Professor of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences at the Graduate School of Life Science; Tohoku University, Japan.

Dr. Fukuda’s studies of membrane trafficking have contributed key pieces of the puzzle as to how proteins are delivered to lysosome-related organelles as well as how melanosomes and endosomes themselves are trafficked. In particular his work on the role of GTPases such as Rab27a in melanosome transport was a notable achievement.


Stacie Loftus, PhD, 2020 Thomas B Fitzpatrick Medal

ONLINE Lecture: Hypoxia‐induced HIF1α targets in melanocytes reveal a molecular profile associated with poor melanoma prognosis

Stacie Loftus is a NIH Staff Scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute, at the Genomics, Development and Disease Section, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Dr. Stacie Loftus has been awarded the Thomas B Fitzpatrick Medal for the best paper published in the scientific journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research since the previous IPCC. She receives this recognition for her publication entitled “Hypoxia‐induced HIF1α targets in melanocytes reveal a molecular profile associated with poor melanoma prognosis” by Stacie Loftus, Laura L. Baxter, Julia C. Cronin, Temesgen D. Fufa, The NISC Comparative Sequencing Program and William J. Pavan PCMR 2017 May;30(3):339-352.