September 11, 2013

The real miracle workers

Jacinto Convit García

September 11, 1913 -- May 12, 2014

Jacinto Convit García is a Venezuelan scientist and decorated medical researcher best known for the development of a leprosy vaccine. Born in Caracas, Venezuela on this date 100 years ago the son of a Spaniard with Catalonian roots and a Venezuelan mother with Canarian roots.

Dr. Convit began his studies in the Caracas School and continued in the Andrés Bello lyceum. In 1932 he entered to the Medicine school of the Central University of Venezuela where 1938 he earned his title as a Medical Science Doctor, graduating with honorifics in physics, human anatomy, descriptive and topographic anatomy, Clinical Medicine and clinical surgery. 

In 1987, he received a Prince of Asturias Award in the Scientific and Technical Research category. Dr. Convit has been awarded with over 40 Orders of Honor from several domestic and numerous international universities.  

Dr. Convit's works are known and recognized internationally. The Bio-Medicine institution receives fellows sent by the WHO/PAHO from America, Africa and Asia. In 1971 Dr. Convit was named by the WHO as Director of the Co-operative Centre for the Study and Histological Classification of Leprosy, a position that he still holds.

This giant of medical science labors in relative anonymity at the laboratory he has called home for many years, almost unrecognized as the physician who saved thousands from the ravages of leprosy. At 100 years old Dr. Convit continues his work in search of a vaccine to prevent cancer.