Clodomiro Picado Twight

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Clodomiro Picado
Clodomiro serpiente.jpg
Born April 17, 1887
San Marcos, Nicaragua
Died May 16, 1944
San José, Costa Rica
Nationality Costa Rican
Alma mater La Sorbonne, Paris

Clodomiro Picado Twight (April 17, 1887 - May 16, 1944), also known as "Clorito Picado", was a Costa Rican scientist, born in Nicaragua, who was recognized for his research and discoveries. He was a pioneer in the researching of snakes and serpent venoms; his internationally recognized achievement is the development of various anti-venom serums. His work on molds was a precursor to the formal discovery of penicillin. His work resulted in compounds which he used to treat patients at least one year before the commonly accepted discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming.[1] He wrote over 115 works, mainly books and monographs.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Picado was born in April 1887 in San Marcos in Nicaragua to Clodomiro Picado Lara and Carlota Twight Umaña, who both had Costa Rican citizenship. In 1890, when Picado was 3 years old, he and his parents moved to Cartago, Costa Rica. When his parents divorced because his father was cheating and had a drinking problem, his mother had to work three jobs (a stripper, teacher and a waitress) to support her 6 boys and 4 girls. His brother quit school so he could get a job to help the family. His sister quit school too so she could take care of the family. His father was killed in an accident 8 years later. His mother died because of a sickness that was going around. He then attended San Luis Gonzaga high school, graduating in 1906. Due to his excellent grades, he was granted a scholarship to study in France, where he later studied at the University of the Sorbonne and received his diploma in Zoology in 1909. In 1910, he returned to Costa Rica, but left shortly after to continue his studies. He received his diploma with superior studies in Botany. Picado received the academic rank of Doctor in science in 1913, and that same year he was admitted to the Pasteur Institute and the Colonial Institute of Paris. In 1915, he published "Anales del Hospital de San José", a quarterly medical publication in Costa Rica.[2]t

Death[edit]

In 1944, after an ailment Picado died.[3] Dr. Picado was declared "Meritorious of the Motherland" (Spanish: Benemérito de la Patria) by the Costa Rican Congress, by means of decree no. 34 of 21 of December 1943.[4]

Investigation and findings[edit]

The scientific work of Dr. Picado was prolific and very extensive; it is calculated that he wrote about 115 research papers in his lifetime, delving into nearly all aspects of his environment: soil, flora, fauna, human tissues,water, and others.[5] Among them are included books and monographs. His work covered topics of zoology, botany of bromeliads, ophidism, physiology, phytopathology, industrial microbiology, medical microbiology, and immunology.

In March 2000, doctors from the San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, published his manuscripts, in which he explains his experiences between 1915 and 1927 with the inhibiting action of fungi of the "Penicillin sp" genre in the growth of staphylococci and streptococci (bacteria that cause a series of infections). In 1927, he demonstrated the inhibitory action of the bacillus genus penicillium sp on the proliferation of the bacteria staphylococcus and streptococcus. Although, the discovery of penicillin has been attributed to Alexander Fleming, Picados' old laboratory notebooks from 1923 show records of the antibiosis of penicillium sp.[5]

For this reason he is renowned as one of the precursors of the penicillin antibiotic. The report with the results of the treatments performed with penicillin by Dr. Picado were published by the Biology Society of Paris in 1927.[6]

Honors and recognition[edit]

Statuette awarded to the winners of the Costa Rican National Award of Science and Technology "Clodomiro Picado Twight"

In memory of Dr. Picado's outstanding scientific work, since 1977 the Costa Rican Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT), together with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCJD) grant annually the National Award of Science and Technology "Clodomiro Picado Twight", as stimulus and recognition for the prominent scientific and technological work of Costa Rican citizens.[7] The prize was modified in June 2000, and divided into the following two categories a year later:

  • National Award of Science "Clodomiro Picado Twight"
  • National Award of Technology "Clodomiro Picado Twight"

Both prizes are awarded annually. The winners become creditors of a commemorative statuette of Dr. Picado, a parchment and a prize in cash.

Picado was featured on the 2,000 colónes bill, banknote of Costa Rica.


In 2000, Picado’s daughter-in-law, Lolita González Picado, accepted the Gold Medal awarded posthumously to Picado by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).[5]

There are several institutions and places in Costa Rica named in Picado's memory:

References[edit]

  1. ^ La Nación Digital. "El legado de Clorito". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  2. ^ Dr. Clodomiro Picado Twight: Biografía
  3. ^ "Biografía del Dr. Clodomiro Picado Twigth". Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Clodomiro Picado Twight". Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-02-27. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Dr. Clodomiro Picado Twight Honored with WIPO medal" (PDF). WIPO Magazine. p. 11. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  6. ^ Tovar, Enrique. "El legado de Clorito". Nacion (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  7. ^ "Premio Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología "Clodomiro Picado" (PDF). Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-03-02. [dead link]
  8. ^ Instituto de Investigación Clodomiro Picado

External links[edit]