October 28, 2022
Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the field or related science that have impacted children and pediatric infectious diseases
Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD, an internationally recognized tropical diseases and emerging infections vaccinologist, global health advocate and co-creator of a patent-free, open science COVID-19 vaccine technology, has been recognized with the 2022 Stanley A. Plotkin Lecture in Vaccinology Award. Named for founding member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, FPIDS, the award honors his career’s contributions to immunization. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to vaccinology or areas of related science that have impacted the lives of children.
Her lecture, ‘Decolonizing the Vaccine Sciences: Tropical Medicine Catalyzing Change’, was presented during this year’s in-person and virtual hybrid IDWeek (October 19-23), the premier scientific meeting for infectious diseases professionals, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Bottazzi is Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Division Chief of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and co-director of Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Distinguished Professor in Biology at Baylor University in Waco. She pioneers and leads the advancement of a robust infectious and tropical disease vaccine portfolio tackling diseases such as coronavirus, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and Chagas disease that disproportionally affect the world’s poorest populations. She also has established innovative partnerships around the world, making significant contributions to innovative educational and research programs, catalyzing policies, and disseminating science information to reach a diverse set of audiences.
“Dr. Botazzi’s contributions to vaccinology run the gamut, from neglected tropical diseases to the open-source Corbevax, said PIDS president C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, FPIDS. “Her contributions directly impact the lives of billions of people around the world, and we are thrilled to honor her with the Plotkin Award.”
She is a member of the National Academy of Science of Honduras and an emerging leader in Health and Medicine of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States. Recognized as a global thought leader, Dr. Bottazzi has served in several ad-hoc National Academies committees and serves as co-chair of the Vaccines and Therapeutics Taskforce of the Lancet Commission on COVID-19. She was nominated in 2022, alongside Dr. Peter Hotez, for the Nobel Peace Prize by U.S. Representative Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07).
Dr. Bottazzi earned her 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 University of Pennsylvania.
PIDS membership encompasses leaders across the global scientific and public health spectrum, including clinical care, advocacy, academics, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. From fellowship training to continuing medical education, research, regulatory issues and guideline development, PIDS members are the core professionals advocating for the improved health of children with infectious diseases both nationally and around the world, participating in critical public health and medical professional advisory committees that determine the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, immunization practices in children, and the education of pediatricians. For more information, visit http://www.pids.org.