Deaths: sleep researcher, accounting professor

Miodrag Radulovacki

Miodrag Radulovacki

Miodrag Radulovacki, College of Medicine

Miodrag Radulovacki, 81, a College of Medicine researcher whose studies of sleep apnea led to potential treatments for the disorder, died May 27 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Radulovacki, professor of pharmacology and medicine, established a scholarship for fourth-year UIC medical students and a summer fellowship program that brought Yugloslavian college students to study here.

He helped develop an adenosine sleep theory that describes the role of the molecule in promoting sleep. The theory, which suggests that a buildup of adenosine during the day triggers sleepiness once a critical amount is reached, still holds sway in sleep research today.

With long-time collaborator David Carley, professor and director of the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research in the College of Nursing, he pioneered pharmacological approaches to the treatment of sleep apnea. They were named UIC Co-Inventors of the Year in 2011.

Radulovacki joined UIC in 1970. After his retirement several years ago, he returned to campus to continue his research, “working almost up until the end of his life,” Carley said.

“’It’s better to do than not to do.’ That was one of his often-repeated sayings,” Carley said.

Radulovacki established the Yugoslav Academic Student Summer Program in 1990, a four-week paid fellowship to give Yugoslavian college students a chance to participate in research at UIC or Urbana-Champaign. The program lasted 12 years and brought about 40 students to the campuses each summer.

In 2005, he established the Miodrag Radulovacki Family Prize for Excellence in Basic Sciences, awarded annually to a fourth-year UIC College of Medicine student.

“Discovery is what drove him in science, but it was also the driving force behind his interest in finding bright young minds and providing students with opportunities to learn and grow,” Carley said.

Radulovacki was born and raised in Sremski Karlovci, a small town on the Danube River. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine. In 2003 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts.

He funded several projects in his hometown, including the renovation of the town center fountain and the youth education center.

He is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.


Debra Hopkins

Debra Hopkins

Debra Hopkins, College of Business Administration

Debra Hopkins, 62, a faculty member in accounting, died Sept. 1 in an automobile accident near Rockford.

Hopkins, of DeKalb, joined UIC in 2012 as an adjunct faculty member after a 27-year career on the faculty at Northern Illinois University.

”Debra was an amazing and wonderful person, full of life and cheer,” said Somnath Das, professor and head of accounting. “Her enthusiasm for the profession and her energy to prepare students for the profession was infectious to anyone that had the good fortune to know her or even interact with her casually, be it students, staff or faculty.”

Hopkins taught advanced auditing and international accounting courses. She also presented seminars on international financial reporting and auditing standards issues.

She was the author of several books, including CPA Connection, a supplement to the 11th edition of Intermediate AccountingImpact Audios: Auditing, Financial Accounting, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and the 2013 You Can Pass the CPA Exam, 4th edition.

She received the Illinois CPA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. She served on the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors, including audit committee chair, senior vice chair and board chair. She was active in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Hopkins held a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and a master’s degree in accounting science from NIU.

She is survived by her husband, Roger, son, Tony, and daughter, Megan Rae Hopkins. Contributions to the Debra Hopkins Memorial Fund may be sent to the Hopkins family in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, DeKalb, IL, 60115.

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