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100 Years of Color

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“One who has devoted his life’s work to the furtherance of scientific knowledge may draw satisfaction from the conviction that he has within his own ability contributed to the enrichment of life and the alleviation of human suffering”

N. Papanicolaou2

Greetings everyone!

If we consider who has contributed significantly to the enrichment of life and alleviated human suffering, Dr. George Papanicolaou would be among the leaders. That is why we are celebrating his life and the events that sparked the inception of cytopathology through our 100 Years of Color campaign, launched in 2017 at our Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix.  Dr. Papanicolaou’s early papers were first published over 100 years ago in 1917, and led to the birth of cytopathology. At this year’s ASC Annual Scientific Meeting, we have invited Mr. Nikolaos Chantziantoniou, a graduate student in Preventative Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a student of Dr. Papanicolaou’s life, to present us with a glimpse into the foundational work that would become the culture and mission for the ASC in the future. The 100 Years of Color Lectureship will be on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM in the Regency Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

To honor Dr. Papanicolaou and his work, we have set a campaign goal of $75,000 to support the work of the ASC and its missions of Patient Advocacy, Education and Innovation. We will announce the results of our campaign at the Meeting in Washington, DC.

“My ideal is not to become wealthy, nor rather live with fortune; it is to work, to be productive, to create, to do something worthy of an ethical and strong human being.”

G.N. Papanicolaou, October 4, 19101

Dr. Papanicolaou served as our fourth ASC President from 1956-57. I believe he would be very pleased with our Society today and our Foundation’s efforts in promoting Patient Advocacy, Education and Innovation. Your Foundation Board had a retreat this past May planning for a bold future for our Foundation. If Dr. Papanicolaou had been with us, I am sure he would have enjoyed brainstorming fundraising strategies for our Meetings and beyond. Some of these ideas included new strategies for fundraising by identifying potential individual and corporate donors in the larger community outside of medicine. We will be using innovative strategies to increase the Foundation’s visibility and to provide new pathways for greater participation. One recent example is our development of promotional products for our 100 Years of Color store to promote our 100 Years of Color campaign.

“Despite the noteworthy progress, we are still far from our ultimate goal, the attainment of which depend not on the gradual accumulation of observations in the field of applied cytology but to a greater extent on further advances in our fundamental concepts of the morphologic and physiologic properties of the cell.”

G.N. Papanicolaou3

We are a Society committed to saving lives through the cytologic diagnosis of malignancy, its precursors and other diseases. It was 90 years ago in 1928 when Dr. Papanicolaou introduced his screening test for the early detection of cancerous and precancerous cells. In this special issue of The ASC Bulletin you can learn how our Foundation has carried on his vision of contributing to the enrichment of life and the alleviation of human suffering.

It is simply beyond comprehension to consider the humble beginnings of our profession. The inception of cytopathology – all the result of the study of ovulation in guinea pigs! In his introduction to the 1954 exfoliative cytology atlas, Dr. Papanicolaou was reflecting in the quote above on the progress made in the previous decade for the recognition of the cytologic method. His prophetic words ring true today and inspire us to continue his work. There is no better way to accomplish that than through your ASC Foundation. Please help us continue Dr. Papanicolaou’s legacy by honoring him today with a contribution to our 100 Years of Color campaign.

William N. Crabtree, PhD, SCT(ASCP), ASC Foundation Co-Chair