Analytical Cellular Pathology and Biology: Presence and Future


6th ESACP Congress, Heidelberg, April 7-11, 1999, ACP 18:3(1999)

Individual disciplines like the histo- and cytopathological or biochemical sciences exhibit strengthes and weaknesses. Strength in diagnosis with lower impact in the area of prognosis or recognition of disease mechanisms in histo- and cytopathology is paralleled e.g. in the biochemistry and molecular biology sciences by high molecular knowledge. Nevertheless the apparent problem remains that the ultimate knowledge of all molecules and their function still does not explain the complexity of cells and tissues while e.g. cell biology as another scientific facette does not address disease issues in depth.

Similarly as for the earlier development of flow cytometry (instrumentation, specific fluorescent labels, software, applications) a multidisciplinary effort is needed in the area of biochemical or molecular morphology to improve our knowledge on molecular structures and function of cells and tissues being as close as possible to the in-vivo situation in health and disease. The fascinating recent developments in microscopy, digital imaging, specific labeling methodologies and data exchange potential through electronic networks have generated the necessary potential for new interfaces between scientific disciplines.

ESACP as a multidisciplinary scientific society directly addresses these aspects. Work on human diseases rather than devotion to model systems which may not reflect the reality of disease in the human organism are the attraction for scientists from the biochemical, molecular biology and cytogenetics sciences. Predictive medicine i.e. the establishment of individual patient prognosis in contrast to the frequently only statistical prognosis establishment in histo-, cytopathology and clinical medicine constitutes another one of the apparent challenges and driving forces in this effort.

The intellectual association between analytical histo- and cytopathology with basic sciences seems of particular usefulness because disease inducing biochemical changes originate from cellular systems and organs. Disease processes can be observed much closer in cells and tissues than e.g. by humoral biochemistry in secondary compartments like blood plasma, serum or urine. This context is particularly addressed by the motto "From Biomolecules to Cellular Systems and Disease" of the 6thESACP Congress in Heidelberg.

With the notion that histo- and cytopathologists find themselves under the pathology term in the ESACP name while the basic sciences attached scientists percept pathology rather as the opposite of health, we are looking forward to a stimulating meeting in Heidelberg. If you are attracted by this concept we hope to welcome you soon as a full ESACP member.

ESACP President

1999 G.Valet
Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18a, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany, INTERNET:
Last Update: Apr 10,1999