A Conversation with Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi – Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

A Scientist without Borders and Her Struggle to advance Vaccines for the Neglected


In 2022, Italy-born and Texas-based biologist Maria Elena Bottazzi has been nominated by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher to the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to develop (with Dr. Peter Hotez) and distribute a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine without patent limitation to all people of the world.

Fletcher motivated the nominee in this way “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…It is a contribution that is of the greatest benefit to humankind.”

In a conversation with students, professors, and the entire community, Dr. Bottazzi will discuss her motivations, inspirations, and the challenges of her endeavor to help the underprivileged and heal the world globally.

When: November 17, 5:30-7:00   

Where: Honor College Commons – University of Houston 

Organized by: Texas Scientific Italian Community and Italian Studies (University of Houston, TX)


Research Keywords:
Hookworm, Schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, vaccine development, product development


Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD is the Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Dr. Bottazzi directs Research and Administration of the Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and is the Deputy Director for Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development a Product Development Partnership (PDP). Dr. Bottazzi is an internationallyrecognized scientist with more than 17 years of experience in translational research and vaccine development for neglected tropical diseases. In addition, her major interest is in the role of vaccines as control tools integrated into international public health programs and initiatives. Dr. Bottazzi’s philosophy focuses on motivating and empowering peers and young generations of scientists building strong inter- and intra-relationships and positively contributing to scientific and global health effectiveness.

Dr. Bottazzi is Editor in Chief of Current Tropical Medicine Reports, Springer, US and Associate Editor for Public Library of Science (PLoS) Neglected Tropical Disease Journal. She is recipient of multiple extramural grants and awards and has authored or co-authored of more than 100 scientific papers in molecular, cellular biology, immunoparasitology, and vaccine development. She has participated in more than 200 conferences around the globe and has given an array of television, newspaper and radio interviews. Dr. Bottazzi is a one of the 2017-18 Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows and a Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) and American Leadership Forum (ALF) Fellow. In 2015, she received the highest honor from the Government of Honduras, the “Jose Cecilio del Valle” National Science Award and a Medal of Honor from the Honduras National Congress. In 2017, she was awarded the leadership award in science and technology from the Honduras Chapter of Vital Voices.

Dr Bottazzi, has a bachelor degree in Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry, and a doctorate in Molecular Immunology and Experimental Pathology from the University of Florida. Her post-doctoral training in Cellular Biology was completed at University of Miami and Pennsylvania. Her academic tenure initiated at the George Washington University where she served for 11 years as Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Administration in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine.




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