Vol 62 No 1  2022 

Page 1

History of the IAP News Bulletin (1995 to 2017) 

By  Dr. Robin A. Cooke

Robin Cooke as Editor

I was elected to the position of Editor of the IAP News Bulletin at the International Congress in Hong Kong in 1994. I had been Editor of the News Letter of the Australasian Division of IAP since 1989. During this time I had experimented with a number of formats, and had developed some skill in taking group photos of delegates attending the annual conferences.

After being elected Editor, I had lunch with the outgoing editor, Roger Cotton to ask him about how the News Bulletin was produced.

Robin Cooke and Roger Cotton (outgoing Editor) 1994.

Roger used to dictate it on a dictaphone, and his wife typed it on her manual typewriter. He then mailed this to the publisher, Mercury Press in Rockville, a town just north of Washington. Mercury Press then type set it and had it printed and distributed.

It was distributed under the auspices of the AFIP and mailed to members of the USCAP, and some copies were distributed by FedEx to the Secretaries of IAP Divisions.

At the outset, I wanted to know what I would be allowed to print, and how many pages I would be able to use. Would I be able to use photographs? I decided to find out by making a visit to the USA en route to a conference I was attending in the UK.

First I visited Jack Strong, Treasurer in New Orleans.  He approved my ideas. Then I arranged to meet Jim Crimmins, the Secretary of the USCAP who was based in Atlanta. Jim used to prepare address lists for Mercury Press. He did not know how the News Bulletin was distributed, and was interested to find out.

He was due to visit Washington to inspect the facilities for the next USCAP meeting, so we arranged to meet and visit the publisher in Rockville. 

I arrived in Washington on a cold, snowing night, and met Jim, who checked in shortly after I did. We had not met before, but we got on well, and after a conversation that lasted a few hours, we had planned how we would do things. This was the beginning of a happy and extremely productive partnership.

The Manager of Mercury Press collected us next morning, and we drove to Rockville. In Rockville the News Bulletin was ‘laid up.’ A proof copy of the edition was then faxed to me for checking before it was printed. The printed copies were sent to a firm in the mid west of the USA for distribution.

Having established the ground rules, I turned my attention to assembling material for my first edition. My secretary, Kathy Bevin and I decided we would produce it ourselves. We were using a Microsoft programme to set up the News Letter for the Australasian Division. It soon became clear that this was far too amateurish.

I was standing at the counter of the printer we had been using, and asking questions. The man standing next to me at the counter said, ‘I think you need me.’ He introduced me to his newly appointed designer who had just graduated from the Technical Training College. His name was Luke Perkins. He became the designer for all my editions of the News Bulletin, and we grew with the job.

Kathy Bevin and Luke Perkins

At first, Luke would manually lay up the News Bulletin on a sheet of xray paper that I would check and then roll up and send by express mail to Mercury Press in Rockville.

As time passed, technology advanced quickly. We went from black and white photos taken on a single lens reflex camera to colour photography using a digital camera. Luke then used a computer programme to lay up the Bulletin and he sent it to a server at Mercury Press.

In the first few years I would check the proofs from Mercury Press on fax copies using a fax machine. The problem with the fax was that the images would come in black and white of poor quality.

Using the manual method it would take about two weeks for the design process to be completed. With the digital method, by using the Internet, I could send copy to Luke, and Mercury Press would be printing it at the end of a week.

Viewing the News Bulletins that we produced over 23 years, improvements in technique, cameras, computer programmes, a continuing improvement in quality can be seen. I think that the last edition we produced 2017 no. 4, is our best production.

A demonstration of improvements as they occurred

The last edition published by Roger Cotton, 1994 Volume 35 No 4 , was printed in black and white with no images. It was four pages long

 1995 Volume 36 Number 1 The first edition with Robin Cooke as Editor.  Four pages, three colours – black, white and green.

This was the first edition published in full colour.   Many images were included. 

New advances in pathology as they occurred 

Quality control in the field of Pathology

As new topics relating to pathology occurred, I asked people who had presented them at meetings, to compose an article for the News Bulletin.

The first of these was provided by Richard Zarbo, Director of Surgical Pathology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. and Peter Howanitz, Director of Clinical Laboratories, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

1995 Volume 36 Number 4 Quality Improvement in Anatomic Pathology 

Richard Zarbo provided a second article on quality control in 1997, shown below.

 1997 Volume 38 Number 2 The Magnitude and Significance of Error in Anatomic Pathology

Photo of Richard Zarbo in 1997.

Leo Koss, Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montiefore Medical Center, New York provided the first of the many articles I published on Medical History.  The article is also from  1997 Volume 38 Number 2


In 1993 the AFIP set up a section dedicated to providing a consultant service that would allow real time consultations. The department was headed by Leslie Sobin who was the Editor of the ‘WHO Blue books,’ as well as being a staff pathologist at AFIP.

They tested a variety of methods of having pathologists send them fixed images of selected microscopic fields.

The reliability of this new method was checked by also doing the usual reporting of referral material as paraffin blocks and stained sections.

