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The Igor Stojiljkovic Memorial Fund

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you have now heard, our dear friend and colleague, Igor Stojiljkovic, M.D. Ph.D. passed away on October 10,2003 after a two year heroic battle with brain cancer. We all remember Igor fondly as one of our bright young stars in Neisseria research. He began his work with the meningococcus while a post-doctoral fellow in Portland, Oregon and continued his work as a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory. He made novel and important contributions that significantly advanced our understanding of how the meningococcus acquires iron from heme and hemoglobin and more recently, the genetic basis for differences in phase variation in certain meningococcal strains. As testimony to his devotion to science and training his students, Igor was able to remain working until the final few months of his life. He was not just a highly creative and imaginative scientist. Indeed, those of us who new him well or even casually remember him as a first-class gentleman and kind person.

In memory of Igor, I have asked Mr. Charles Sparkman (Business Manager, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University School of Medicine) to initiate a memorial scholarship fund through the Emory University School of Medicine. I have discussed this with Igor's wife, Suzana Anic, M.D., and she is thrilled to know that her beloved Igor will be remembered in this manner. This fund will be used exclusively to provide travel funds to young investigators so that they can attend bacterial pathogenesis meetings such as the International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference.

The fund will be administered by Emory University and funds will be transferred to the organizers of each meeting within three months of each meeting. It is our hope to provide several $1,000 travel scholarships for each meeting. For the next Neisseria Conference, I have agreements from three former Chairs (Fred Sparling, Xavier Nassif and Martin Maiden) of the International Pathogenic Neisseria Conferences, one of Igor's mentors (Maggie So) and a Co-organizer of the next International Neisseria Conference (Hank Seifert) to serve on the selection committee that will award the travel scholarships for the upcoming Neisseria conference to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Maggie So has graciously agreed to chair this committee. Similar selection committees will be formed for other pathogenesis-related meetings that are consistent with Igor's scientific interests. Details regarding the selection process and eligibility will follow in separate communications.

If you wish to contribute to this fund, you can do so through either a transfer of funds from your institution to Emory University or by personal check. You may send a personal check made out to Emory University with a note in the bottom left corner of the check that it is for the Igor Stojiljkovic Memorial Fund. It is my understanding that your personal contribution is tax deductible.

Please contact Mr. Charles Sparkman at the following address:

Mr. Charles Sparkman
Business Manager
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA 30322
phone: 404-712-2346; fax: 404-727-5947

Warmest regards,
Bill Shafer