Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – Ian Emmanuel González Santos from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, isn’t your average teenage boy. At 13 years old, his profound interest in biology allowed him to break some serious records. In fact, the Mexican child genius has become the youngest molecular biologist in the world, and he’s preparing to receive another degree from the University of Guadalajara this month.
Ian’s story is fascinating, with the child telling Univision that other students “would look at him weird” while he was growing up.
He explained that although “it feels good knowing you can learn faster and understand complex subject matters,” his intelligence “made it harder to relate to kids his age.” Still, he has a Master’s degree and another diploma on the way – plus some big dreams to cure diseases.
The Story Behind Jalisco’s Child Genius
According to Debate México, Ian learned to read and speak perfectly at three years old and quickly became interested in molecular biology.
By seven, the child genius worked on a study about melanocyte regeneration in patients with vitiligo. Still, incredibly enough, his mother, Sandra Santos, told the media outlet that his elementary school doubted his potential. “The school once told me that he had an attention deficit issue and a cognitive problem, not realizing that he was winning microbiology competitions,” she explained.
“Schools aren’t prepared for the diagnosis, follow-up, or support for high capacity children,” she added.
The future molecular biologist grew frustrated when his own teachers couldn’t answer his questions. At that point, his mother decided to home school him. As fate would have it, Ian soon met Dr. Francisco Josué Carrillo Ballesteros, a biomedical science professor at the University Center of Exact Sciences and Engineering at the University of Guadalajara.
The professor invited Ian to his class one day, which made the child realize his dream of becoming a pharmaceutical biochemist. Ian told Debate that after the class, he realized, “This is where I need to study, here is where they teach microbiology, chemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and all the subjects I like.”
It was then that Sandra filled out all of the paperwork required for her son to obtain certificates of completion for primary, secondary and high schools so that he could transfer over to the University of Guadalajara at the age of 9. At the same time, he began studying for a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from an online university in Spain.
While he is already the world’s youngest molecular biologist, he will graduate with a pharmaceutical biochemistry degree on May 31. This means he will become the University of Guadalajara’s youngest graduate in history.
Ian’s dream is to continue his work in molecular biology, conducting studies and finding cures for diseases. While he might go for his doctoral degree soon, he told Univision that studying at university is “extremely exciting, something [I] dreamed of and wanted.”
“The fact I’m achieving it is incredible,” he added.