The International Papillomavirus Society announced the creation of the “IPVS Founders Travel Award” in 2017.

In 2020, this meritorious award will fund three travel grants for young investigators, members of the IPVS, who submitted an abstract to the IPV Conference 2020 taking place in Barcelona, 23-27 March 2020. The scholarships will cover the cost of hotel (5 nights up to USD $150 per night), economy air transportation (up to USD $1000) and registration (value $580)

The IPVS Founders Travel Awards 2020 will be given in memoriam of Luciano Mariani  and Keerti Shah.

Luciano Mariani is rightly recognized as the HPV man in Italy and the international scientific community has been able to appreciate his qualities as a great communicator who spent most of his clinical and research activity in giving correct information on HPV and at the same time in training health workers.

Mariani had just turned 64 and graduated from La Sapienza University in Rome in 1980. He was one of the first researchers in Italy to test the efficacy of the papillomavirus vaccine.

With him, the whole community of HPV scientists loses not only a valuable clinical researcher but above all a man who has personally embraced the cause of HPV.

Keerti Shah, Professor Emeritus of Molecular Microbiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he had been a Faculty member since 1963.

Keerti was a pioneer in our field with major contributions to the epidemiological and molecular evidence that established the role of high-risk HPV in cervical cancer and to the evidence that laryngeal papillomatosis was caused by HPV 6 and 11.

Keerti was a very special person in HPV basic and clinical research and in teaching. He contributed very prominently to our understanding of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis through his research and clinical contacts at Johns Hopkins and through the generations of students and fellows whom he mentored. Keerti was also the lead organizer of a distinguished group of Hopkins faculty and staff for the 12th IPV Conference held in Baltimore in September 1993. Of special note, the Baltimore meeting started the first of the Clinical Workshops that have been a tradition of the IPV Conferences ever since.”

He was indeed a very special person, humane, humorous and generous with his time and expertise, he is a loss to us all.

Dr A Bennett (Ben) Jenson died peacefully at the age of 80 on December 23rd 2019 in Louisville Kentucky.  Ben was a major figure in the papillomavirus community who performed crucial studies in the 1990’s using the canine oral papillomavirus (COPV) animal model, a mucosa-trophic papillomavirus of dogs  He and his collaborators demonstrated that immunisation with COPV L1 VLPs completely protected against high dose COPV challenge and the development of oral warts.  These were crucial studies in the development of prophylactic HPV vaccines providing proof of principle that systemic immunisation with L1 VLPs could protect against papilloma virus infection of squamous mucosal surfaces.

Ben had a great and sometimes, wicked sense of humour, accompanied by an irresistible twinkle in his eye but also a kind heart and generous spirit.  He had a fine thinking mind that looked for innovative approaches to papillomavirus science.  He was by training and profession a Board Certified histopathologist and this fundamental understanding of disease processes and how they presented informed his scientific work.  He was a personal friend and one who made very significant contributions to our field.  He will be sadly missed, he is a loss to us all.