Austin, Houston and San Antonio, three of the most populated cities in Texas, have something in common with the world's great population centers - Cairo, Jerusalem, Petra, Baghdad, Shiraz, Delhi, Kathmandu, Chongqing, Wuhan and Shanghai. All are located on or close to the 30th parallel north. All, to some degree, are home to people in poverty.

Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are determined to make a difference in the lives of 100 million people in these cities, and indeed all of the "bottom billion" - the world's 1.4 billion poorest people - by fighting the diseases that help trap them in poverty, including hookworm, elephantiasis, river blindness, schistosomiasis, leprosy, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. To that end, we are establishing Baylor College of Medicine's fourth school, the National School of Tropical Medicine, and moving the Sabin Vaccine Laboratories to the Feigin Center at Texas Children's Hospital. Together the Houston-based school and vaccine research institute will be the first of their kind in the United States exclusively devoted to combating the neglected tropical infections that have sapped the strength of working men and women and damaged the brains of their children since the earliest recorded time.

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