Cuero, Raul G. Between Triumph and Survival. 2004.
Born and raised in Buenaventura, one of the poorest town in Colombia, when he was growing up. He has lived half of his life between USA and Europe, and the UK. He has traveled throughout all the world, and understands four languages. Since early age Dr. Raul Cuero developed a strong affinity for science. Due to poverty he did not have toys or time to play, thus the crawling animals became his passion. He was intrigued by the roaches and lizards’ behaviors, which were abundant in his environment. Because of his low economic situation, and social predicament he knew at early age that he needed to become creative and the best in whatever he decided to specialize. That’s how Dr. Cuero became an outstanding athlete and scientist. Today he is glad that his passion for science and intellectual creativity was stronger than his youth’s favorite sport, basket ball, in which he became one of the best national player in his country.
During the 1950’s more than 30% of the children in his hometown Buenaventura died from diseases such as parasites, malaria, tuberculosis and viral diseases before reaching the age of ten. The life that Dr. Cuero lived during his early stages of life was one of downs and ups. Having to reflect and act, rather than complain.
With no intention of becoming a scientist, he was the top student of his science classes. After earning a scholarship that gave him the opportunity to explore the world. Thus, after receiving a degree in biology from Colombia, he was offered an academic scholarship to continue his education in the United States in Biology, and Plant Pathology, and later he was awarded with another scholarship to earn his Ph.D in Microbiology in the United Kingdom. The change was hard, and the loneliness that he faced was brutal, but the existing opportunities to develop himself to the best of his potential motivated him to pursue and learn even more. He has received many scientific awards, and recognitions including the honor of “Distinguished Professor of Microbiology” for his inventions and/or creativity. Also, his constant traveling around the world since early age as an athlete and later as a science research and/or lecturer, have made him appreciative of the importance of the “unknown” and different cultures. Thus having better understanding of life and harmonious living.
As Dr. Cuero’s own words describes “Many, including myself want to exceed our intellectual potential in order to survive the pain of being ignorant”. He also states that only through creativity he has been able to have a real sense of absolute belonging and freedom.
Dr. Cuero has become a renowned scientist and inventor in the United States and internationally. His later work on biogenesis, is the research that he has enjoyed the most, because it has to do with life itself and the unpredictability of the unknown, as he states. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of science, discoveries and inventions, and explorations through traveling around the world, he decided to share the real “Triumph and Survival” road based on his own perspective, vivid experiences and actions.
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Dr. Cuero is leading 4 different teams around the world for Synthetic Biology for 2006 IGEM competition at MIT, USA (see links).
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