“The Rise of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Poverty in Developing Countries and the Southern United States”

Dr. Peter Hotez

Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common afflictions of people who live in extreme poverty, including the 1.3 billion people living below the World Bank poverty level. These diseases cause poverty through their long-term and chronic effects on worker productivity, child development, and the health of girls and women (including pregnant women). They are among the most important diseases emerging as a result of civil and international conflicts.

Transmission of some NTDs occurs in Texas and in Houston, especially among impoverished populations and people of color, as well as several animal reservoirs. There is an urgent need for a policy to address these diseases. Dr. Hotez will share his work in this area and discuss what he is doing to impact change.


Dr. Hotez received his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry with high honors from Yale University, and his MD and PhD degrees from the Rockefeller University-Weil Cornell Medical College in New York. He completed residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine. He was on the faculties of Yale University School of Medicine and served as Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University before relocating to Baylor College of Medicine 2011. He currently serves as the Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, as well as President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. He is also Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A. Baker III Institute of Rice University.

Dr. Hotez has pioneered the development of vaccines to combat neglected tropical diseases, including a human hookworm vaccine in clinical trials. He is also a leading global health advocate helping to create a rapid impact package for NTDs now reaching more than 250 million people in developng countries, and for the concept of ‘vaccine diplomacy’. He received grants from NIAID, NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has written over 275 scientific papers and 60 book chapters, in addition to more than 50 op-ed pieces in major magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and articles for Scientific American and Foreign Policy. He appears frequently on television and radio in his role as a global health advocate.

Dr. Hotez was elected to memberships in the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies and to the Association of American Physicians. He is past president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and serves on the NIH Council of Councils and the advisory committee of WHO TDR the special programme on tropical disease research. In 2012 he received the Abraham Horwitz Award in inter-american public health leadership from the Pan American Health Organization of the WHO, while in 2013 he was named as one of the 50 most influential people in vaccines.