Peter Jay Hotez
May 5, 1958
|Alma mater||Yale University (B.A.)|
Rockefeller University (Ph.D.)
|Fields||Vaccinology, Neglected Tropical Disease Control, Public Policy, Global Health|
|Institutions||George Washington University Medical School, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, James Baker Institute|
Peter Jay Hotez (born May 5, 1958) is a scientist, pediatrician, and advocate in the fields of global health, vaccinology, and neglected tropical disease control. He serves as founding dean and chief of the Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine in the Department of pediatrics and holds the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics.
Early life and education
Hotez was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He received a BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University in 1980, a PhD from Rockefeller University in 1986, and a Doctorate in Medicine from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1987. His doctoral dissertation and postdoctoral training were in the areas of hookworm molecular pathogenesis and vaccine development.
Research and career
Hotez was awarded postdoctoral positions in molecular parasitology and pediatric infectious diseases at Yale University School of Medicine, where he subsequently became an assistant professor in 1992 and an associate professor in 1995. His early research focused on the pathogenesis and molecular mechanisms of human hookworm infection and would eventually lead to a vaccine now in clinical trials, as well as a vaccine against schistosomiasis, also in clinical trials, either of which would be the first successful vaccine for humans to protect against a multi-cellular parasite.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
In 2000-2011, Hotez served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine (renamed in 2005 as the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine) at the George Washington University.
Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Millennium Development Goals in 2000, Hotez, along with Drs. Alan Fenwick and David Molyneux, led a global effort to rename diseases then being termed simply “other diseases,” as “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs), and promoting the use of therapeutic/preventive chemotherapy through a combination of drugs called the “rapid-impact package.”  Hotez has advocated for increased efforts to control NTDs since 2005 through publications and speaking engagements, helping to gain increased awareness resulting in a decrease of prevalence and disease burden in many areas.
During these years, Hotez also led the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, DC, as well as efforts to establish PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the first online open access medical journal focused exclusively on neglected tropical diseases.
In addition to continuing work on vaccines already in clinical trials for hookworm and schistosomiasis, Hotez currently leads a team of researchers developing vaccines against other diseases including leishmaniasis, Chagas, SARS, and MERS.
Awards and memberships
Selected awards and memberships include:
- 2018 – Elected member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 2017 – Carlos Slim Foundation Health Award
- 2017 – The Distinguished Achievement Award from B’nai B’rith International for a lifetime of accomplishments in science and public health.
- 2011 – The Abraham Horwitz Award from the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and Pan American Health Organization for excellence in leadership in Inter-American public health guidelines.
- 2003 – The Bailey K. Ashford Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for distinguished work in tropical medicine.
- 1999 – Henry Baldwin Ward Medal from the American Society of Parasitologists for outstanding contributions to the field of parasitology.
In 2008, he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is an ambassador of the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), a member of the World Health Organization Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for WHO TDR (Special Programme on Tropical Diseases Research), and in 2011, Hotez was appointed as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils. He is a member of the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Publications and media
Hotez is the author of more than 400 scientific and technical papers on NTDs. In addition he is the author of Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor amid Wealth and Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases: The Neglected Tropical Diseases and Their Impact on Global Health and Development, co-author of Parasitic Diseases, 5th Edition, a co-editor of Krugman’s Infectious Diseases of Children, 11th Edition, and co-editor of Manson’s Tropical Diseases, 23rd Edition and Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 7th Edition. In addition, Hotez writes frequently for lay audiences, including papers in Scientific American and op-ed pieces for e.g. the New York Times.