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Two Presidents of the CSSI receive the Spirit of Budapest Award

Robert on left and Antonio before a session at Quebec Congress

For only the second and third time, the CSSI Service Award was presented during the Quebec Congress to Robert M. Tanguay and Antonio DeMaio for extraordinary contributions to our society.  Professor Tanguay has been CSSI President twice and was co-organizer of the two very successful CSSI International Workshops held in China in 1999 and 2004.  In addition, Robert organized the inaugural congress in Quebec in 2003 and he also organized the most recent congress in Quebec City in 2011.  He is a founding member of the Editorial Board of Cell Stress & Chaperones journal and he raised funds that carried our society through some difficult financial times.  Professor DeMaio was the first two-year president of CSSI.  He mounted the first successful membership drive as one of his presidential goals.  In addition, he was co-organizer of the successful international workshop in Chile in 2006 and he stepped in at the last minute to help guide the workshop in South Korea in 2010.  Antonio is a member of the editorial board of Cell Stress & Chaperones and he is currently leading the development of the CSSI in South America.

To add a little historical background on the service award, we must go back to the first international workshop in China in 1999.  Peter Csermely, founding secretary-treasurer of CSSI presented a small gold-leaf picture of a famous building in Budapest to Founding President Larry Hightower in recognition of his work in setting up the nuts and bolts of the society.  As Peter and Larry began the work of establishing CSSI, they began talking about the great enthusiasm shown by participants of the 1997 World Conference on Stress organized by Peter in Budapest.  This energy was one of the stimulants for establishing the CSSI and we began describing it as the spirit of Budapest.  Peter brought the small picture in his carry-on bag from Budapest to Wuhan, China.  After he gave the picture to Larry along with kind words of thanks, they both agreed that it was symbolic of the spirit of Budapest, and so the name of the CSSI Service Award was created.  In the spirit of the original, this award is made by the Secretary-treasurer.  After all, who in a society is in a better position to know the members who are doing the work?

Spirit of Budapest, CSSI Service Award