Left Behind in America: Neglected Infections of Poverty
October 28, 2008
WASHINGTON — Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, FAAP, Walter G. Ross Professor and chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine and professor of Global Health, and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, will present at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. Dr. Hotez’s presentation highlights neglected diseases of poverty—both domestic and global—and their devastating effects on the poorest people around the world.
WHAT: APHA Special Session: Globalization and Public Health
WHEN: Tuesday, October 28, 2008,10:30- 12:00 pm
WHERE: San Diego Convention Center Meeting Room 6 C/F
Globally, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most prevalent infections among the “bottom billion”—those living on less than $2 per day. These bacterial and parasitic infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and trachoma; they promote poverty by causing physical and cognitive impairment in children and diminished worker productivity in adults. Just as these diseases have largely been neglected, a group of infections in the United States—neglected infections of poverty—are rampant among poor and minority populations. Among them, cysticercosis, Chagas disease, toxocariasis and congenital cytomegalovirus result in a largely hidden burden of disease in affected groups and regions.
Hundreds of thousands of women, children and under-represented minorities—primarily in the Mississippi Delta (including post-Katrina Louisiana), Appalachia, the Mexican borderlands, and inner cities – suffer from these infections, which trap them in a cycle of poverty and poor health. Many of these diseases can be prevented either with existing methods or through the accelerated development of new drugs and vaccines.
Dr. Hotez, along with his teams at the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, and George Washington University, is working to raise the profile of these diseases—domestic and global—and, in some instances, to develop vaccines and treatment for those infected..
About Dr. Peter Hotez
Peter Hotez is a medical and molecular parasitologist and a pediatrician, with a specialty interest in developing vaccines for tropical infectious diseases. Dr. Hotez obtained his B.A. (1980) in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, and his M.D. (1987) and Ph.D. (1986) from the joint medical scientist training program of Weil Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University. His doctoral dissertation was on the molecular parasitology of hookworm. Following pediatric residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1987-88), Dr. Hotez was a Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellow in infectious diseases at Yale (1989-90), and was subsequently appointed to the faculty with a joint appointment in Pediatrics and Epidemiology & Public Health. In 2000, he relocated to the GWU School of Medicine. In addition to his responsibilities as Sabin President, Dr. Hotez also serves as the Walter G. Ross Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine, and Principal Scientist and Founding Director of the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI). In 2006, he also co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, headquartered at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Dr. Hotez has written approximately 220 papers, op-ed pieces, and book chapters, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Science, PLoS Medicine, and all of the major parasitology and tropical medicine journals, as well as the Washington Post and Foreign Policy. He is a co-author of Parasitic Diseases, 5th Edition, and a co-editor of Krugman's Infectious Diseases of Children, 11th Edition, and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Dr. Hotez is the recipient of awards from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Bailey K. Ashford Medal), the American Society of Parasitologists (Henry Baldwin Ward Medal), the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Leverhulme Medal), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (Young Investigator Award). He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the March of Dimes, and in 2006 was designated as an Ambassador of the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research for Research!America. Dr. Hotez holds a license to practice medicine in the District of Columbia. He was board certified in pediatrics in 1998 and recertified in 2005.
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. Founded in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, discoverer of the oral polio vaccine, the Sabin Institute works with prestigious institutions, scientists, medical professionals, and organizations to provide short and long-term solutions that result in healthier individuals, families and communities around the globe. For more information about Sabin’s research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.
About the Global Network
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is headquartered at the Sabin Vaccine Institute and is
committed to raising the profile of neglected tropical diseases and leveraging international investments to provide proven-effective, low-cost treatments to the world’s poorest people.
The Global Network is comprised of international non-profit organizations with decades of on-the-ground experience in fighting NTDs. For more information, visit: www.globalnetwork.org.
About The George Washington University Medical Center
The George Washington University Medical Center is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary academic health center that has consistently provided high-quality medical care in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, since 1824. The Medical Center comprises the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the 11th oldest medical school in the country; the School of Public Health and Health Services, the only such school in the nation’s capital; GW Hospital, jointly owned and operated by a partnership between The George Washington University and a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.; and the GW Medical Faculty Associates, an independent faculty practice plan. For more information on GWUMC, visit www.gwumc.edu.