A word about our past RAJKA meetings

2023 Gdańsk, Poland

13th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2022 Montréal, QC, Canada

12th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2021 Seoul, South Korea

11th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2018 Utrecht, The Netherlands

10th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2016 São Paulo, Brazil

9th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2014 Nottingham, UK

8th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

The 2014 ISAD was a special meeting with an emphasis on more collaborative working through the newly founded International Society of Atopic Dermatitis. Hosted by the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology in Nottingham, it was the first time an ISAD meeting had been held in the UK.

Hosted by Professor Hywel Williams, the three-day meeting was well attended with almost 250 delegates from across the world including Korea, Japan, China, USA, Europe, Brazil, Equador and Australia.

Over 120 abstracts were submitted, resulting in 85 poster presentations and 32 oral presentations, in addition to 10 plenary invited speakers. Many speakers have kindly made their presentations available on the University of Nottingham website.

The Rajka song!

2012 Moshi, Tanzania

7th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

The Moshi meeting gave a unique window of opportunity to show our colleagues from SubSahran Africa the importance and features in their geographic and socioeconomic context and the participants from other continents to get unique insights in these often underrepresented area at international meetings.

More than 120 participants,  coming from many different African countries but also from Far East and West joined this very stimulating and rewarding meeting.

Many thanks to the local organizers, Elisante John Masenga and Henning Grossmann and the former ISAD president Johannes Ring who made this meeting possible.

2010 Munich, Germany

6th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

2008 Kyoto, Japan

5th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

Let us say a few words about ISAD 2008

The 5th International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis (ISAD) was held at Kyoto International Conference Hall on May 8-10, 2008, as a pre-congress meeting in conjunction with the International Investigative Dermatology (IID) 2008 (May 14-17). The Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology (JSID) hosted the IID in collaboration with SID and ESDR, and the success of that event contributed to firmly establishing the status of the JSID in the arena of international investigative dermatological science. The major pre- and post-congress meetings were comprised of ISAD, IPCC/SMR (pigment cell research), ISCL (lymphoma), JSUCB/SCUR (ultrastructure), International Conference on Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus, International Symposium on Bullous Diseases, and Hair Research. Among them, the ISAD meeting was one of the biggest activities, and not only ISAD members, but also many IID attendees, actively participated in the meeting.

In the memorable ISAD meeting, worldwide experts of AD, young dermatologists and skin researchers took this opportunity to vigorously discuss the issues in understanding of AD, including clinical features, epidemiology, genetics, skin barrier pathology, immune dysfunction, role of allergens, significance of microbiome, neuroimmune interactions, psychosomatic aspects, and treatments. Thus, the topics widely encompassed the basic and clinical fields, and comprehension of the findings scientifically stimulated the attendees. In addition, the participants promoted old and new friendship during the meeting and began with some scientific collaboration.

We imagine that this meeting triggered rapidly increasing understanding of the above issues. Following the meeting, subsequently conducted studies with novel findings have deepened exploration of the pathophysiology of disease process and development of therapies. Of note is the expansion of new targeted therapeutic interventions, which promise to be more efficacious and safer than currently available therapies (1). These include topical agents such as phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors and topical Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, targeted monoclonal antibodies against IL-4Rα, IL-13 and IL-31, and oral JAK inhibitors, just to name a few. These newly emerging agents are detailed in an excellent recent review by Puar et al (2).

The tradition of Rajka Symposium is to encourage collaboration through better interaction among individuals with various backgrounds, including dermatologists, pediatricians, immunologists, and allergologists. Therefore, we believe that further development of novel types of agents for AD will be possible through vigorous and intimate interactions among these investigators at future ISAD meetings.

Masahiro Takigawa, MD, PhD
President of 5th ISAD

Yoshiki Tokura, MD, PhD
Secretary-General of IID2008


  1. Langan SM, Irvine AD, Weidinger S. Atopic dermatitis. Lancet. 2020;396(10247):345-360.
  2. Puar N, Chovatiya R, Paller AS. New treatments in atopic dermatitis. Ann Allergy
    Asthma Immunol. 2020:S1081-1206(20)30572-X.

2005 Arcachon, France

4th Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

 I attended my first Rajka meeting in 1989 (Oslo), at the time we discussed with Jean-François STALDER the launch of an European group on AD (the future ETFAD), which met indeed for the first time the year after in Bordeaux on the occasion of the European Society for Pediatric Dermatology. ETFAD started working in AD assessment and scoring, with SCORAD index as our first landmark paper in 1993. Oslo was my first encounter with Prof Georg RAJKA and his wife Susanne who spoke proficient French and had their summer house in Vence, 20 km from Nice. The group gathered by the late Georg in Bergen was perfect for networking face to face, and we now miss dearly this golden period at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic!

At the end of the Norway series of meetings, Kristian THESTRUP-PEDERSEN and Johannes RING took the lead and the meeting moved to other parts of Europe and the world. I attended all meetings since Bergen, and I liked very much the friendly and multidisciplinary atmosphere of the symposia.

