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Prof. Peter Ivanovich was born in Tacoma, Washington, USA on November 9, 1928, and died in Chicago on November 16, 2019.

After being educated by the father of chronic hemodialysis, Belding Scribner, in Seattle, P. Ivanovich devotes himself to the study of hemodialysis and its treatment in patients with chronic terminal renal failure.

From 1971 he worked at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago where he created a hemodialysis unit at the Veteran Affairs Hospital.

In the well-equipped hemodialysis unit, the latest hemodialysis techniques were studied and new drugs were tested. Numerous doctors from all over the world, as well as from Macedonia, visited and researched at the unit with P. Ivanovich.

P. Ivanovich has frequently visited Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia, where he participated with his lectures. He helped in the development of nephrology in the Balkan Peninsula.

Significant is his participation in the First Scientific Meeting of the Nephrologists of Yugoslavia, Struga, 26-28. IX 1977 and in the creation of BANTAO in Ohrid on 9. IX 1993 - during the First Congress of the Macedonian Society of Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation and Artificial Organs.

Prof. P. Ivanovich is in the lasting memory of the nephrologists of North Macedonia as a renowned nephrologist, cosmopolitan and friend of patients and doctors.


The sad news about the death of Acad. Yucel Kanpolat (September 17, 2016), a famous scholar, a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery, and a friend of the Republic of Macedonia, saddened the members of the Editorial Board of the journal PRILOZI of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, of which he was a member, as well as the other members of the Academy. Yucel Kanpolat was an international figure, linking Turkey to almost every country in the world. Neurosurgery has lost a very special surgeon, scientist and humanitarian. During the visit to the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2011, we discussed the cooperation between the Turkish Academy of Sciences and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which he respected very much, as well as the role of the academies. He delivered a lecture on The Mission of Academia in the Age of Science, PRILOZI, MASA, XXXII, 2, p. 7-10 (2011), which we reprint in addition.


The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MASA), held a scientific workshop for journal editors in biomedicine: “Publishing integrity and good practices in editing in biomedicine” on April 25, 2014 in MASA, Skopje. The meeting looked into old problems and new situations in editing and publishing, with emphasis on the situation in developing countries.

This global knowledge-based society is founded on the results obtained from scientific research. The data from basic research in developed countries contribute in a quite substantial manner to the newly added economic value. One of the main reasons for underdevelopment in South Eastern Europe (SEE) is certainly a low or non-existent contribution of scientific research in the newly added economic value. This has largely to do with the perception of the political elites which simply lack the insight on the crucial importance of science in development. In the long term this leads to societies in which there are distortions in the understanding of the most basic values.

Academic publishing has experienced tremendous growth: so far there are at least 50 million scientific articles. Interestingly, publishing in developing countries has experienced a rate of growth higher than in developed countries. However, this is not the case with the Balkan countries.

The meeting looked at some old and some newly emerging problems in editing and publishing.

First, the high cost for universities and researchers to purchase journals adversely affects both publishing and editing. In developing countries the high cost of purchasing scientific literature is an almost insurmountable problem in spite of the fact that some publishing companies offer discounted fees. Open access journals in South Eastern European (SEE) countries are hardly achievable as this also incurs costs that have to be covered in some way or other.

The peer review process has the fundamental difficulty that reviewers are in the situation of a Procrustean bed, tending to accept reports which support the reviewer's concepts of thinking and, like Procrustes, cutting everything else out. Authorship is often a contentious issue, as undeserved authors appear on the list of authors.

Some principles are now a norm in academic publishing. This applies to the declaration of a conflict of interest, the consent of the patient and the approval of the Ethical Board of the institution.

This global informational technological revolution has, unfortunately, led to largely widespread and increasingly sophisticated deviations: plagiarism, data fabrication and data falsification as forms of scientific misconduct. Those events are now more widespread than in the past. Luckily new tools to track them are much better than previously. The race for perfect publishing integrity and for the best good practices in editing in biomedicine is on. New and old challenges will be met. The benevolent and caring society, educated professionals and an enlightened public remain essential preconditions. The wealth of nations depends on R&D and consequently on academic publishing.


Several biomedical journals in the Republic of Macedonia have succeeded in maintaining regular publication over the years, but only a few have a long-standing tradition. In this paper we present the basic characteristics of 18 biomedical journals that have been published without a break in the Republic of Macedonia. Of these, more details are given for 14 journals, a particular emphasis being on the journal Prilozi/Contributions of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Section of Medical Sciences as one of the journals with a long-term publishing tra-dition and one of the journals included in the Medline/PubMed database. A brief or broad description is given for the following journals: Macedonian Medical Review, Acta Morphologica, Physioacta, MJMS - Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, International Medical Journal Medicus, Archives of Public Health, Epilepsy, Macedonian Orthopaedics and Traumatology Journal, BANTAO Journal, Macedonian Dental Review, Macedonian Pharmaceutical Bulletin, Macedonian Veterinary Review, Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics, Contributions of the Macedonian Scientific Society of Bitola, Vox Medici, Social Medicine: Professional Journal for Public Health, and Prilozi/Contributions of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Journals from Macedonia should aim to be published regularly, should comply with the Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals, and with the recommendations of reliable organizations working in the field of publishing and research. These are the key prerequisites which Macedonian journals have to accomplish in order to b? included in renowned international bibliographic databases. Thus the results of biomedical science from the Republic of Macedonia will be presented to the international scientific arena.


