The first meeting of the association took place in Athens in July 1997. It is a pleasure for me to underline the essential contribution of Professor Constantinos Pangalos, General Secretary of E.C.A., to the perfect organization of this First European Cytogenetics Conference. The high scientific level of the meeting (800 registrants from 46 countries, 550 contributions, more than 2000 authors) as well as the hospitality offered in Athens have seducted all the participants.
This success is a noteworthy encouragement to the colleagues who are now engaged in the coordination of cytogenetic activities in Europe. Cytogenetics has reached during the recent years the level of other major branches of medical biology, with specific approaches in the field of chromosome structure-function correlations and molecular studies like fluorescence in situ hybridization, comparative genomic hybridization, spectral karyotyping and DNA combing.
The Athens forum has demonstrated the usefulness of periodic meetings where topics concerning organisation of the labs, quality control, and clinical problems have to be discussed between people sharing the same practical, medical and corporative problems.
The presence of permanent structures will facilitate collaborations between specialists of European nations as well as technical and financial support from the most advanced countries.
In this context the general assembly of ECA has decided to have the 2nd European Cytogenetics Conference in Vienna in 1999. The location of the 3rd ECC will be decided soon.
Better scientific and medical European collaborations will supplement the current efforts in the economical and social domains. It is of general interest to have cytogenetics closely associated with this work.
The first newsletter of ECA gives an appropriate opportunity to present some of the goals of our association
Besides the classical form of ECA administration, we expect particular contributions from the Scientific Advisory Council and European Advisory Council. The first one will take care of aspects of scientific programmes of ECA meetings and research collaborations.
The European Advisory Council, whose members have to be appointed at a
national level by the cytogeneticists of European countries will deal with
topics of interest for the concerned nations.
Permanent workshops will take in charge all the aspects of cytogenetics and organise activities as soon as financial supports will be granted.
A Web site is under development with the help of Dr. Mariano Rocchi.
The colleagues will have at their disposal available information concerning meetings, job opportunities and collaborations.
We have a long way to go in these collective efforts.
Paul Malet, President of E.C.A.
WEB site of the ECA