The Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia is a major research centre for epidemiology, and the prevention of disease and promotion of health in Slovenia. Public health activities in Slovenia have a long-standing tradition. The creation of the Institute was one of the achievements of Dr. Andrija Štampar who was the first president of the World Health Organisation. Gradually, the Institute was transformed and in 1992 the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) with 9 regional IPH was established by the government. Its professional area covers all public health fields from laboratory activities to health promotion and mental hygiene. Research activities in the field of mental health problems also have a long-standing tradition, especially in the epidemiology research of drug misuse, alcohol dependence and completed suicide, the latter two being the outstanding public health concerns of the country. With foundation of the Mental Health Department, many other areas in mental public health have started to be investigated, with liaison psychiatry (e.g. an international project on depression and diabetes) and suicide research (e.g. and international collaboration on molecular genetics of suicide behaviour) amongst them.
Assistant Professor Andrej Marusic
Andrej Marusic is director of the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia. He has performed research of international quality in areas relevant to this project. He has completed several scientific projects and has published many papers in the field of epidemiology. For one of his studies in this field he has been awarded by the Psychiatry Research Trust with the Conor Egan Prize. He has also obtained many national grants for his research at the Ministry of Science at the Republic of Slovenia and the Eli Lilly Travelling Fellowship by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the U.K. As far as his experience in co-ordination is concerned, he is directing the Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia with 230 employees covering areas from mental hygiene to the laboratory activities. He is also active as the National WHO Co-ordinator for Mental Health. Furthermore, he successfully organised the 1st and the 2nd International Meeting: "Suicide: Interplay of Genes and Environment" and is organising the third one under the same title in May 2004.
Assistant Professor Mojca Dernovšek
Mojca Dernovšek is a specialist psychiatrist working as a clinician at the Psychiatry Clinic Ljubljana (80%) and as a researcher at the Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia (20%). She has completed her higher degrees in Slovenia at the Pathophysiology Department of the Medical Faculty. She has been involved in several national and some international scientific projects and has published several papers in international scientific journals.
Saška Roškar is a young researcher, only recently employed by the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia. She has completed her BSc in neuropsychology only couple of months ago. Most recently she has started her MSc and PhD studies in neurobiological factors of suicide behaviour under supervision of Dr. Andrej Marusic.
Maja Zorko is a promising young researcher with great potential. Her mainly interest and expertise is in suicide risk evaluation of persons who suffer from alcohol dependency syndrome. Furthermore she is involved in several suicide related research projects. She is about to complete her thesis.