The ESR Board of Directors is extremely saddened at the loss of Prof. Dr. Natalia Rotaru in autumn 2020. Natalia was the Chair of Radiology at the “Nicolae Testemiţanu” State University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Chisinau, Moldova and a great friend of the European Society of Radiology. Her commitment to imaging will be sorely missed.
Natalia gained her MD in 1989 at the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Chisinau, Moldova. She worked for almost a decade from 1990 to 1999 at the Institute of Oncology in Chisinau where she acted as a radiology attending physician. Alongside this role, she worked extraordinarily hard at the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM) and between 1992 to 2001, she advanced from her initial position as Assistant Professor in Radiology and Medical Imaging to Dean of Postgraduate Medical Residency Training. Obtaining her Ph.D in 1996 in medical imaging at the State University of Medicine & Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, helped her in her academic advancement and certainly solidified her interest in radiology. In particular, her medical interests lay primarily in breast imaging and breast cancer. She also held a number of subspecialty certifications, including in the fields of mammography, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound Imaging, Interventional Radiology. As a keen academic researcher, she successfully authored over 100 publications during her career.
In 2008, Natalia became a Professor of Radiology at the “Nicolae Testemitanu” State University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Chisinau, from which, she was able to take on a number of outside administrative and research appointments, including her roles as Chair of the Certification Board of Radiology and Radiation Therapy in the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection of Moldova and Chair of the Radiology and Medical Imaging Legislation Committee in that same ministry.
A friend to many international colleagues, Natalia was a keen traveller and attended dozens of professional conferences throughout her career. She was also the recipient of a number of national and international awards.
Natalia was a committed physician and did not shy away from her responsibilities, even when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe. Her contraction of the virus during her clinical duties and her untimely death at the age of 57 thereafter in autumn 2020, is a mark of her dedication to patient care and the profession she worked in. This dedication is a fine example of the qualities that we should look for in radiology. She will be missed by our community.