Developing new vaccines for hookworm among topics at UH lecture

February 07, 2012

HOUSTON -- Dr. Peter J. Hotez, an internationally recognized clinician and investigator of neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development, will be giving a lecture at the University of Houston (UH) from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Hotez is one of many prominent scientists with broad appeal who will be hosted by UH in support of the university's health initiative. The talk is free and open to the public.

As part of a monthly series of lectures organized by the Houston chapter of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), Hotez will present "Innovation in the Control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases." A division of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the EMBS is the world's largest international society of biomedical engineers and provides members with access to people, practices, information, ideas and opinions shaping one of the fastest growing fields in science.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of infections endemic to low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas and are often overshadowed by the so-called 'big three' diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which generally receive greater treatment and research funding. NTDs are the most common afflictions of the world's poorest billion people and include diseases such as hookworm. Hotez says that hookworm, for instance, affects an estimated 600 million people and stunts physical growth, as well as dramatically reduces intelligence and memory in children.

Hotez leads the only product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, as well as schistosomiasis and Chagas disease, all of which affect hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide. The hookworm vaccine is currently in clinical trials. In 2006, at the Clinton Global Initiative, he co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for more than 100 million people.

A member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Hotez also is the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. World-renowned researcher in neglected tropical diseases


Lecture: "Innovation in the Control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases"


3 to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10


University of Houston
Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall (PGH), room 232
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14

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University of Houston

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