Rare renal diseases (RRD) are an important category of rare disease (RD) as they can do great damage to the patients, families and society. The patient may undergo years even decades of numerous investigations including invasive procedures and yet not have definitive and precise diagnose and therefore, no opportunity for appropriate treatment. The great progress in molecular genetic techniques characterized many Mendelian diseases on molecular level. This gave the possibility for appropriate prevention and treatment interventions, genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis. Herein, we summarize the current status of RRD in Macedonia. The research interest of Macedonian clinicians and scientists is focused on the genetics of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, nephrolithiasis and nephrocalcinosis, cystic diseases and cilliopathies with collaborations with eminent laboratories in Unites States and Europe. This collaboration resulted in detection of new genes and pathophysiological pathways published in The New England Journal of Medicine and in other high impact journals. Macedonian health professionals have knowledge and equipment for diagnosis of RRD. Unfortunately the lack of finances is great obstacle for early and appropriate diagnosis. Participation in the international registries, studies and trials should be encouraged. This would result in significant benefit for the patients, health professionals and science.


The Balkan Cities Association of Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation and Artificial Organs (BANTAO) was established in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia on October 9, 1993 during the First Congress of the Macedonian Society of Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation and Artificial Organs (MSNDTAO).

The idea of the founders was that such Society would have a clear impact on several aspects of practice and research in nephrology and artificial organs in the Balkans, firstly, by increasing its international visibility and potential collaborative work, and recognition by international organizations. Secondly, such a society would facilitate the exchange of experience and knowledge between experts in our area. In addition, it would be a very positive symbolic act showing that collaborative work for the betterment of life is possible and desirable in our area and that coming together will bear better fruits at the human and cultural levels. It will also send a very clear signal to the outside world that the Balkans can be a place of collaboration and mutual understanding. Several international bodies such as the International Society of Artificial Organs and the International Faculty of Artificial Organs have signaled their interest in and support for the creation of such a society. Despite the turbulent times in the Balkan Peninsula, the First BANTAO Congress was held in Varna from September 22 to 24, 1995, which was an impressive event. F. Valderrabano, Chairman of the EDTA–ERA registry reported on that event with a lot of sympathy in the paper entitled “Nephrologists of the Balkan countries meet across political frontiers and war fronts – an example to politicians. The foundation of and the Second Congress of BANTAO were also well accepted by the colleagues nephrologists from Russia. The Second Congress was held on September 6-10, 1997 in Struga, the Third BANTAO Congress was held on September 18-20, 1998 in Belgrade, the Fourth Congress of BANTAO was held in Izmir on November 14-16, 1999, the Fifth Congress of BANTAO was held in Thessaloniki on September 30 – October 3, 2001, the 6th BANTAO Congress was held in Varna, on October 6-9, 2003, the 7th BANTAO Congress was held in Ohrid, on September 8-11, 2005, the 8th BANTAO Congress was held in Belgrade, on September 16-19, 2007, the 9th BANTAO Congress was held in Antalya, November 18-22, 2009, the 10th BANTAO Congress was held in Chalkidiki, October 13-15, 2011, the 11th BANTAO Congress was held from 26 to 29 September 2013 in Timisoara on the 20th Anniversary of the foundation of BANTAO, the 12th BANTAO Congress was held on October 15-18, 2015 in Opatija, the 13th BANTAO Congress was held on 4-8 October, 2017 in Sarajevo, the 14th BANTAO Congress was held on September 20-23, 2018, in Budva and the 15th BANTAO Congress was held in Skopje, 26-29 September 2019.

Another milestone in the life of BANTAO was the appearance of the BANTAO journal in 2003, which has been published biannually since then. In the past 17 years there have been 33 editions of the journal and seven supplements reporting BANTAO congresses. The editors of the journal past and present are: 2003–2005 (Dimitar Nenov); 2005–2009 (Ali Basci); 2009–(Goce Spasovski). Up to date, more than 400 papers have been published. The BANTAO journal is registered on EBSCO, DOAJ, SCOPUS, and has become a strong ‘glue’ among nephrologists from the Balkan cities. The BANTAO congresses and the BANTAO journal have succeeded in elevating nephrology knowledge and thus increased the standards of nephrology patient care throughout the Balkans. Standing above the divisive forces of politics, language and war, BANTAO gives a living example that collaboration and humility are feasible in times of maddening destruction, and are transformative.


