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Monica Acalovschi graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 1970. She completed her internship and residency at the University clinics in Cluj-Napoca and has remained there ever since. In 1977 she obtained a PhD. She followed an academic career and is now a professor at the 3rd Medical Clinic of the University of Medicine in Cluj-Napoca.
In 1992 she founded the English-written Romanian Journal of Gastroenterology, which in 2002 was accepted in Index Medicus/Medline and in 2007 in ISI Thomson Reuters, Science Citation Index Expanded. Since 2006, the journal has another title, Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases. She is member of the editorial team of some national and international journals, a member of the Education Committee of WGO, and of many national and international societies of gastroenterology. In June 2009 she was elected President of the Romanian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She has published over 280 papers, 8 monographs and is author of about 100 chapters in Romanian and (a few) in international gastroenterology books. Her main research interests are the epidemiology of hepatobiliary diseases (gallstones, biliary tract tumors, hepatocellular carcinoma, viral hepatitis), gallbladder motility, cholestasis.
She is married to Iurie Acalovschi, professor of anesthesiology, and has two daughters, both graduates - Daniela and Andreea.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- The Department of Gastroenterology was the best-organized department I worked on during my internship.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- My first professor, Octavian Fodor, who accepted me as his assistant and who was the greatest personality in Romanian gastroenterology at that time. He remained a model for me in scientific research, clinical practice and academic behaviour.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- "Diet and Gallstones" by Kenneth Heaton presented at the first international meeting I attended, in Budapest 1976. After sustaining in 1977 my PhD thesis on protein-losing gastroenteropathies, I became "infatuated" with gallstones and 'dedicated my life to them' (as characterized by K. W. Heaton: Gut 1977; 41: 860).
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That gallstone prevalence increased significantly over a century (Dig Dis Sci 1987). Not really a discovery, but it referred to the longest period ever surveyed. I also found that gallstone incidence in liver cirrhosis was related to disease severity (Am J Gastroenterol 1991) and to an impaired gallbladder motility (Gut 1997). But probably the most important was my contribution to the identification of the first common susceptibility factor for gallstones in humans, together with the German team conducted by Frank Lammert (Hepatology 2007: 46: 793).
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Not having published in international journals my previous research work on intestinal protein exudation. (PhD thesis).
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To learn Spanish. I still hope to do this in the future.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That I was already 43 when Romania was rid of communism and only then we could establish contacts with the Western world.
- How do you relax?
- Reading 20th and 21st century novels.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Tennis and Skiing - now only watching.
- What is your best place in the world?
- Our wooden chalet in Smida, an Alpine hamlet in the Western Carpathians.
- What is your favorite film?
- The Godfather with Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
- What car do you drive?
- An Audi A6.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My computer - arranging PowerPoint slideshows for my courses for my students and Congress lecturers, and editing our Journal.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- I was invited by Roy Pounder to join the Global Academic Faculty team, I realized GastroHep.com represented the future trend in the global development of gastroenterology and hepatology. The development of the site surpassed my expectations.