|From||Romania Holy Roman Empire|
|Birth||22 April 1953|
Irinel Popescu, M.D. (born on 22 April 1953, Filiași) is a Romanian surgeon. As of 2014, he was the manager of the Department of Surgery and Liver Transplantation at the Fundeni Clinical Institute.
Early life and education
Irinel Popescu was born in Filiași on April 22, 1953. He studied medicine at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest and graduated in 1977.
Popescu became a Specialist Surgeon in 1983, and in 1990, he became a General Surgeon, getting PhD from Carol Davila University Bucharest. From 1992 to 1995, he worked abroad in various locations. First, he worked in the Charite Hospital of Berlin, Germany for two weeks. Second, he worked in the Hôpital Paul-Brousse of Villejuif, France for two months. Third, he moved to the USA, where he spent half of a year at Pittsburgh University and around three years at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. After his training, he had experience exchanges with institutions from Munich (Ludwig Maximilian University), Hamburg (“Eppendorf” University), Cape Town, South Africa (Groote Schuur Hospital), Essen (University Hospital), Athens (“Palio Faliro” hospital), and Milan (“Niguarda” hospital).
After years of training and specializing, Popescu was appointed to manage the Sanitary Department of Bucharest in 1997. Also in 1997, Popescu, along with a group of other scientists, established Romtransplant, a professional organization for raising awareness of the importance of organs transplantation through several arranged national congresses. In 1998, he was appointed the Director of the Institute for Postgraduate Training of Physicians and Pharmacists. Between 1999 and 2000, he served as Viceminister of Health. Currently, Popescu guides and trains, on permanent basis, students from Faculty of Medicine of Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
He became famous in Romania after being performing the country's first liver transplant in 2000 after returning from USA. In the following years, he performed and oversaw more than 450 liver transplants and 1500 liver resections. He was also nominated to be the Expert of the European Council in matters of transplants.
During 2004-2008, he was a senator in the Romanian Parliament (elected for the Conservator Party in Dolj County) and served as Chairman of National Education Committee from the Romanian Parliament. In 2006, he established the Romanian Association of Hepato-biliary-pancreatic and Liver Transplantation, becoming its president.
In 2013, Popescu was elected to serve as a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy.
Awards and honors
Popescu has been awarded through induction as a Member of the Academy of Sciences and by receiving a Honoris Causa of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova, Honoris Causa of the University "Ovidius" of Constanta, a Honorary Professor position at the University "Ovidius" of Constanta, and a Honorary Professor position at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu Mures.
For his dedication, professionalism, and medical achievements, he has been internationally endorsed, receiving teacher degree from the ISSO (International School of Surgical Oncology). For his extraordinary merits in liver surgery and organ transplants, he has been awarded with the "Romanian Star" (a prize of national distinction), the title of High Ranking Officer, the Romanian Academy's "Iuliu Hatieganu" Award (for his work on CD “Minimally-invasive Surgery. Advanced Techniques” made with C. Dragomirescu), a Merit Diploma from Health Ministry, and the Physicists College of Romania's 2001 Award for Outstanding Achievement for scientific activity in the field of surgical specialties.
Two years later, he received the award "The Best Surgeon of 2006", mostly attributed to positive results in a survey conducted by CURS, TNS-CSOP, IMAS, and INSOMAR, as well as the highly-reported rank granted to the Romanian physicist by the jury of "Ten for Romania".
All of these efforts led to the establishment of the National Transplant Agency in 2005, an organization which he was elected to serve as President of the Board. The election served as a recognition of his contribution of establishing a National Program of Organ Transplants in Romania. From 2006 onward, this program was officially financed by the Ministry of Health.
For the field of Liver Surgery, Popescu
- Performed over 1500 liver resections, a global-level achievement for a single clinic. All techniques describes by specialty literature were incorporated by performing modern procedures, such as vascular exclusion, transparenchimatos approach, ultrasonic dissection, etc.
- Aided in changing major hepatic resections from an exceptional procedure into a routine operation. Prior to the year he joined the Fundeni Clinical Institute, there were only 41 cases in which major hepatic resections were used. This contributed into Fundeni Clinical Institute become a notable school in the field for liver surgery. As a result, many other Romanian specialist came to the school for further training.
- Contributed to the Center of General Surgery and Liver Transplantation Fundeni becoming the main national center for training for in “liver surgery and liver transplantation” overspecialization by serving as national coordinator.
- Made major contributions to the Carol Davila University Press publishing of a 2004 “Liver Surgery” dissertation by serving as editor. This dissertation incorporated the ideas from a wide array of authors, both from Romania and abroad. The work won the Romanian Academy's award “Victor Babes”.
For the field of Digestive Oncology, Popescu
- Coordinated the General Surgery and Liver Transplantation Fundeni Center, directly creating the overspecialization “oncology surgery” methodological training center by serving as national coordinator.
- Established, along with the French company RnTech, the first tumor bank (still one of few from Europe).
- Led neoplasm genomic research financed with grants won in a national competition. During this process, a brevet for the genes involved in the appearance of colorectal cancer was obtained in France.
For the field of Laparoscopic Surgery, Popescu
- Performed the first thymectomy and hepatectomy operations in Romania, thus accumulating the highest level of experience in laparoscopic colorectal surgery in all of Romania.
- Established the Romanian Association for Endoscope Surgery and Other Interventional Techniques (ARCE) in 2002, serving as its director between 2002-2006. ARCE received full membership in the European Association for Endoscope Surgery (EAES) and entered a joint program with the Italian Society for Endoscope Surgery (SICE).
- Edited the CD-ROM video “Minimally-invasive Surgery, Advanced Techniques” with Corneliu Dragomirescu. The piece was awarded the Romanian Academy's award “Iuliu Hatieganu”.
For the field of Robotic Surgery
- Made more than 50 robotic surgery interventions at Fundeni Clinical Institute. Interventions performed with the machines were for conditions including achalasia and hiatal hernias, cervical cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, myasthenia gravis (involving a thymic-thymectomy), and hematological disorders (involving a splenectomy or hepatic resection). The first approach of these cases involves laparoscopic surgery, but the goal still to have more interventions incorporate robotic surgery. This system of procedures is used by both Fundeni Clinical Institute residents and non-residents. A significantly advantage of robotic surgery is that operations can be performed from remote distances. A famous example involved the surgeon Jaques Marescaux operating from New York on the extraction of a gallbladder from a patient located in Strasbourg.
Popescu has organized various events with national and international impact:
- Served as President of 17th World Congress of the International Association of Surgeons, Gastroenterologists and Oncologists, Bucharest from 5-8 September 2007.
- Served as President of the 8th Symposiums and Postgraduate Courses of Romanian Section of IASC.
- During the 5th Symposium from 9-11 April 2003 in Bucharest, he delivered the “Doctor Honoris Causa” title to Thomas E. Starzl, on behalf of “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest for his activity in initiation and development of liver transplantation
- Member of the "Hepato-gastroenterology" editorial board
- Deputy Editor of the "Archives de l'Union Medicale Balkanique" ("Archives of the Balkan Medical Union")
- Member of the "Journal of Telemedicine and E-Health" editorial board
- Member of "The Open Transplantațion Journal" editorial board
- Member of the European Society of Transplantation
- Member of the Executive Committee of "International Association of Surgeons and Gastroenterologists" (IASG) since 2002
- Member of the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) since 2002
- Member of TTS (The Transplantation Society) since 2006
- Member of the ESA (European Surgical Association) since 2007
- Honorary member of the National Chapter for Serbia and Montenegro of the IHBA (International Hepato-pancreato-biliary Association) since 2005
- Honorary member of the Bulgarian Surgical Society since 2006
- Honorary member of the Serbian Medical Association, Surgical Section since 2006
- Honorary member of the Chinese Society of Surgery since 2007
- Member of the European Academy of Surgical Sciences since 2002
He has been a member of the National Academy of Surgery (France) since 2003, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 2005, a honorary member of Academy of Sciences of Moldova since 2007, a permanent Member of the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences (where he chairs the Clinical and Experimental Surgery Department), and a permanent Member of Romanian Academy of Sciences (where he is the Chairman of the Medicine Department).
Popescu was elected to review the publications Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery, Hepato-gastroenterology Surgery, and European Journal of Surgical Oncology.