The 50th Montagna Annual Symposium on the Biology of Skin was held in Snowmass Colorado on July 27-31, 2001, to review the topic “Progress in Cutaneous Biology and Investigative Dermatology”. The purpose of this symposium each year is to bring together basic scientists from disparate fields with cutaneous biologists to consider a topic of great relevance to the biology of the skin in health and disease. At this 50th anniversary meeting of the symposium founded by William Montagna, we elected to take a broader view of progress in the whole of cutaneous biology. The meeting format combines formal presentations, poster presentations and discussions, and informal discussions during four days of meeting and leisure activities. Thirty-four speakers discussed multiple facets of Cutaneous Biology and Investigative Dermatology, providing a tantalizing view of the state investigative dermatology in 2001.
      The meeting began with a unique perspective by one of the founders of the Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin, Albert Kligman, a man who is uniquely able to present his view without reservation. An NIH perspective on the state of Cutaneous Biology was presented by Alan Moshell, Director of the Skin Program in the NIAMS. The foundation of the meeting was two full day sessions consisting of reviews of the state of cutaneous biology at the millennium, presented as reviews of important topics presented at previous SBS meetings. The meeting finished with perspectives on the next era of breakthrough science, and considerations of new ways to diagnose and treat skin disease. This supplement is a collection of some of the best papers presented at the Symposium, providing perspectives on the past, present and future of Cutaneous Biology and Investigative Dermatology.
      As in previous Montagna Symposia, the flow of the program was designed to lead the participants from fundamental to applied science, considering important aspects of emerging bacterial, viral and fungal diseases. The scheduling of the meeting allowed extensive and provocative discussions, which always illuminated the issues raised in the formal presentations.
      The success of the Symposium and the published proceedings, depends on the efforts of the organizing committee, the staff assisting the Cutaneous Biology Foundation, and the editorial staff of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, who review the manuscripts. We greatly appreciate the 34 years of support of this conference by the National Institutes of Health and the current support from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. We also value the continued support of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and the support of foundations devoted to the study of cutaneous biology and disease. Organizing Committee: David Norris, Gary Bellus, John Ansel, Dennis Roop, Jouni Uitto.