The history of joint scientific meetings for Investigative Dermatology begins in 1985 when the JSID and the SID held a joint meeting in Washington, DC. In the following year a joint meeting between the ESDR and SID was held in Geneva, Switzerland. These two meetings highlighted the advantage of “unity” for all of investigative dermatology. In 1989 the first “Tri-Continental” Meeting of the ESDR, JSID, and SID took place in Washington, DC. This meeting brought together scientists from the three societies with a plan to continue meeting every five years, alternating among sites in Japan, Europe, and the United States. This was an important moment for investigative dermatology, and an editorial in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology celebrated the history of the three societies that led to this meeting (Holubar, 1990). In 1993 the Second “Tri-Continental” Meeting was held in Kyoto, Japan, and was coined a great success, with more than 600 abstracts presented. In 1993, however, both the ESDR and the SID also held their individual national meetings in addition to the international meeting. It became readily apparent to all of the participants that goals of a global meeting were markedly limited by competing national meetings. Shortly thereafter, the ESDR, JSID, and SID all agreed to forgo independent meetings in the year of these international meetings. This was an important moment because the ESDR, JSID, and SID all agreed that the financial benefit of holding an independent meeting was secondary to the enhanced scientific value of all scientists meeting in one place. This decision was indeed strong recognition that the ESDR, JSID, and SID had a spirit of unity and optimism that our cooperation would grow the field of investigative dermatology for everyone. This optimism proved to be justified. Investigative dermatology grew quickly and it became apparent that these meetings were not only about three continents of scientists but also a forum for the entire world. In 1998 the three societies gathered in Cologne, Germany, and the “Tri-Continental” Meeting became the International Investigative Dermatology (IID) Meeting, symbolizing again the power of science to bring the world together.
Over the ensuing 15 years, the IID Meetings grew and attracted scientists throughout the world, with 1,280 abstracts presented at IID 2003 in Miami, Florida, 1,353 abstracts at IID 2008 in Kyoto, Japan, and 1,523 abstracts at IID 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland.