History of IFSI

The International Forum for the Study of Itch was founded in 2005. A network of collaborating experts had already been holding regular meetings since 2001. The framework of the society was determined during a meeting for experts in early 2005 in Münster, Germany (See picture 1). This day marked the beginning of the society IFSI. During the World Congress on Itch in September in Heidelberg, Germany, the society was officially founded (See picture 2).


1. Expert meeting in May 2005 in Münster. Left to right: Elke Weisshaar, Gil Yosipovitch, Sonja Ständer


2. Official founders meeting of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI) on September 25th, 2005 in Heidelberg, Germany



Board 2019- current: President: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Vice-President: Ethan Lerner, USA; Secretary: Hiroyuki Murota, Japan; Treasurer: Alan Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Thomas Mettang, Germany; Matthias Ringkamp, USA; Martin Schmelz, Germany; Sonja Ständer, Germany; Jacek Szepietowski, Poland; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Gil Yosipovitch, USA; Earl Carstens, USA
Honorary Member: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA

Board 2017- 2019: President: Earl Carstens, USA; Vice-President: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Secretary: Toshiya Ebata, Japan; Treasurer: Alan Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Thomas Mettang, Germany; Hiroyuki Murota, Japan; Matthias Ringkamp, USA; Martin Schmelz, Germany; Sonja Ständer, Germany; Jacek Szepietowski, Poland; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Gil Yosipovitch, USA;
Honorary Member: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA;
Associated Board Member: Ethan Lerner, USA

Board 2015-2017: President: Earl Carstens, USA; Vice-President: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Secretary: Toshiya Ebata, Japan; Treasurer: Alan Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA; Ichiro Katayama, Japan; Thomas Mettang, Germany; Martin Schmelz, Germany; Sonja Ständer, Germany; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Gil Yosipovitch, USA; Jacek Szepietowski, Poland

Board 2013-2015: President: Jacek C Szepietowski, Poland; Vice President: Earl Carstens, USA; Secretary: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Treasurer: Alan Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA; Toshiya Ebata, Japan; Hermann Handwerker, Germany; Ichiro Katayama, Japan; Thomas Mettang, Germany; Sonja Ständer, Germany; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Gil Yosipovitch, USA

Board 2011-2013: President: Jacek C Szepietowski, Poland; Vice President: Earl Carstens, USA; Secretary: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Treasurer: Alan Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA; Toshiya Ebata, Japan; Hermann Handwerker, Germany; Thomas Mettang, Germany; Sonja Ständer, Germany; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Gil Yosipovitch, USA

Board 2009-2011: President: Sonja Ständer, Germany; Secretary: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Treasurer: Alan B Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Jeffrey D. Bernhard, USA ; Earl Carstens, USA; Toshiya Ebata, Japan; Hermann Handwerker, Germany; Akihiko Ikoma, USA; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Thomas Mettang, Germany; Jacek Szepietowski, Poland; Gil Yosipovitch, USA

Board 2007-2009: President: Sonja Ständer, Germany; Secretary: Elke Weisshaar, Germany; Treasurer: Alan B Fleischer, USA; Board of Directors: Earl Carstens, USA; Thomas Mettang, Germany; Kenji Takamori, Japan; Jacek Szepietowski, Poland; Gil Yosipovitch, USA

Board 2005-2007: President: Gil Yosipovitch, USA; Vice-President: Sonja Ständer, Germany; Treasurer: Elke Weisshaar; Board of Directors: Earl Carstens, USA; Yasushi Kuraishi, Japan

How to become a member
read more »
Vacant positions at Aalborg University
Several PhD stipends at the Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP) (21-21026)
read more »
The International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI) reaffirms the importance of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic
read more »
WCI 2021 cancelled – Due to the insecurities in health and instable world economical situation the IFSI Board of Directors decided to cancel the World Congress of Itch (WCI) in Shanghai, China, 2021.
As a substitute, we may offer a smaller virtual congress in 2021. Furthermore, we will observe the worldwide situation. We are positive that we can definitely organize the WCI in 2023 as a Face-to-face congress again. We will keep our members and those being interested informed about this. Stay safe and healthy!
read more »
The Journal Itch:
Itch, the official journal of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI)
read more »
Outdated Browser!

Outdated Browser.

Outdated Browser×