My name is Juan Carlos Mendible. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
I got a M.Sc in Biophysics from the University of Illinois (1974) and a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1983).
Due to the advances brought by Genetic Engineering, the field of Molecular Biology was blossoming when I was working on my Ph.D and since that time I have been fascinated by it.
I am an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the School of Medicine of the Universidad Central de Venezuela.
I teach Biochemistry at the undergrad level and Molecular Biology at the graduate level.
My area of research is Molecular Cardiology. In particular we are looking at gene variants that might constitute genetic risk for the development of Hypertension.
The genes we study are those that code for angiotensinogen, angiotensin converting enzyme and endothelial Nitric Oxide synthetase.
Those genes have variants that have been associated with Hypertension in some countries but not in others. Thus, we want to see if they are or not associated with hypertension in Venezuela.
I am almost writing a Basic Biochemistry textbook in Spanish for students from Venezuela. Afterwards I plan to writing a Molecular Biology textbook in Spanish, since this is a subject that is not studied in our curricula and our medical doctors and medical students are falling so far behind in this area that can scarcely read the medical journals.
Since June 1999 I am part of the Bioethics and Biosafety Commission of the Ministry of Science and Technology. We advice the Minister in matters related to Bioethics, Biosafety and Biodiversity. FRom November 1998 to November 2000 I was the Venezuelan representative to UNESCO´s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committe.
I am married to Milagros and we have two children. Mariana who is an M.D. and Carlos who is a Chemical Engineer. We live in Caracas and we have a small villa in a place called Sotillo, which is near the beach where we usually spend the weekends. Sotillo is at about two hours driving from where I live in Caracas.
My two preferred hobbies are:
a. – Reading everything that has to do with Biology and Medicine in General and Molecular Biology in particular,
b. – Taking care of the small garden that we have at our beach house.
I also like music like country, soft rock, ballads, etc. I want to write fiction novels thus I am preparing myself for it. I hold a second degree black belt in Karate Do, Shito Ryu style.