Activities of Society of Serbian Neurologists
In environments of moribund self-esteem, but also in those where self-esteem is built on painstakingly achieved traditions, nothing is more effective than pointing to examples of those creators who, despite the times, the people and devastating "wheel of history", marked vertical of an environment and a collectivity by their deeds. This is a simplified idea of the Society of Serbian Neurologists for establishing the award "Dr Laza K. Lazarevic" which will be assigned, on congresses of the Society, to one national and one foreign neurologist for outstanding contribution to the neurological sciences. How the award got its name?
Laza K. Lazarevic (1851-1891), only 40 years of age when he passed away, became an orphan when he was 9, took care of his mother and two sisters, with three wars on his back (due to one of those he temporary interrupted his medical studies in Berlin, conscious that his people needed him on the Balkan killing fields), with tuberculosis as an inevitable companion of Serbian poetry, which makes him alive witness of his two sons' death, in constant pain in permanently crippled leg, succeeded in Serbian medicine (and medicine in general) to do much inexcusable (inexcusable, because, along these lines, every decent man who dares to compare with him must be inexorably ashamed), writing en excellent prose at the same time. He wrote and delivered 78 scientific papers, mostly in neurology, which is the basis for him to be considered the father of Serbian neurology. In his pioneering work Ischias postica Cotunnii (Ein Beitrag zu anderen Defferential-Diagnose. Allg. Wien Med. Zeitung 1884; 37: 38) he was the first who, minutely and lucidly, described the character of stretching ischiadic, which is still the basis of propaedeutic diagnosis of radiculopathy, proposing, as we now know, exact explanation for its occurrence.
Posthumously, Laza K. Lazarevic did us a favor once again, by allowing us to be undeservedly proud on his name. Hopefully, all the future laureates will earn and understand the commitment that the award, "Dr Laza K. Lazarevic" brings.
1. Award for the Exceptional Scientific Contribution to the Science of Neurology „Dr Laza K. Lazarević“: 2015. Nadežda Čoviković Šternić, (biography) Laslo Čiba, (biography) 2013. Vladimir S. Kostić, (biography) Massimo Filippi, (biography)
"Parkinson's disease - from the transmitter to the protein"Academician Vladimir S. Kostić
"The role of imaging techniques in clinical neurology"Prof. dr Massimo Filippi
Presidency of the Society of Serbian Neurologists unanimously and with pleasure decided in 2013 to establish a reward for a specific scientific contribution presented at our conferences, including its first assignment for the work presented at the IX / XV Congress of Serbian Neurologists. This award is named after Professor Zvonimir M. Lević.
Why this award? Neurology is probably medical discipline where need for competent diagnosis and treatment is the most strikingly intertwined with the imperative of not only monitoring but also dealing with scientific research. So this award has role to accelerate research efforts and orientations of our neurologists.
Why such a name to the reward? The author of these lines had the opportunity to learn from prof. Zvonimir M. Lević and to work with him, so he claims to be the authoritative interpreter of the reasons this award got its name after our professor. The award is not intended, in any context, to grade his position in the constellation of our great teachers, to which he belongs. However, the proponent's opinion was that Zvonimir M. Lević, as a frontal figure of Serbian neurology for two decades, pointed out, with his example, the necessity of scientific research, networking and participation in international projects, continuous publication, and tireless learning. This principle he conveyed to the environment in which he acted. If anyone needs proof of this, I believe that it is easiest to find in current activities of the research groups formed in "his" areas of interest, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, which today have undoubted recognition beyond the borders of our region. Proponents, including the writer of these lines, consider him the most important among the founders of modern Serbian neurology.
What is the purpose of this award? Simply to become a tradition. We easily forget that the regions, of rich and admirable tradition, had to start with something. Let's start from this Congress!
Vladimir S. Kostić
P.S. Professor Zvonimir M. Lević has published about 350 papers, of which fifty in reputable international journals, did a very good monographs and textbooks, of the actuality time does not challenge, led and formed progress of Belgrade Neurology Department in the most difficult times and for many years directed our Society. Why I mention this? The laureates will receive our respect, diploma and a cash prize of 200,000 dinars, but I still do not envy them on workload by the name of this award and obligation they will, together with the award, have to accept.