Hotez is a world-renowned physician-scientist of neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. He is the leader in product development partnership for creating new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease and SARS/MERS. At the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, Hotez co-founded and launched the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, which supplies millions of people around the world with medicines.
“Peter J. Hotez is one the foremost experts on often overlooked tropical diseases—maladies that affect millions of children and adults around the world. Without Dr. Hotez the medical industry would be years behind in its research of creating new vaccines,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said. “It is my pleasure to honor Dr. Hotez with the B’nai B’rith Distinguished Achievement Award.”
In 1980, Hotez graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biophysics. He earned his biochemistry Ph.D. in 1986 from Rockefeller University and an M.D. from Weil Cornell Medical College in 1987. He has authored two books: “Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases” and “Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor Amid Wealth.” Additionally, Hotez has written more than 400 original papers on several medical subjects.
In 2014, Hotez had the honor of being selected by the White House and U.S. State Department as the United States Science Envoy, where he focused on establishing science diplomacy initiatives between the U.S., the Middle East and North Africa. During 2016, at the height of the global Zika epidemic, Hotez emerged as a key leader on the issue, and testified before the U.S. Congress on the matter several times.
“Dr. Hotez’s work on tropical diseases has been instrumental in the medical field, and his expertise has been sought after by many. His commitment to saving lives, especially of those who suffer from lesser known diseases, or diseases that most often afflict the poor, is inspirational and gallant,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “B’nai B’rith is honored to recognize Dr. Hotez with this award.”
Hotez is also currently a professor of pediatrics, molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital, an endowed chair of Tropical Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital and the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Hotez is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and in 2011 he was president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Also in 2011, he was honored with the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Health by the Pan American Health Organization of the World Health Organization.
For more than four decades, B’nai B’rith has presented the Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of the accomplishments of key community and corporate leaders around the world. These exceptional individuals and companies are honored for their community service, dedicated leadership and commitment to improving the lives of the individuals they serve.