ISPPP conferences 1981 – 2006 : a personal retroperspective
Klaus K. Unger
Shortly after its successful start at the Nov. 1981 meeting in Washington, D.C., USA, the Scientific Committee was expanded by two European scientists: Jan Christer Janson from Pharmacia, Uppsala, Sweden, and Klaus K. Unger from the University of Mainz, Germany. The essential intention was to widen the knowledge base in this rapidly emerging field of biopolymer separation and to undertake actions to move the conference to Europe at a biannual cycle.
I convinced Bengt Falck from Pharmacia, Uppsala to step in as a major sponsor of the conference. The first European ISPPP then took place at the famous Loews Hotel in Monaco with Mike Hirtenstein, Pharmacia, as Executive Director. After the fifth ISPPP in Nov. 1985, held in Toronto, the ISPPP conference was alternating between Europe and the US on a regular basis. Pharmacia sponsored the ISPPP meetings till the XVIth, held at Nov. 1996 at Luxembourg. There were several outstanding features which contributed to the success of the ISPPP series in this period.
For example, the ISPPP conferences from the 2nd to the XVI, with the exception of the XIIth and the XVth, were prepared entirely by a team-action of five members of the scientific committee; i.e. no single chairman was elected, but the whole committee took the responsibility. In addition, the scientific program was always established in a two to three day planning meeting between the conferences. I have never again experienced such an effective and thorough preparation of a scientific meeting.
Tim Wehr from Varian left the Committee after the VIIth ISPPP and was replaced by Joe DeStefano from Rockland Technologies, PA, USA.
Another aspect which heavily contributed to the success of the ISPPP conference in Europe was the strong impact and excellent performance of Bengt Österlund, Pharmacia, as a Symposium Manager.
The scientific outcome of the individual conferences was published in special issues in the Journal of Chromatography under the supervision of Eric Heftmann, Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam (17 volumes in total).
After the ISPPP at Luxembourg in 1996, the following ISPPP’s in Europe were held at Vienna, Austria in 1998 (Alois Jungbauer as chairman), Lubljana, Slovenia 2000 (Djuro Josic as chairman) and Heidelberg, Germany 2002 (Fritz Lottspeich as chairman) and at Florida (Delray Beach 1999, Orlando 2001, West Palm Beach 2003 and St. Pete Beach 2005 with Joe DeStefano and Mark Schure as chairmen.
To strengthen the meeting in Europe, the ISPPP in Oct. 2004 was held back to back with the SPICA meeting, the European PREP meeting at Aachen, Germany, with Alois Jungbauer as chairman. The idea behind the simultaneous meeting format was to offer the delegates from industry and academia a unique opportunity to get an inside view of process chromatography and related techniques for small molecules and biopolymers. This joint exercise organized by the DECHEMA, Frankfurt/Main Germany, was a tremendous success.
Klaus K. Unger
Fig. 1 The Chairmen at the 2nd ISPPP, December 1982, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. From left to right: Christer Janson, Tim Wehr, Klaus Unger, Milton Hearn and Fred Regnier.
Fig. 2 A group photo of three chairmen at the VIII th ISPPP at Oct./Nov. 1988 at Copenhagen, Denmark. From left to right: Christer Janson, Milton Hearn and Klaus Unger