MOSI to Honor Renowned Inventor at 2013 National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Gala; More Than 2,000 Underprivileged Children to Enjoy Mentoring Day with Scientist

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Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry, along with presenting sponsors Florida Cancer Specialists and Bright House Networks, will hold a “Meet the Hispanic Scientist” day and fundraising gala, on Oct. 11 and 12 respectively, to honor its 2013 scientist, Raúl Cuero, Ph.D., renowned inventor and president/research director of the International Park of Creativity in Bogota, Colombia.

Dr. Raul Cuero chosen as 2013 National Hispanic Scientist of the Year

Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry, along with presenting sponsors Florida Cancer Specialists and Bright House Networks, will hold a “Meet the Hispanic Scientist” day and fundraising gala, on Oct. 11 and 12 respectively, to honor its 2013 scientist, Raúl Cuero, Ph.D., renowned inventor and president/research director of the International Park of Creativity in Bogota, Colombia.

Proceeds from the gala fund “Meet the Hispanic Scientist” day, where more than 2,000 students from underserved communities and low-income schools will enjoy an exciting day of mentoring with Dr. Cuero, along with access to more than 450 MOSI hands-on exhibits. MOSI is a non-profit, community-based institution and a leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives by making science real. Event proceeds also help fund MOSI’s educational programming, including the YES! (Youth Enriched by STEAM) Team, an educational enrichment and vocational training program designed to help at-risk youth develop and progress in a supportive, peer-group environment.

“It’s an honor for MOSI to present this award to Cuero,” said Wit Ostrenko, MOSI president. “As the Director of the International Park of Creativity, we feel Cuero’s background directly ties into our mission and core ideology of making science real and demonstrates MOSI’s core values on the power of STEAM education for our youth.”

Dr. Cuero was born in Buenaventura, Colombia, where during the 1950s, more than 30 percent of the children in his hometown died from diseases such as parasites, malaria, tuberculosis and viral diseases before reaching the age of 10. This served as the inspiration for his career. He has a Bachelor degree from the University of Heidelberg (Ohio, USA), a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology from Ohio State University, where he studied under academic scholarship and a Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom. He also received a scholarship award for his inventions when he was a student there. During the pursuit of his Ph.D., he developed an invention related to the containment for solid state fermentation.

The original development of MOSI’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year award and fundraiser was prompted in 2000 when statistics showed an alarmingly high dropout rate for Hispanic students. Department of Education research shows that Hispanics are more likely to drop out of high school than any other ethnic group in the U.S. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the 2008 dropout rate for Hispanic students was 18.3% compared to 9.9% for African Americans and 4.8% for Caucasians.
Event Details
More than 2,000 students from underserved communities and low-income schools will enjoy an exciting day of mentoring with Dr. Cuero on Friday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at MOSI’s “Meet the Hispanic Scientist” day. MOSI will present this year’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year award to Cuero during a gala award ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. For tickets to the gala, visit mosi.org or call 813-987-6030.

Additional information on Cuero
Dr. Cuero also is the founder, president, and research director of the International Park of Creativity (IPOC). IPOC’s objectives are to create young inventors under the mentorship of inventors, to create and/or invent new technologies and products for global markets, implement scientific research and developments for diverse industries and/or other institutions seeking new technologies and products for a competitive global market, and to be a “Think Tank” center for economic, social, scientific and technological development.

During his professional career, Dr. Cuero was one of the first scientists to go to China and South Africa to lecture on biotechnology in 1986. He has been published in more than 110 scientific journals in the fields of biology, microbiology, molecular biology and synthetic biology. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Antioquia, Colombia, for his scientific contributions and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the University of Caldas, Colombia, for his scientific contributions that benefit society. He has received the title of Commander granted by the Mayor of Manizales, thanks to his contributions to the city of Manizales and for the development of young scientists and inventors. He also received the 2012 Colombian Leadership Award for outstanding performance in science and technology. Dr. Cuero was the 2011 Keynote speaker at the World DNA and Genome Congress, as well as the keynote speaker on biochips and biosensors at the world congress on molecular medicine in China in 2012.

About MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)
MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology, and is home to the only IMAX® DOME Theatre in the state of Florida. With a total size of more than 400,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States. Learn through play inside Kids In Charge! the largest Children’s Science Center in the nation; The Amazing You—a 13,000-square-foot exhibition on health and wellness; or Disasterville, featuring Bay News 9 WeatherQuest, which combines education and 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits on the science behind natural disasters. Conquer your fears on MOSI’s Sky Trail® Ropes Course, featuring 35 elements on a 12 – 36-foot-high, multilevel structure, or soar 700 feet on the Sky Trail Zip Line. Budding inventors can engineer anything imaginable and hold it in the palm of their hand in MOSI’s new technology playground and inventor’s studio, Idea Zone, and preschoolers can experiment with friction and collision physics in Slippery Science, a PNC Passport to Science – Grow Up Great Initiative. Additionally, MOSI recently unveiled its newest exhibition Mission: Moonbase, funded in part by NASA, where guests can travel to the moon to operate a lunar colony. MOSI is the proud winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums. For more information on MOSI, visit http://www.mosi.org.

Former MOSI National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award honorees
Dr. Nora D. Volkow (2012), Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health; Cristián Samper (2011), Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History; Dr. Dan Arvizu (2010), Director and Chief Executive of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Dr. Nils J. Diaz (2009), chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff (2008), molecular biologist; Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega (2007), industrial engineer; Dr. Inés Cifuentes (2006), seismologist; Dr. Edmond J. Yunis (2005), physician, researcher, Harvard professor; Dr. Antonia Coello Novello (2004), former U.S. Surgeon General; Dr. Mario Molina (2003), Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Fernando “Frank” Caldeiro (2002), NASA Astronaut; Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez (2001), Marine Biologist
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