Ioan Moraru – Romanian Nobel Peace Prize laureate

There is an exceptional Romanian who won the Nobel Peace Prize: IOAN MORARU.

And he managed this during Ceausescu’s time, when it was very difficult to do anything, the means were few, and the head of state wanted him to be the Romanian Nobel laureate.

That is why we do not even know this special Romanian who received the award on his own merit, for immense work and who had a certain efficiency.

Many people say that it is not possible to do good.
I also say that these are difficult conditions, sometimes unbearable and that there is no point in acting.

What a trivial mistake!

Here is a man who lived in the “age of impossibility” – in communism – and managed to do something, to have efficiency and to be recognized, although the authorities were against him.

Only the lazy, malevolent and imaginary stand on the sidelines, say that everything is impossible and possibly criticize another who has the wisdom to act.
When it’s hard, it’s all the more important to act and do good.
To know and not to act is a great cowardice.

He initiated the establishment of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Three people were the leaders of this world organization: a Russian, an American, and a Romanian! He was not a Romanian émigré who had fled the country, but a Romanian living in Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania. His name is IOAN MORARU and, to the embarrassment of our sometimes ungrateful nation, he still remains (even today) an illustrious unknown among his compatriots. After receiving the famous distinction, he quickly entered a shadow cone. How many have heard of him?

He died in 1989, 3 days before December 22, but he managed to remain in the consciousness of his students and colleagues with whom he shared his passion for medicine. He continued the research work started by Victor Babeş in the field of pathological anatomy, standing out through numerous discoveries in the field. He headed the Institute of Pathological Anatomy in Bucharest, in this place one of the theaters now bearing his name.

The Nobel Peace Prize received by Ioan Moraru in Oslo in 1985 he shared with two colleagues: a Russian and an American. These are Mikhail Kuzin, from the former USSR, and Bernard Lown, from the USA. Of the three, Moraru was the only one about whom nothing was known in his country that year, the other two being, obviously, cheered by his compatriots. The three had known each other since the 60s and decided to establish a world organization for the prevention of nuclear war. The greater is the merit of Moraru, who became the head of this organization, given that he has not managed to establish a branch in Romania since then.

Ioan Moraru was born in 1927, in Dârlos, near Medias, being among the few Romanians who know that one of their villagers won a Nobel Prize.

Ioan Moraru is the only Romanian Nobel laureate who was born and lived in Romania.

The other laureates:

George Emil Palade, Romanian-born American physician and scientist, specialist in cell biology, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974, which he shared with Albert Claude and Christian de Duve.

Elie Wiesel, a Sighetu Marmatiei-born American Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Herta Muller, born in Banat, won in 2009 the Nobel Prize for Literature for Germany.

Ioan Moraru was a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine in Cluj, doctor of medical sciences (since 1957) and docent doctor (since 1968). He worked successively at the departments of pathophysiology, forensic medicine and morphopathology, going through all hierarchical stages, from preparator to head professor.

He was the director of the Mina Minovici Forensic Institute and director of the Victor Babeș Institute, full member and vice-president of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He represented Romania at the World Health Organization as a member of the Executive Committee and vice-president of this committee.

He was Secretary General (1964–1966) and then Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Health (1966–1969); first described the Fc receptor for IgA on human thymocytes from myasthenia gravis.

His scientific activity materializes in treatises and monographs and over 300 papers published in journals in the country and abroad. He is the author of an “Introduction to molecular genetics” (in collaboration with St. Antohi, 1964), and under his editorship appear the treatises of “Forensic Medicine” (1967), “Pathological Anatomy” (1980), “Dictionary of Immunology” (together with E. Păunescu, 1981), “Immunopathology” (1984) and collaborates on the volume “Methods in Enzymology” (New York, 1983).

Working for over 3 decades in the field of pathological anatomy in the laboratories of the Department of Pathological Anatomy of the Institute of Medicine in Moscow, at the Department of Pathological Anatomy of IML Bucharest and then at the “Victor Babeș” Institute in Bucharest, he studied a variety of casuistry related to hyaline membrane disease, pulmonary histological docimasis in the newborn, intrauterine pneumonia, hypertoxic meningitis, cerebral vascular lesions in methyl alcohol intoxication, Tanatogenesis by fibroblastosis and primitive myocarditis in children, lung cancer metastases, metastases in the endocrine glands, breast carcinoma, mechanism of liver damage, toxic hepatitis and nutritional experimental cirrhosis and others.

For years, Professor Moraru was denied the opening of a branch of the organization aimed at participating in international conferences.

The unenthusiastic recognition of his performances came after the fall of the communist regime, when he was received, posthumously, in the Romanian Academy.

Leonard Raduts
president of the AdAnima Academic Society

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