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The winners of the International Medis Awards 2018 for Medical Research

Who are the extraordinary individuals who besides everyday clinical work with patients dedicate every free moment to discovering of the less-invasive diagnostic methods, more effective and safer therapies, as well as solutions which would enable the patients a higher quality of life?

Neurologist Assist. Dejan Georgiev, MD, PhD, from the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, has in the field of neurology convinced the panel with his research, which enables a prediction of Parkinson’s signs in patients with dystonia, as well as appropriately treat these adverse effects of the treatment.

Rheumatology is an extremely exciting field for the Hungarian professor Péter Vince Bálint, MD, PhD, from the National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy Budapest, who has studied and defined anew the different forms of inflamed muscle insertions in patients with spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Assist. Amra Šakušić, MD, PhD, Intensive Care Medicine Specialist from the University Medical Centre Tuzla, has in the scope of the several-year research of 103,255 patients discovered that the occurrence of cognitive disorders in patients who were treated in the Intensive Care Units is influenced, among other, also by higher levels of ammonia in blood. For her discovery she has won the first place in the intensive care medicine and anesthesiology category.

The internationally renowned scientific article with an extremely high impact factor has outshined all the applications in the gastroenterology category. Its author, gastroenterologist Prof. Dino Tarabar, MD, PhD, from the Military Medical Academy Belgrade, who has been devoted to research for more than two decades, has together with his colleagues found a way of preventing the transition of leukocytes through the patient’s blood veins in the intestines, thus also preventing an infection. This method will contribute to the development of much safer and more effective medicine for gastroenterological diseases. 

In the field of pediatrics, which is for the fifth year in a row the most represented field of the International Medis Awards, this year’s winner title belongs to the pediatrician Assist. Prof. Mario Ćuk, MD, PhD, from the Clinical Hospital Centre and School of Medicine Zagreb, who has in his scientific article focused on anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia – a rare disease with immunodeficiency. He contributed to a better diagnosis and treatment of this extremely rare disease, thus preventing the death of a young boy Ivan, who lost two siblings due to this rare genetic disease.

Assist. Prof. Marin Jukić, MSc Pharm, MD, PhD, from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, has for his hard research work, as he described it, received the golden award. Together with his colleagues he has discovered why patients with depression react so differently to one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants Escetilopram, thus laying revolutionary foundation for the individualised prescription of this most used medicine in psychiatry.

In the field of of ophthalmology Ivan Škegro MD, ophthalmologist from Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb, found a way to restore vision to patients who have undergone bone marrow transplantation, who may experience severe vision problems. This condition, which is abbreviated as GvHD, was solved by transplanting the amniotic membranes of mothers who gave birth by cesarean section, to the patient's eye, thereby solving the problems.

In the therapeutic field of gynecology, the panel has awarded the first place to the gynecologist and obstetrician Miro Šimun Alebić, MD, PhD, from the Maternity Hospital and Gynecology Outpatient Clinic Podobnik in Zagreb, who has studied infertility and has been finding out in which patients with infertility the two known signs of ovarian reserve are unreliable, thus enabling reproduction specialists to define those patients better and help them chose the best treatment for them.

The surprise of the evening were two winner titles in the pulmonology and allergology category, where the panel has decided that the dermatologist, allergologist and immunologist Vesna Grivcheva-Panovska, MD, PhD, from the University Clinic for Dermatology Skopje, and the pulmonologist Zsófia Lázár, MD, PhD, from the Semmelweis University Budapest, due to their innovative approaches and important findings in the mentioned medical field, both deserve the first place.

Prof. Grivcheva-Panovska, PhD, has discovered that there are as many as four different mutations of the hereditary angioedema in Macedonia, and that the mutations of this rare genetic disease cannot be found in any of the neighbouring countries in the region. Her discovery will enable a choice of a therapy to suit every individual patient. The pulmonologist Lázár, PhD, has together with her colleagues presented a new non-invasive method, with which they can measure the presence of the inflammation via the exhaled air in a patient with COPD, as well as start treating the inflammation on time.

This year’s winners prove that despite being geographically scattered and from different medical fields, they are all led by similar motives, devotion and mission. They are also connected by the clinical daily routine, which always includes patients in distress, who want and ask for their help. The International Medis Awards finalists eagerly provide this help in their offices. Even more – in hope of finding better and patient-friendlier diagnostic methods, more efficient treatment and enable a better life for these patients –, they, with the patients in front of their eyes, tirelessly commit themselves to research work.

All received scientific works are assessed and chosen by an independent international panel: from Slovenia Prof. Matija Tomšič, PhD (President of the panel) and Prof. Barbara Cvenkel, PhD (ophthalmology), from Austria Prof. Reinhold Kerbl, PhD (pediatrics), from Bosnia and Herzegovina Prof. Milenko Bevanda, PhD (gastroenterology), from Croatia Prof. Branimir Anić, PhD (rheumatology) and Prof. Nenad Karanović, PhD (intensive care medicine and anesthesiology), from Hungary Prof. Nándor Ács, PhD (gynecology), from Macedonia Prof. Sašo Stojčev, PhD (neurology), from Serbia Prof. Ivan Stanković, PhD (pharmacy) and Prof. Branimir Nestorović, PhD (pulmonology and allergology).

The winners have received a sculpture named Bodočnost (Future) by a Slovenian-Croatian artist Jakov Brdar, and a EUR 2,500 financial reward. The finalists have received a recognition award and a EUR 500 financial reward.

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