International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI)


Our mission is to advance itch-related research and education and to promote treatment and clinical efforts to help alleviate this debilitating symptom. Our main goal is to create an active society that will contribute to the study of Itch. IFSI also distributes recent information about pruritus research and developments by newsletters to its members, the international medical community and the public at large through various media. IFSI conducts international meetings every second year (World Congress of Itch, WCI) where researchers present the latest findings in the field. The official Journal of the IFSI is the Itch, an open-access journal. IFSI supports the publication of high quality papers in Itch, which is currently offering waivers of publication fees for submitted articles.

What is IFSI?

The International Society for the Study of Itch (IFSI) is a multidisciplinary international association of clinical practitioners, researchers and scientists dedicated to improving our understanding and treatment of pruritus for the benefit of suffering patients worldwide. The Society is a non-profit professional organization (registered in NC, USA). Membership is open to clinicians, researchers, scientists and other health professionals engaged in the research and treatment of itch.

News from the 12th World Congress on Itch (WCI), Miami, FL, USA

Hermann Handwerker Prize 2023

IFSI offers the “Hermann Handwerker Prize for young researchers” for the best presentation (basic research) at the ISFI meetings (3000 USD).
The winner of the Hermann Handwerker Prize 2023, sponsored by Beiersdorf, is Hans Jürgen Solinski, Mannheim Center for Translational Neuroscience, Heidelberg University, Germany.
He got the prize for his presentation with the title: Identification of pruriceptive somatosensory neurons in pigs using snRNAseq
Hans Jürgen Solinski works at the Mannheim Center for Translational Neuroscience, Heidelberg University (Germany), where he is currently a senior scientist in the department of Experimental Pain
Research. He has a diploma in Human Biology from the University of Marburg and a PhD in Neuropharmacology from Ludwig‐Maximilians‐University of Munich, where he investigated signal
transduction pathways of GPCRs and TRP channels in the DRG with Thomas Gudermann. After receiving his PhD, he became interested in itch research and joined the lab of Mark Hoon at NIH
(USA). Using molecular biology, pharmacology, opto‐ and chemo‐genetics he studied itch encoding in murine models for acute and chronic itch. In 2019, he moved back to Germany and joined the lab of
Martin Schmelz. Since then, he is using mice, pigs, and human systems to investigate the cellular and molecular diversity of somatosensory neurons and their adaptive properties, with a particular focus
on itch and pain.

Kenji Takamori Prize 2023

IFSI offers the “Kenji Takamori Prize” for the best presentation (clinical research) at the ISFI meetings (3000 USD).
The winner of the Kenji Takamori Prize 2023 is Macarena Tejos-Bravo from the Universidad Católica de Chile.
She got the prize for her presentation with the title: Somatosensory adaptation to acute stress is altered in patients with atopic dermatitis
Macarena Tejos-Bravo is a biochemist from Santiago de Chile. After completing her master's degree in Biochemistry at the Universidad de Chile and working for a couple of years, she embarked on her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Universidad Católica de Chile under the supervision of Dr. Margarita Calvo. Following a 6-month internship at the NDCN from the University of Oxford, she returned to Chile to finish her Ph.D. project and thesis manuscript, which focuses on the study of sensory alterations in patients with chronic itch and the influence of stress on them.

How to become a member
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Save the date: Next WCI Meeting
13th World Congress on Itch, Heidelberg, Germany
October 12-14, 2025
Website coming soom
French association on pruritus
At the start of 2024, the creation of the "Association Française pour le Traitement et l'Etude du Prurit (AFTEP)" was announced.
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Solidarity with Ukraine
The International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI) expresses its sadness and refusal about the ongoing war in Ukraine. As a global society of clinicians and researchers we promote tolerance and mutual respect as universal values. IFSI expresses its sincere hope that dialogue and negotiations will rapidly lead to peace. IFSI declares its solidarity with the Ukrainian people. IFSI claims to stop this war immediately.

The IFSI board
Juntendo University, Tokyo
Report of the 5th Academic Symposium "Aiming to Overcome Intractable Itch" in Juntendo University
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Please note a current book publication. The first comprehensive review of common and different pathways and mechanisms of itch and pain.
Gil Yosipovitch, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Hjalte Andersen. Itch and Pain. Similarities, Interactions and Differences. Wolters Kluwer 2020
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SECURE-AD Registry update
Please note current information from the SECURE-AD Team

Dear colleague,
Thank you very much for your continued support of the SECURE-AD registry. To date we have collected data on 190 eczema cases with a confirmed or suspected COVID episode, which is excellent.
Please continue to enter your cases at this critical time – before the window of opportunity to gather this data has passed. We will include everyone who enters a case as a co-author under the SECURE-AD Study Group in resulting publications.
It would also be great if you could share this initiative via social media, tagging us @ad_secure (Twitter) and @secure.derm (Instagram) (links to follow us on Twitter and Instagram).

Many thanks for your contribution.

With kind regards,
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The Journal Itch:
Itch, the official journal of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI)
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