Houston’s Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Credit: Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi Twitter

Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, you’ve undoubtedly seen Dr. Peter Hotez on your favorite news stations explaining the ins and outs of the virus, the vaccines, and general safety protocols. He’s become a household name that’s given us all the science and facts without bias over the past 2 years. This week, along with his equally impressive colleague Dr. Maria Bottazzi, have joined an elite class of Nobel Peace Prize nominees. In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) nominated Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Deans of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Directors of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for their work to develop and distribute a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine to people of the world without patent limitation. 

After Fletcher submitted the letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, she told Hotez and Bottazzi about the nomination. “As people around the world confront the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effort to develop and distribute a low-cost vaccine to all people in all nations without patent limitation represents the work for fraternity between nations and people that the Nobel Peace Prize embodies and celebrates,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “Dr. Hotez and Dr. Bottazzi’s effort to develop the CORBEVAX vaccine is truly one of international cooperation and partnership to bring health, security, and peace around the world by creating a COVID-19 vaccine and making it available and accessible to all.  It is a contribution that is of the greatest benefit to humankind.”

Houston’s official “Fitness Czar” and HFR founder Samir Becic is thrilled that Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi are getting the recognition they deserve for their tireless work at helping humanity overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

Samir has been grateful for Dr. Hotez’s work throughout the pandemic and has long been a vocal proponent of him getting nominated for a Nobel Prize.

Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development commented on his nomination “I am honored that Congresswoman Fletcher would nominate us for the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Bottazzi and I have worked together for years, and our purpose has never changed – to bring attention to the neglected diseases of poverty and build a new generation of vaccine in the pursuit of global vaccine diplomacy.  With our COVID vaccine, which is inexpensive and easy to produce, our intent was to make it available to millions of people in the world who would otherwise not have access to COVID vaccines.”

“We are so grateful to Congresswoman Fletcher for recognizing our work, and so flattered that she nominated us for this most prestigious award,” said Maria Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D, Associate Dean of the Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.  “We have a team of scientists that have worked diligently for years to bring appropriate and affordable health technologies to those who have been overlooked around the world.  When the COVID pandemic hit, we wanted to make a difference and had great confidence our coronavirus vaccine technology, previously developed, could lead to a global solution.  Hopefully, it will be game-changing for many countries.”

Dr. Peter Hotez with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner at the 73RD ANNUAL H-E-B THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE 2021 where Dr. Hotez was named Grand Marshal.

Both of these doctors have exceptionally impressive biographies:

Dr. Peter Hotez, born in Hartford, Connecticut has tons of credentials under his belt. Graduating from Hall High School in West Hartford, he continued his education at Yale receiving his BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry magna cum laude in 1980 later being awarded postdoctoral positions in molecular parasitology and pediatric infectious diseases from this same school. From there, he worked towards his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1986, and lastly, graduated with a Doctorate in Medicine from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1987 with his dissertation focused on hookworm molecular pathogenesis and vaccine development where he now has vaccines that are going through trials that will be the first successful vaccine for humans against multi-cellular parasites. Having these credentials, he has accomplished many things like becoming the founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. Working as a professor for biology at Baylor University, he continues to be the Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. In today’s day, Dr.Hotez has spread education and information regarding COVID-19 through his personal social media, cable news, and radio shows while working alongside Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi and team to design the Corbevax vaccine against COVID-19. 

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi was born in Italy, moving to Honduras at the age of 8. When going off to college, she studied Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry at the National Autonomous University of Honduras where she graduated in 1989. Continuing her education, she earned her doctorate in Molecular Immunology and Experimental Pathology from the University of Florida in 1995. After successfully completing her doctoral studies, she decided to pursue her postdoctoral work at the University of Miami in 1988, moving to the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 with a focus on cellular biology. Since then, she has become Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a distinguished Professor of Biology at Baylor University. After being awarded the Orden Gran Cruz Placa de Oro in 2017 for her work in Honduras, she began working at Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development alongside Dr.Peter Hotez. Together, they were able to get funding to develop the Corbevax COVID-19 vaccine with the goal of lowering the cost of vaccination. With Corbevax, they used recombinant protein technology to make it easier for manufacturers to produce. In December of 2021, they successfully obtained emergency use from India where they received an order of 300 million doses. Dr. Bottazzi also works as Editor in Chief for Springer’s “Current Tropical Medicine Reports”.

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