When it was my turn, I proposed to organize the meeting in France, and Arcachon was the natural choice for me because our department was organizing here a yearly course of paediatric dermatology, and it was in the spirit of Norway meetings a place not so easy to reach, with a maritime environment. The meeting went smoothly at the Palais des Congrès with nice evenings for exchanges, in particular the memorable boat trip and dinner Chez Hortense at Cap Ferret.

Scientifically speaking the meeting was situated just one year before the publication of the Nature Genetics paper on filaggrin mutations, and rumors were already circulating of the next revolution about our understanding of AD. History of AD was also one of the highlights of the meeting and Daniel WALLACH discussed the issue at the inaugural session based on the book we wrote together with Gérard TILLES.

Following the meeting, two independent reports were published in the JACI and Acta DV. 


2003 Rome, Italy

3rd Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

 In 2001 at the Portland congress I had the opportunity to discuss with George Rajka, Jon Hanifin, Kristian Thesdrup-Pedersen, Johannes Ring and Alain Taieb the possibility of organizing the 9th International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis in Rome in 2003. Supporting this choice was the candidacy of Rome as the chosen location, we had organized ICAAD (International Consensus Conference on Atopic Dermatitis) in November 1999, I was President-elect of the Italian Society of Dermatology, a position held from 2003 to 2007, and the ongoing activity of the Italian Association of Atopic Eczema (AIEA) from 1990 which also involved patients.

I organized the congress with the close collaboration of Stefania Seidenari and GianPiero Girolomoni, with whom I had shared much of the clinical and scientific activity on Atopic Dermatitis in Modena and Rome.

The Scientific Committee included J. Bos, O.De Pità, J. Hanifin, A. Kapp, D.Y. M. Leung, T. Reunala, J. Ring, S. Romagnani, T. Ruzicka, K. Tagami, A. Taieb, K. Thesdrup-Petersen, A.G. Ugazio, A. Venuti, A. Vierucci. Following on from traditions from previous editions, European, American and Japanese Clinical Dermatologists and Pediatricians, Allergists and Immunologists compared their experiences and their research.

  • The Congress began on Friday August 29th and ran through to August 31st.
  • 10 sessions, 30 presentations, 17 readings and 29 posters were involved (Annex 1)
  • The abstracts were published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (annex 2)

The atmosphere of the Congress was serene and friendly; intense discussions lasted beyond the tight duration of the sessions carrying on through the Social Dinner at the Doria Pamphili Gallery. The Rajka symposium in Rome was a great success and an invitation to continue on a regular basis. 

Organized by Alberto GIANNETTI (1939-2021).

  1. Scientific program
  2. The published ISAD 2003 Abstracts JID is available here

2001 Portland, USA

2nd Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

 The ISAD 2001 meeting was held in Portland, Oregon September 6-9, ending 2 days before the infamous “9/11 terrorist attacks” which kept some of our international guests from flying home as planned. It was also a sad time for me because my wonderful wife, Ginny, had died just 6 weeks earlier.

Our meeting was very successful however, with a broad international presence. The substance of the meeting was a result of the large group of individuals who had strong interests in AD, including physicians and researchers from our OHSU Dermatology Department. The meeting was also strengthened by the many patients who in 1988 had joined together to establish the National Eczema Association here in Portland. The ISAD meeting was also strongly supported by Dermatologists from many countries, most prominently the originator of the Symposia, Professor Georg Rajka.

I was especially interested in helping to develop that meeting because I had spoken at the original ISAD in Oslo in 1979 and had formed a close friendship with Prof Rajka. It was my first international meeting and I still recall the many highlights and renowned authorities in attendance at that initial gathering.

At our Portland ISAD twenty years later, I also have fond memories of the highlights, especially the contributions of so many of the young AD experts who contributed to its success. Kevin Cooper began his career as resident and research investigator at OHSU in the 1980’s. Other young researchers participated, including Seth Stevens who trained with us, and later with Kevin, Clive Archer from England, Sarah Chamlin from San Francisco, Christina Herrick from Yale and most impressively , in retrospect, Eric Simpson who has become a leading expert in AD.

Clearly, the ISAD meetings have helped the growth not only with knowledge and understanding of atopic dermatitis but with the development of so many young researchers who will continue to inform us of the many aspects of this common and poorly-understood disease. 


1998 Davos, Switzerland

1st Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

1996 Aarhus, Denmark

 Organized by Kristian THESTRUP-PEDERSEN (1943-2016).

1979-1994, Norway

1988 Oslo

The proceedings of the five first Norway meetings have been published in print by the Acta Dermato-Venereologica (Stockholm) as supplements #92 (Oslo 1979), #114 (Loen, 1985), #144 (Oslo, 1988), #176 (Bergen, 1991), #196 (Lillehammer, 1994).

The most cited diagnostic features paper was presented at the first meeting.