PASPCR Pigment Research


Congratulations to the 2021 PASPCR Awardees


Sancy Leachman was selected as the 2021 Career Achievement Awardee.

robert judson torres

Robert Judson-Torres was selected as the 2021 Medrano Young Investigator.

Meet our 2021 PASPCR Summer Fellows

The Colgate-Palmolive Company has generously provided funding for two high school students from underrepresented minority groups (URMs) to conduct a 10-week summer research project focused on pigment cell biology.  The goal of these fellowships is to expand research opportunities for URMs at an early stage in their education so that they develop an interest in research and become the next generation of scientists.  Each recipient will receive $5,000 in summer stipend and the PASPCR will fund two travel awards for the students to attend and present their work at the next PASPCR meeting. Congratulations to:

Fahmid Rahman

Fahmid Rahman is in his senior year and will be joining Dr.Cynthia Cooper’s laboratory at Washington State University for the summer. He enjoys running outdoors and  participation in STEM events and hospital volunteering. His future goals are to undertake life science research.

Fahmid Rahman photo

Jasmine Welborn

Jasmine Welborn will be joining Ivana de la Serna's laboratory at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Jasmine was born and raised in the Toledo area.  She just completed her senior year at Toledo Technology Academy and will start her freshman year at the University of Toledo this fall where she plans to major in physics. Jasmine has already taken several college level courses including: Africana Studies, Astronomy, Ancient Greek History, Sociology, and a Visual Basics programming class.  Her favorite classes were Astronomy and Sociology.  Jasmine’s acts of community service in high school included volunteering at churches, soup kitchens, and University of Toledo events; she also worked part-time at a local grocery store.  In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys amateur astronomy, gaming, reading, and biking. Her future goal is to become an astrophysicist and someday work at NASA.  Jasmine views this summer research as the opportunity of a lifetime and is excited to start working on her project.


Andrzej Slominski awarded the Polish Cross of Freedom and Solidarity

Congratulations to Andrzej Slominski, MD, PhD who was awarded the Polish Cross of Freedom and Solidarity by the Polish ambassador. 

Slominski 3

The Importance of Mentorship

By John D’Orazio, MD/PhD, PASPCR President-Elect

I’ve been thinking about what PASPCR represents and what the Society has meant to me in my journey as a pigment cell biologist. Thanks to all of you and to those who came before us, the PASPCR is a robust group of collaborative scientists united by all things “pigment.” We study melanin chemistry, melanin regulation, melanocyte development melanocyte biology, melanocyte response to environmental stressors, diseases of disordered pigmentation and, of course, melanoma. We appreciate that melanocytes and pigmentation can be excellent model systems to study general processes of cell biology. We’re a small Society, yet there is hardly a meeting I enjoy more than our annual meeting to catch up with old friends, explore new collaborations and see each other grow in our careers.

But to me, the biggest gift PASPCR has given me has been the gift of mentorship.

“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

President’s Corner: Letter 1

Hello PASPCR colleagues.

I hope you are all well and safe and suitably coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. These are extraordinary times, quite unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory. Many institutions where we work have markedly limited research activities and as a result, many of us are trying to do what we can remotely. Personally, I have Zoom/FaceTime meeting fatigue, but it’s better than not being able to communicate with colleagues and friends and family. While this pandemic is terrible in what it has done to our liberties, to our collective health, to the IPCC meeting planned for Japan in June, to our productivity and to our economy, the changes it has forced upon us aren’t entirely without positive aspects. For me and my family, we’ve become much closer. We’re cooking and eating together more, going for walks around the neighborhood more and working together around the house on projects aided by teamwork. We’ve learned to compromise more, for example, to respect each other’s time when we have videomeetings and do our best to not be too loud during these times. My daughter, a second year college student, is home and doing her learning remotely. While she would prefer to be with her friends at college, it’s wonderful having her home! I hope you too can find some positive aspects to the pandemic and may we all find solace in them until things return to normal.

Sun bus project



The Colorado Melanoma Foundation was started by PASPCR member Neil Box in 2013 to promote education, support patient networks, encourage early detection and screening, and maintain current information on treatment options, sun protective behaviors, and recent developments in our global understanding on melanoma.