A Historic Meeting

The Annual Symposium on the Biology of Skin, now the Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin, was initiated at Brown University in 1950 by Dr. William Montagna. The Symposium grew from the need to communicate investigative work in cutaneous biology and to provide a link between basic scientists studying the skin in humans and animals and clinically trained scientists in investigative dermatology. Since then, over 5,000 scientists, physicians, and students from around the world have attended the Symposium, which annually addresses a single major topic in cutaneous biology.

In 1965, the Symposium moved to Oregon Health & Science University with Dr. Montagna when he became Director of the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center. The meetings were held at Salishan Lodge on the Oregon coast for nearly 20 years. From 1979 to 1992, the Symposium was directed by Kirk D. Wuepper of Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. David Norris and Dr. Wuepper co-directed the Symposium in 1991 and 1992 at Snowmass Village, Colorado. Dr. Norris assumed directorship of the Symposium for the 1993 meeting.

The 2003 Symposium brought a closer affiliation of the Montagna Symposium with the Society for Investigative Dermatology and a celebration of the leadership of Dr. Norris, who currently serves as Director Emeritus and member of the Symposium’s Advisory Committee. In 2004, Molly Kulesz-Martin and Jackie Bickenbach assumed directorship of the Symposium and oversaw a move back to Oregon. Dr. Bickenbach became Director Emeritus in 2011.

Now in its seventh decade, the Montagna Symposium continues to fulfill its mission to bring together basic scientists, clinicians, and young investigators to explore the frontiers of dermatology.

December 2002 article by Albert M. Kligman in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology

October 2005 address by Walter C. Lobitz, Jr. at 54th annual Montagna Symposium