1998 Volume 29 Number 3 AFIP Department of Telemedicine 

The Internet

In about 1997 the Internet became available. Pathologists quickly adopted this new technology. Ben Craigo et al wrote about the Internet in Volume 38 Number 2.

Changes in the pathologist’s office

Pathologists now had double headed (or multiheaded) microscopes for teaching, and computer terminals for viewing reports and searching the internet for references and other information.

Cameras were added for taking photos for record purposes and for preparing material for lectures and publications.

1997 Robin Cooke with double headed microscope and computer terminal.

2006  microscope with camera.

The first microscope cameras gave very poor images, but after a few years the quality of the cameras improved tremendously.

Pathologists can now conduct clinical review sessions from their office rather than having to spend the time travelling to the meeting venues.

Many other opportunities have arisen, (and continue to be developed) for the use of the internet in communication and teaching.

Above: Photo taken in the Virchow Museum in the University of Berlin on September 11, 2011.

Robin Cooke, Bruce Williams, bust of Rudolph Virchow on his 80th birthday, Manfred & Marian Dietel, Colleen & Connor Williams (asleep).

Bruce was responsible for placing the News Bulletin on the internet in 1996.

All the editions since then have been placed on the internet. Manfred was particularly interested in developing telepathology.

Special books - WHO Pathology of Tumours

Above:  WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System

Above: WHO Classification of Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tumours. I advertised the new books as they were released.

A history of the WHO ‘Classification of Tumour book publications

I visited the Headquarters of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon in 2001 to attend a meeting of the working group on the Classification of Breast Tumours, with a view to reporting on it in the News Bulletin.

While I was there, I prepared the following record on the history of how the WHO books were prepared. No one had done this before.

One of the first projects of IARC was an attempt to standardize the nomenclature of tumours by selling at low cost, books with blue covers (hence the name ‘blue books’) together with small numbers of representative 35mm photos of each tumour.

These were packed in small polystyrene boxes and mailed to pathologists all over the world.

Histological Typing of Breast Tumours  published in February, 2002.

Each title was printed in the four official languages of the WHO at that time - English, French, Italian, Russian.

The polystyrene box in which the book and the 35mm photos were mailed to subscribers.

The 35 mm photos.

2011 Ron Neafie in 1976 with a copy of a bundle of uncut pages of the new edition of this book and a copy of the cover before binding. 

The AFIP at that time did its own printing and publishing. The books for binding filled this large room in the basement of the building.

I was one of the first buyers. Ron and the other authors wondered whether the books would sell. They need not have wondered.

The books became a best seller, and copies were purchased by pathology departments throughout the world.

The first and second pages autographed by the authors, as part of  Histological Typing of Breast Tumours, published in 2002. 

2007  Photo taken at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IAP held in Montreal.

Bruce Williams, Ron Neafie and Wayne Meyers (another author

of the red book.)

2006  Photo taken in Montreal at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IAP by Maude Abbott.

Dan Connor had just delivered the keynote lecture for the Conference.

Ann Nelson who followed him as Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at AFIP. Richard Fraser, President of the Conference.

2006-04 Richard Fraser and his personal assistant, Joan O’Malley with a portrait of Maude Abbott that Rick purchased from an art dealer in the city a few months ago. They are presenting it to the Librarian of the Osler Library of McGill University, Pamela Miller.

Special photographs

The IAP Congress in Brisbane, Australia 2004

From IAP bulletin volume 44 Number 3 2003 - Article on the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia featuring two of the iconic features of outback Australia – Uluru and grey gum trees that the artist Namatjira liked to paint.

2004  Didgeridoo player at the formal dinner at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre, the site of the lectures for Congress 2004.

Editors of IAP sponsored journals and Editors of Division News Letters

 at the 100th anniversary meeting of the IAP in Montreal, 2006.

Editors of IAP sponsored journals. (L) to (R) John Eble, Mod Path; Christiane Baillie Bulletin of the French Division; David Hardwick, presenter of the award gold medal of the IAP to these editors; Juan Rosai; Int J Surg Path; James Crawford Lab Invest.

Editors of some Division News Letters

(L) to (R) Samir Amr (Arab Div), Deitmar Schmidt (German Div), Robin Cooke (International News Bulletin), Peter Furness (British Div), Maria Carvalho (Brazil Div), Dan Drumheller, Mercury Publishing the printer and distributor of the Int News Bulletin, Francisco Couto (Indian Div), Osamu Matsubara (Japanese Div)

It was a pleasure to have at the dinner Dan Drumheller, the owner of Mercury Publishing from Rockville, Maryland, that has printed and distributed the IAP News Bulletins since 1976.

In1976 the distribution was about 6,000 and it is now 23,000.

Celebrating 35 years of publication of the Journal – Histopathology.

The editors

Roger E Cotton                   1977-85

Roddie N M MacSween     1985-96

James C E Underwood      1996-2002

Michael Wells                     2002-11

Alastair D Burt                   2012-18 

Elizabeth Whelan who was senior editor for the publisher Wiley-Blackwell.

She was based in Oxford, and was responsible for negotiating the contract whereby the company sponsored the British Division of IAP (BDIAP).

