Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, was recently nominated to be one of four new U.S. Science Envoys by the U.S. Department of State. The four scientists, who will begin their new role in January 2015 as part of a program that was launched in 2009 by President Barack Obama, were chosen for their renowned and distinguished careers and will be responsible for promoting the country’s commitment to science, technology, and innovation in order to use them for both diplomacy and economic growth.
The scientists were named to the U.S. Science Envoy program in order to foster citizen and government partnerships at international levels, as well as improve collaborations and create relationships that are mutually beneficial for the US and other countries. The main purpose of their work will be to stimulate the economic prosperity through an incremental increase in scientific cooperation.
“Becoming a U.S. Science Envoy offers an incredible opportunity to explore the themes of science and vaccine diplomacy as a component of United States foreign policy,” said Hotez, who is also the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, as well as director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and a Baker Institute Fellow in Disease and Poverty at Rice University. The physician has been a pioneer in the development of vaccines designed to fight neglected tropical diseases.
With an MD from the Weill Cornell Medical College, a Ph.D. from Rockefeller University, both in New York, and a BA magna cum laude from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., Peter Hotez is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and has been internationally recognized for his pioneering research into neglected tropical diseases, as well as for the work he has been developing at the National School of Tropical Medicine.
In addition, Hotez has recently been nominated by Governor Perry for the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, a group of internationally acclaimed experts in the fields of epidemiology and infectious diseases with the purpose of aggressively preparing for and addressing threats of pandemic diseases, including Ebola, for the state of Texas.