A Brief History of the Conference

Sam Beale

On August 4-9, 1991, Paul Castelfranco organized a meeting on his lifelong research interest, the pyrroles of photosynthetic organisms, at his home campus, the University of California in Davis. The conference coincided with Paul’s retirement, although it was not specifically advertised as a “Festschrift”. At the conference, the enthusiastic participants decided to meet again in 4 years (1995) in Europe, with Hugo Scheer as Chair, and then again in 4 more years (1999) on the east coast of the US, with me as Chair. The second conference was held in Freising, Germany, on June 5-10, 1995.

At that meeting, a coup of sorts took place, and the participants (mostly European), decided to apply to the European Science Foundation for funds to hold a series of future meetings in Europe, and to put them on a 2-year schedule. Funds were awarded for two meetings. The first was held in Blarney, Ireland, in 1997, with Richard Cogdell as Chair and the second in Lucca, Italy, in 1999, with Roberto Bassi as Chair. The US meeting that was originally planned for 1999 was postponed to 2001, and subsequent meetings have been held every two years since then, at geographically unrestricted locations.

The original 1991 conference was informally titled International Conference on The Pyrroles of Photosynthetic Organisms, and the conference name underwent some variations before settling on International Conference on the Tetrapyrrole Photoreceptors of Photosynthetic Organisms (ICTPPO) in 2001. Although I can claim some responsibility for the current conference title and its acronym, Judy Nathanson, my administrative assistant for the 2001 conference, deserves full credit for the spoken term “Icky-Poo meeting”.

Here is a complete list of the conferences, their titles, locations and organizers:

1st International Conference on The Pyrroles of Photosynthetic Organisms (August 1991; Davis, USA) Paul Castelfranco
2nd Tetrapyrrole Photoreceptors (June 1995, Freising, Germany) Hugo Scheer
3rd European Conference on Tetrapyrroles of Photosynthetic Organisms (April 1997; Blarney, Ireland) Richard Cogdell
4rd European Conference on Tetrapyrroles of Photosynthetic Organisms (September 1999; Lucca, Italy) Roberto Bassi
5th International Conference on the Tetrapyrrole Photoreceptors of Photosynthetic Organisms (ICTPPO) (July 2001; Providence, USA)  Sam Beale
6th ICTPPO2003 (October 2003; Passau, Germany) Alfred Holzwarth
7th ICTPPO2005 (September 2005; Lucerne, Switzerland) Albert Gossauer
8th ICTPPO2007 (December 2007; Kyoto, Japan) Mamoru Mimuro
9th ICTPPO2009 (July 2009; Asilomar, USA) Clark Lagarias
10th ICTPPO2011 (July 2011; Berlin, Germany) Wolfgang Gärtner
11th ICTPPO2013 (September 2013; Wuhan, China) Kai-Hong Zhao
12th ICTPPO2015 (October 2015; Upper Galilee, Israel) Dror Noy
13th ICTPPO2017 (July 2017; Chicago, USA) Xiaojing Yang