The sixth SEE meeting on rare diseases (RDs) was held in MASA the November 10th, 2017. A block of lectures on rare renal diseases started the meeting: nephrotic syndrome, Alport syndrome, atypical HUS, hypophosphatemic rickets, CAKUT were presented in all complexities. Their molecular and genetic mechanisms were discussed. The discovery of a dozen of newly genes in CAKUT, congenital overgrowth, spodilocostal dysplasia, precocious puberty has been done with collaboration of Macedonian and foreign researchers. NGS and other molecular methods in diagnosis of RDs have been presented by several presenters. The mitochondrial diseases, the novelties and importance of early discovery were comprehensively presented and discussed. The genetics and treatment of persistent neonatal hypoglcaemia were of special interest. Dysmorphic syndromes (Klippel Feil) were also presented. A session of oral electronic posters was reach and inspiring. Several lectures dealt with mucopolisaccaridoses, glycogen storage diseases and the possibilities for their diagnosis and treatment. Enzyme replacement treatement (ERT), its availability, effects (or the lack of it on the brain), intratecal ERT administration and further prospects of eventual gene treatment were comprehensively exposed and discussed. The main purposes of this traditional meeting are hopefully fulfilled: increased number of patients with RDs treated and cutting edge presentations got.


Aleksandar J. Ignjatovski was born in the Smolensk Region, Russia, on 18.03.1875. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in St. Petersburg in 1899 where he started specialization in internal medicine and continued in Berlin, Heidelberg, Munich and Paris. In 1905 he was elected assistant professor in St. Petersburg, continued as an associate professor in Odessa in 1908 and a full-time professor in 1912 in Warsaw. During the October Revolution, he was the Head of the Internal Clinic in Rostov, and in 1920 he emigrated to Belgrade. In 1922 he was appointed full professor and Director of the First Internal Clinic at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, which he established, developed and managed until his retirement in 1946. In 1948 he moved to Skopje as a full professor and first Director of the Internal Clinic at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje. He studied the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis and first proved it experimentally, and published a paper in 1908, indicating that it was associated with higher blood cholesterol level. He also dealt with immunobiology and infectious diseases, in particular tuberculosis and tetanus. Prof. A. Ignjatovski was an excellent clinician, teacher and scientist, who published over 80 papers. His most important textbooks are “Clinical Semiotics and Symptomatic Therapy”, in two editions, in Russian (1919) and in Serbian (1929-37), and “The Basics of Internal Propedeutics” in three volumes, published in Skopje in 1952, 1954 and 1963. The work of Prof. A. Ignjatovski, as a leading clinician and a great teacher and scientist, is embedded in the development of internal medicine, and medicine in general, in Russia, Serbia and Macedonia. The bright memorial of the founder and first director of the Internal Medicine Clinic and the first Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje has been permanently incorporated in the history of medicine in R. Macedonia. Prof. A. Ignjatovski died on 18.08.1955.


The 4th meeting on rare diseases in South Eastern Europe (SEE) was held in Skopje, at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MASA) on the 14th of November 2015. The focuses were metabolic, rare brain diseases as well as the rare dysmorphic syndrome. The authors of the report are particularly keen on stating that one of the main goals of the meeting, namely to help the treatment of patients with rare disease has begun to bear fruits. The talk on an iminosugar-based pharmacological chaperone compound as a drug candidate for the treatment of GM1-gangliosidosis and mucopolysaccharidosis IVB (Morquio disease type B) was enlightening. To date, there is no treatment available to be offered to patients, but chaperones lead mutated proteins to adopt a native-like conformation and to successfully traffic to their normal cellular destination. DORPHAN is developing an iminosugar-based pharmacological chaperone compound for the treatment of GM1-gangliosidosis and mucopolysaccharidosis IVB.

A talk on recent developments in the laboratory diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) was particularly interesting, covering the laboratory diagnosis of the MPS diseases by a strategy of clinical examination, biochemical analysis of urine samples, enzyme tests and genetic characterization of underlying mutations. New techniques were developed, including analysis of urinary glycosaminoglycans with tandem mass spectrometry, miniaturized enzyme tests or novel synthetic substrates for enzyme assays using mass spectrometry detection of products using dried blood spots. Feasibility and cost-effectiveness of these methods in newborn screening programs have been demonstrated.

Neuromuscular RDs, and especially familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP) were a topic of the Bulgarian colleagues. Diagnosis, screening and the role of microglia were also topics of particular interest. In summary, this year RD meeting was exciting and productive on a wide range of diseases and on a novel insights on diagnosis and treatment. New methods are expanding our capabilities for a fast and precise diagnosis. Novel knowledge offers better distinction on whom to treat with which medications (e.g. steroid dependent nephrotic syndrome). Novel diseases or variants are published (segmental overgrowth). The authors of the report are particularly keen on stating that one of the main goals of the meeting, namely to help the treatment of patients with rare disease has begun to bear fruits. Namely, the Health Fund of Macedonia for the first time treats the patients with Gaucher′s disease. We are hopeful that the number of patients treated for Gaucher′s disease and the number of treated patients with other treatable RDs diseases will continue to grow.