It is many years ago that I entered Prof Ronald Marks’ office to be interviewed for a job as electron microscopist in his research team at the then Welsh National School of Medicine. Little did I know what effect Ronnie would have on the future direction of my career. If you had told me in 1981 – during Stratum Corneum I – that over 30 years later I’d be helping organise Stratum Corneum VIII I’d have laughed in disbelief! (there is photographic evidence to prove this!).
Like many others I became infected with Ronnie’s passion for this wispy structure covering our bodies. Together we wondered at the size, shape, orientation and development of these “dead” surface cells. I remember Ronnie challenging me to think about measuring the resistance to indentation of individual corneocytes – he had already measured this on the macro-scale (pun intended!). This was brought to mind when I saw recent publication using Atomic Force Microscopy to do just that.
Ronnie’s vision and influence on our understanding of the SC will be celebrated again in Cardiff next week at SCVIII. Many experts in the field of Stratum Corneum Biology who have been similarly influenced by Ronnie’s wit and wisdom have contributed a “status report” on our knowledge on the topic to be published by the BJD as Ronnie’s Festschrift.
Professors Steve Hoath, Marek Haftek, Lars Norlén, Tony Rawlings, Hachiro Tagami, Gérald Piérard, Marie Lodén, and Ronnie himself have all contributed articles to form a unique publication in celebration of Ronnie’s contribution to Stratum Corneum and the International Society for Stratum Corneum Research.
The good new for attendees at SCVII is that they will receive a complimentary copy of this unique publication.
The publication will also be available on line to subscribers of the British Journal of Dermatology
I look forward to seeing many of you in Cardiff next week in what promises to be another great event!