Humberto Moran

Humberto Moran

Venezuelan scientist
Date of Birth: 18.02.1924
Country: Venezuela

  1. Biography of Umberto Fernandez Moran
  2. Contributions to Science
  3. Political Career and Exile
  4. Awards and Recognition
  5. Personal Life and Legacy

Biography of Umberto Fernandez Moran

Umberto Fernandez Moran was a Venezuelan scientist who achieved success in various fields throughout his life. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, he developed a passion for medicine which led him to study at the University of Munich. In 1944, he completed his medical education and became interested in the ideas underlying electron microscopy.

Humberto Moran

Contributions to Science

Umberto Fernandez Moran is best known for his invention of the diamond knife, which significantly improved the precision of ultrathin sectioning for electron microscopes. Inspired by his observations of the powerful Angel Falls in Venezuela, he developed the diamond knife and later applied it to cryoultramicrotomy, allowing scientists to obtain extremely thin slices of samples. Additionally, Fernandez Moran advanced electron cryomicroscopy by developing efficient techniques using superconducting electromagnetic lenses immersed in liquid helium.

Humberto Moran

Political Career and Exile

During the Marcos Perez Jimenez regime, Fernandez Moran served as the Minister of Science. However, his time in this position was short-lived as the regime was overthrown, forcing him to flee the country. Despite his exile, Fernandez Moran remained active in scientific projects, including the NASA Apollo Project, and taught at prestigious universities around the world.

Awards and Recognition

Throughout his career, Fernandez Moran received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to science. In 1967, he was awarded the John Scott Award for his invention of the diamond knife. He was also honored with the Order of the Polar Star by the Swedish government and received the Claude Bernard Medal from the University of Montreal. Furthermore, Cambridge University awarded him an annual medical prize.

Personal Life and Legacy

Umberto Fernandez Moran was married to Anna, a Swedish woman, and they had two daughters, Veronica and Brigida Elena. He passed away on March 17, 1999, at the age of 75. His body was cremated, and his ashes were buried in Stockholm, which had become his second home. In 1986, Fernandez Moran donated his extensive collection of documents, scientific works, and books to the National Library of Medicine.