This has been a great help to the Division with money they have spent in promoting education in pathology, especially in countries with poorly funded Health Services.

The journal Histopathology.

Leah Shander Congress Organiser

2011 Leah Shander (red jacket), Congress Organiser, ran her first Congress for the IAP in Washington in 1976.

This was the last meeting before the UACAP and the IAP became separate entities.

Left of Leah is Murray Abell (President of USCAP)

Right of Leah is Peter Gedigk (incoming President of IAP)

Right of Peter is Kash Mostofi (Retiring President of IAP)

Leah Shander at her retirement at the 100th anniversary Congress in Montreal in 2006.

Fred Silva and two of his initiatives to engage Residents 

During his term as Executive Director of the IAP, Fred Silva instituted some initiatives to engage trainee pathologists (Residents) with a view to encouraging them to join the IAP.

One of these was to provide free breakfasts and lunches for the Residents.

Each table had a senior pathologist to talk to them while they ate. These meals were extremely popular.

Residents’ breakfasts and lunches

Here is Fred engaging his group with his usual mixture of information and banter. (Anecdote - I used to take the names and email addresses of the Residents so that I could add names to photographs when I made my report in the News Bulletin.

[Professional photographers usually just provide pictures without names). I then emailed each Resident a copy of the photographs with the names attached so that they could contact each other again if they wished.]

Residents’ Fair 

Another one of Fred’s initiative was the Residents’ Fair, where the various institutions that were offering courses for Residents could advertise their courses. These were always crowded, noisy and joyous occasions.

Nephropath, a private practice company that specialized in renal diseases. This company sponsored the Fairs.

Loyola Medicine

Penn Medicine. The group was joined by the Director of Pathology,

Virginia Li Volsi (Green skirt.)

Special occasions

Adonis Carvalho and Berlin on September 11th 2011 

Three generations of pathologists.

Adonis Carvalho on the occasion of his presentation of a special award for meritorious service to Pathology in Brazil, and to International pathology,

The award was presented at the International Congress of the IAP in Sao Paulo in 2010. Adonis with his daughter, Maria and granddaughter, Paula.

On this day, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were destroyed by terrorists who crashed two fully loaded and fully fuelled passenger 767 jet aeroplanes into these skyscrapers in New York with devastating effects.

There was an outpouring of shock and grief in Berlin where I was attending a meeting of the European Society of Pathology Conference.

Berliners came to the American Embassy building and covered the street with flowers.

Leading into the Athens Congress in 2008, I endeavoured to give prospective delegates a foretaste of the quality of excellence of Ancient Greece.

The architecture, the sculpture and the artefacts, that date from the bronze age (3,300 to 1,200 BC.)

Images above show

A replica of Athena Parthenos in the Archaeological Museum in Athens (left). It stands approximately 5 feet high.

The original statue was designed and built by Phidias (480- 430), the famous Greek architect, sculptor and artist.

The original was designed to be the central piece of the Parthenon that he was building.It stood on a pedestal 4x8 metres; and it was 11.5 metres (37 feet,9 inches) tall.

Mycaenean pottery 12th century BC, in the Archaeological Museum in Athens (right).

The Parthenon on the top of the Acropolis.

Photo taken in 2007 looking across the CBD of Athens.

An historic event 

Yoshinao Oda, Professor of Pathology, Kyushu University, Japan who now holds the Chair of Pathology that was originally held by Sunao Tawara.

Tawara identified the Atrio-ventricular node in the conduction system of the heart while working with Ludwig Aschoff in Germany. In Germany, the AV node is referred to as ‘Tawara’s node.’

Professor Annette Schmitt Graeff, holds the Chair of Pathology in Freiberg, Germany that was established by Ludwig Aschoff.

This was an unusual meeting 100 years after the connection between Kyushu and Freiberg was first established.

Trade displays

One of the features of pathology conferences is the support provided by companies that supply goods and services to the pathology industry.

The Japanese company, Sakura, has been an important supporter of Pathology conferences.

Robin Cooke & Kenichi Matsumoto CEO of the Sakura Company that his father founded. Budapest in the background - October 1996.

Sakura means ‘cherry blossom’

The Sakura stand at the Congress.

A very important visitor to the Congress in Nagoya, Japan in 2000. 

Prince Hitachi (brother of the Emperor), and Princess Hanako, to the surprise of the organisers and the delight of the delegates, mingled with the delegates at the cocktail party during the 2000 Congress in Nagoya.

They allowed people to take photos of them, and posed with delegates. This was unheard of before. Robin Cooke and Professor Shinishiro Ushigome, President of the Congress accompanied them.

Farewell from the Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil 

The Morumbi dancers are children from the Favellas, the shanty towns in the cities of Brazil.

The Director of the orchestra for this group is training about 2000 of them, many of whom are being rehabilitated from drugs.

As they were finishing their routine, some of the dancers invited guests to join them in the dancing.

This charming young girl invited me to dance with her. I was delighted to oblige.

It gives me great pleasure to end this article with this engaging image.



I would like to thank all those who helped me to take relevant photos, and gave me verbal and written information and advice.

My wife and daughter acted as editors of this report.