A UK investigative dermatology group was formed in 1973 and became the BSID in 1982, when a formal constitution was drawn up.

Mission

The BSID is an independent non-profit organisation formed in 1982, and is a registered charity. The purpose of the Society is to promote high quality scientific research in dermatology, skin biology, and related subjects, and disseminate these results to the public. This occurs principally through the annual meeting, which comprises oral and poster presentations of original research, guest lectures, and educational symposia and promotes interactions between scientists and clinicians.

The Society is particularly keen to encourage the involvement of young scientists and clinicians in dermatological research. An important role of the Society is educating trainees in dermatology and scientific workers in the field of dermatology and skin biology.

The Society also facilitates the exchange of ideas and dissemination of information on all aspects of skin biology and skin disease.

History

The history of the British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID) can be traced back to 1968 when a sub-committee of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) was formed to organise a winter meeting. The first winter meeting comprising 14 oral presentations was held in March 1969 at the Middlesex Hospital, London. Following the success of the winter meetings, an investigative dermatology group of the BAD was formed. The first meeting was held in 1973 and meetings continued on an annual basis. In 1982 the investigative group of the BAD was renamed the British Society for Investigative Dermatology and although still affiliated to the BAD, the BSID became a separate society. Since that time the BSID has continued to flourish and the size of the meeting has gradually increased.

The BSID functions to promote research in dermatology. The scientific programme runs over two days, and there is a balance between clinical and non-clinical research in oral and poster presentations. In addition, there is a UK and an overseas guest lecturer. Recent overseas guest speakers have included : Dr. M. DeLuca, Laboratory of Tissue Engineering, IDI Istituto Dermopatico, Rome “Biological aspects and biotechnological applications of human epidermal cultures”; Prof. T. Schwarz, Münster, Germany “Biological effects of ultraviolet light – clinical relevance of recent findings”; Prof. T. Kupper, Harvard, USA “Cutaneous lymphocyte trafficking”; Prof. J-M. Schröder, Kiel, Germany “Epithelial peptide antibiotics: local host defence elements of body surfaces”; Prof. J. Kere, Helsinki, Finland “Identifying atopy and psoriasis susceptibility genes” and Dr. J.N. Bouwes Bavinck, Leiden, The Netherlands “Genetic and environmental risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer”. Since its inception, the BSID has encouraged dermatologists in training to attend and present their work. The meeting also provides an excellent forum for non-clinical postgraduate students working in relevant areas to present their research at a national meeting.

The aim is to provide an informative meeting that is also fun and enjoyable to attend. The relatively small size of the BSID meeting (normally around 150 registrants) means that the meeting is relatively informal. In addition, there is an emphasis on discussion and adequate time is allowed for this in allocating the talks to encourage exchange of views and ideas. To promote excellence in research, the society awards a number of prizes for oral and poster presentations at the annual meeting. Travel bursaries are also available to the younger members of the society wishing to attend the annual meeting. Since 1981, the BSID has awarded, annually, a fellowship to a promising young investigator later referred to as the BSID Young Investigator Award. Over the last few years we have formed important affiliations with a number of other dermatological societies. Our recent affiliation with the Skin Club, a small society concerned with all aspects of skin research, and with stimulating interactions between basic and clinical scientists, has been particularly successful. This has involved a series of overview talks on a specific theme, usually held in the afternoon immediately preceding the main BSID meeting. We have also formed important affiliations with the British Contact Dermatitis Group and the British Photodermatology Group.