12 julio, 2024

15 Guatemalan scientists and their contributions

Between the Guatemalan scientists most important we can find Ricardo Bressani, Rodolfo Robles, Aldo Castañeda, Juan Fernando Medrano Palomo, Federico Lehnhof and Fernando Mazariegos, among others.

Guatemalan scientists and professors have contributed to the development of important elements both for their country and for the world. His advances range from discoveries in cardiology, physics, astrophysics, anthropology to computer science.

Guatemalan scientists are credited with performing the first open-heart surgery. The invention of water-soluble coffee, the development of a medicine against infant syphilis, the discovery of parasites, the study of bacteria and microorganisms or the documentation of Mayan traditions and their evolution over time.

Most Guatemalan scientists have received their higher education abroad and have resided outside of Guatemala in order to grow academically. However, all of them have affirmed at some point in their career how important it is for them to be able to contribute to the development of their country.

List of Guatemalan scientists

1. Ricardo Bressani (1926-2015)

Ricardo Bressani was a scientist who graduated from Daytin University, Ohio, with a Master’s degree from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University.

Throughout his career, he was in charge of directing the food analysis laboratory at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), where he worked for 32 years.

Bressani published approximately 500 scientific articles and received multiple awards and honors throughout his career, including the Albert Einstein Prize for Science.

His greatest contributions were in the field of nutrition when he invented incaparina, a flour mix of corn and soybean flour fortified with minerals and vitamins, to combat children’s nutritional problems in Guatemala.

2. Aldo Castaneda (1930-2021)

Born in Italy, but to a Guatemalan father, Aldo Castañeda considered himself from Guatemala, since it was there that he studied medicine.

For more than half a century, this cardiovascular specialist has dedicated his life to treating the hearts of children afflicted with complex diseases, birth defects, and countless serious and tragic medical conditions.

He was primarily recognized for being the first heart surgeon to perform open-heart surgery in 1950.

3. Frederick Lehnhoff (1871-1932)

Born in the Guatemalan capital, Federico Lehnhoff was a renowned neurosurgeon who dedicated his days to the study of languages, music and multiple scientific disciplines.

Together with the American inventor George Washington, he is credited with the invention of soluble coffee. It was also he who developed sulfarsenol, an important drug for treating syphilis, mainly in children.

4. Ricardo Falla Sanchez (1932)

Ricardo Falla Sánchez is a Jesuit religious who dedicated part of his life to the anthropological study of the Mayan communities in Guatemala, particularly the K’iche’ community.

His most important legacy is the documentation of the problems that Mayan communities must face and what the westernization of their culture and the urbanization of their land have implied for them.

5. Rodolfo Robles Valverde (1878-1939)

Rodolfo Robles Valverde received his medical degree in Paris in 1900, later returning to Guatemala, where he held the position of head of gynecology and professor of anatomy.

He is known for having discovered that the river blindness disease was caused by a parasite, the filarial worm. Onchocerca volvulus. There is a hospital in Xela named in his honor.

6. Juan Fernando Medrano Palomo (?)

This Guatemalan professor has dedicated his career to the study of animal genetics to determine the causes of obesity.

Currently, he works in California where he teaches animal genomics. One of its main purposes is to work for the well-being of human beings and make contributions to improve health conditions in the world.

7. Rafael Espada (1944)

Rafael Espada made history by being the first doctor elected as Vice President of Guatemala in 2008.

He is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who has dedicated his career to working in hospitals both in the United States and in his native Guatemala. He is known for having contributed to the development of techniques for bypass surgery and some open heart operations.

8. Fernando Quevedo (1956)

Quantum physicist born in Costa Rica, but nationalized Guatemalan, Fernando Quevedo is recognized in the scientific world for his contributions to quantum physics, teaching courses on differential equations, complex methods of supersymmetry and other dimensions.

You have discussed the importance of international research in favor of science diplomacy.

9. Julio Gallegos (1971)

Julio Gallegos is an astrophysicist who has dedicated his career to the study of dark matter and Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Currently, he is part of the group of scientists of the European Space Agency.

10. Concepcion Toriello Nájera (?)

He specializes in the study of fungi, teaching basic mycology courses at the Autonomous University of Mexico.

She has dedicated her life to research in microbiology and parasitology, winning multiple awards for her contributions to the field of research and medicine.

11. Gustavo Ponce (?-2010)

Doctor Gustavo Ponce came to the field of astrophysics promoted by his partner Fernando Quevedo.

He was one of the fathers of the Guatemalan Physical Society, as one of the pioneers of the study of physics in his native country. He devoted much of his career to the study of Stephen Hawking’s theory.

12. Myrna Mack Chang (1949-1990)

Myrna Mack Chang was a Guatemalan anthropologist who graduated from the University of Manchester. This anthropologist dedicated her life to working with various peasant communities in Guatemala, displaced by the violence caused by the civil war.

She was assassinated by the Guatemalan armed forces for her critical stance towards the government and its treatment of the Mayan communities, denouncing the violations of indigenous human rights.

13. Luis von Ahn (1978)

Luis von Ahn is a Guatemalan businessman and Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

He is recognized for being one of the pioneers of crowdsourcing. His main legacy is being the founder of the re-Captcha company, sold to Google in 2009. He is also the creator of the Duolingo platform.

14. Luis Furlan (1948)

Luis Furlán is a Guatemalan electrical engineer and physicist known for being responsible for bringing the internet to his country in 1992.

Throughout his career he has dedicated himself to specializing in the area of ​​computing, the internet and computer development.

15. Fernando Mazariegos (1938-2018)

Fernando Mazariegos was the inventor and responsible for the development of the Ecofilter, a drinking water filter designed to eliminate the bacteria present in the water in order to make it drinkable.

This filter was designed in 1981 as a commission from the American Center for Industrial Research and Technology Institute (ICAITI) as an alternative for the poorest.


Important Characters of Guatemala. Retrieved from 5toh-guate-characters.blogspot.com.
Who Named It. Retrieved from whonamedit.com

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