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Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and a nationally recognized pediatrician and tropical disease specialist, has been named the new fellow in disease and poverty at Rice University"s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His appointment will expand the Baker Institute"s expertise and research in the area of global health policy.

"It"s a great honor to become a Baker fellow," Hotez said. "I am looking forward to shaping public policy for neglected tropical diseases and other conditions of poverty with the Baker Institute at Rice, together with Texas Children"s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine."

At BCM, Hotez is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, head of the section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Texas Children"s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. Hotez is also president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (based in Washington, D.C.) and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children"s Center for Vaccine Development, where he leads a partnership to develop new vaccines for hookworm, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease. He also co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, to provide access to essential medicines for millions of people worldwide.

"Dr. Peter Hotez"s appointment to the Baker Institute provides global scope to our health-policy research programs," said Baker Institute founding director Edward Djerejian. "His noted expertise in vaccine diplomacy and tropical diseases will be a valuable resource that we will build on. The institute"s health policy program is growing with this appointment and the recent appointment of Dr. John Mendelsohn as the L.E. and Virginia Simmons Baker Institute Fellow in Health and Technology, as well as the continuing excellent work being done by Baker Institute fellows Vivian Ho on the cost effectiveness of health care, Kirstin Matthews on international stem cell policy and Elena Marks, the Baker Institute scholar who focuses on the impact of health policy issues in the state of Texas. "

Author of more than 250 original papers, Hotez also has written or edited 10 books, including "Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases" (ASM Press, 2008). He served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) from 2010-2011. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and serves on the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils and the Fogarty International Center Advisory Board. Hotez is the recipient of the ASTMH"s Bailey Ashford Medal and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine"s Leverhulme Medal. He also is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies.