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ANDREJ MARUŠIČ: a life on the Cutting Edge

Two years ago, European Suicidology lost one of its most brilliant representatives: a premature, fatal illness took the life of Slovenian psychiatrist Andrej Marusic.

Andrej MarusicHis various-ranging intelligence and knowledge, his never-full hunger for learning and achieving, his child-like curiosity for science and all the life things in general, his explosive and unstoppable thinking led to a scientific contribution that comprises both an ever-original completion of the basic achievements in suicidology coming from a classical approach to the field, that is, epidemiologic, psychopathology, sociologic studies on suicide, both a progressive production that realized his personal paradigm of suicide as fruit of the interaction between genes and environment. His early interest in the genetic determinants of suicidal behaviours followed through in his research carrier, towards the deepening of their relationships with acquired factors, in which the development of abnormal behaviour resulted as an emergent property of the "gene-environment" product. He originally came to comprehensively contribute on the matter either "at the bench", through research in molecular genetics and the testing of innovative techniques - altough many of his studies have remained unfinished - either through theoretical reflections, whose reading is among the most precious legacy Andrej left us, and finally by bringing together scientist to raise interests and create a turmoil on the subject.

In this, he was greatly favored by his leader attitudes, the grouping and interpersonal capacity and his unforgettable communicative style, which in the end reached to create a fresh airwave in the European Suicidology of the new millennium. Scientific initiatives he was architect of, such as the European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Beahviour, ESSSB, and the biannual International Meeting "Suicide: Interplay of Genes and Environment" remain and remind us of a great suicidologist, whose ferment has been stopped too early by life... at least, in the way that something we feel is missing - altough it is only hiding inside us now, rather than spreading out.

The International Context of Suicidology decided to fund the establishment of three research prizes dedicated to Andrej Marusic, that will be awarded during the Congress. The awards are based on the contribution of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR) and the organizers of the 13th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB).
The prizes will be awarded to the best scientific contributions to the Congress in the field of biology of suicide, suicide prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviour, by young researchers. Applicants should be under 40 years old, or have less then 5 years of experience in the field of suicidology, and should firstly submit their scientific contribution through the Congress website. Applicants should also submit by e-mail to the organising Committee ( a letter of application stating their name, title, affiliation and why their work is important; a CV no longer then 4 pages and a 1500 word summary of their scientific contribution.
Deadline for applications is June 14th 2010.

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ESSSB13: 13th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour
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