In 1982, a convention was held in Florence called “Advances in Red Blood Cell Biology”, organised by Prof. Gemino Fiorelli with the sponsorship of the Fondazione Menarini. It was a very successful event as for the first time it brought to the attention of clinicians the results of molecular biology relating to red blood cells that could be used in clinical practice, with special focus on the metabolism of iron, the haemoglobinopathies, and anaemia due to enzymatic and haemolytic deficiencies. This was the beginning of molecular biology for the red blood cell. From 24 to 26 September 2015, a conference entitled “Red Blood Cell Biology: thirty years on” will be held at the University of Milan, to address all the scientific discoveries and the clinical implications that have taken place during the course of these last thirty years since the first conference. International and national speakers will be participating who have made significant contributions to the development of research in the same sectors discussed at the previous conference (iron, haemoglobinopathies, erythrocyte enzymes and haemolysis), and some of whom are students of the great schools represented at the 1982 conference. The knowledge acquired over the years in relation to red blood cells is the example of how basic research integrates with clinical practice, generating new methods for diagnosing and treating diseases. In this sense the conference to be held in Milan also wants to offer an example of research methodology applied to clinical practice and therefore, it is targeting all those who operate in the various clinical disciplines (haematology, internal medicine, paediatrics) with a special invitation to all the young people who will become increasingly more involved in the molecular approach to medicine.
Maria Domenica Cappellini