Roger Loria, was born in Antwerp on April 19, 1940 to Wolf and Margot Loria. Roger’s father Wolf was born on January 12, 1912 in Oswiecim, Poland. He immigrated to Belgium as a young man to work as a diamond trader. While in Belgium he met and married Belgium citizen, Margot Loria (née Maisel). After the Third Reich invaded Belgium in 1940, Wolf and Margot decided to flee the country for Dunkirk, France. They were caught while traveling and forced to return to Antwerp. Because Poland was also occupied, Wolf, still a Polish citizen, worried that his now stateless status would put his wife and child at risk. He decided to leave for France on his own with the hopes that Margot and Roger would follow at a later date. Wolf was caught in France and deported to the Drancy camp. From there he was transferred to Auschwitz in September 1942. He survived until a month before the end of the war when he perished during a death march.
In 1942 Margot and Roger made their way to France to find Wolf. The pair was detained in the country with other mothers and children. Margot escaped with Roger after German forces came to deport the detainees, but was caught once again and deported to Rivesaltes. Margot and Roger managed to escape again, and headed towards Switzerland. They were caught at the border by Swiss police and sent to a refugee camp within Switzerland. They remained there until the end of the war when they were repatriated back to Belgium. Margot later moved herself and Roger to Israel in 1949. From Israel, Roger eventually moved to the States to continue his education as a Rockefeller Foundation scholar. He came to learn and stayed to help, with an academic career spanning 52 years, thousands of medical and graduate students, and a vast number of contributions to the field of medicine and basic science. Roger is an internationally recognized expert in virology and immunology and an emeritus professor at VCU’s Medical College. He has many patents in immune therapies and travels widely to lecture on his scientific discoveries. Roger lives in Richmond with his wife Win and they have two daughters.