The International Papillomavirus Society announced the creation of the “IPVS Founders Travel Award” in 2017.
In 2018, this meritorious award will fund three travel grants for young investigators, members of the IPVS, who submitted an abstract to the IPV Conference 2018 taking place in Sydney, 2-6 October 2018. 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 2018 will be given in memoriam of Stefania Jablonska and Peter Snijders, who sadly passed away in May 2017 and May 2018.
Peter Snijders earned his degree in biology in 1987 from the Catholic University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He went on to earn a doctoral degree, cum laude, in Medicine from VU University in Amsterdam. From 1993 to 1997 he was a post-doctoral Senior Fellow at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and thereafter became Clinical Scientist in Molecular Pathology in the department of Pathology at the VU University medical center, Amsterdam. Since 1988, he has focused on studying the role of HPV in cancer. He was involved in the development of the HPV GP5+/6+ consensus PCR, which is one of the clinically validated reference assays for cervical screening purposes. He was also amongst the first investigators to establish a plausible etiological role of mucosal HPV in tonsillar cancer. In addition, his work involved identification and functional characterization of genes involved in HPV-mediated carcinogenesis and translation of these results into establishing biomarker assays for risk assessment.
Peter published over 350 peer-reviewed papers and (co)developed HPV and methylation marker tests that are increasingly being applied in the clinical care of patients.
His warm smile, friendly disposition and positive attitude will be remembered and missed by all who knew him and we want to acknowledge Peter’s talents as a scientist and contributions to the field. Peter was a fine human being and we are all proud that we were able to be called his colleague.
Stefania Jabłońska chaired the Department of Dermatology of the Warsaw School of Medicine between 1954 and 1990, and trained many students motivated by clinical science. As professor emeritus, she remained remarkably active until she had to face serious health problems.
Despite the cold war, S. Jabłońska established many international contacts and collaborations and gained a worldwide recognition for her work on immunological aspects of cutaneous autoimmune diseases, and on HPVs.
After her seminal paper “Epidermodysplasia verruciformis as a model in studies on the role of Papovaviruses in oncogenesis”, S. Jabłońska started collaborating with Gérard Orth at the Pasteur Institute in 1976.
EV was soon shown to be associated with a specific group of related HPVs and HPV-5 to be the major risk factor for EV skin cancers. Further work dealt with EV HPVs and novel cutaneous or mucosal HPV types, cutaneous warts, nonmelanoma skin cancer, cell-mediated immunity defects in EV, and the possible role of EV HPVs in psoriasis and epidermal repair processes. Stefania Jabłońska will be remembered for her extraordinary intellectual curiosity and power of conviction, and for her impressive propensity to translate new knowledge into the benefit of her patients.