A Message from Sabin CEO Amy Finan
For more than two decades, the Sabin Vaccine Institute has been dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). As we enter the next decade, Sabin will draw from the legacy of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, best known as the developer of the oral live virus polio vaccine, to renew our focus on improving lives through immunization.
For more than two-thirds of our history, Dr. Peter Hotez has been affiliated with Sabin as a leading figure and contributed to Sabin’s many accomplishments in global health. After 17 years Peter is leaving the Sabin leadership team to concentrate on new efforts at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Sabin was founded in 1993 by Heloisa Sabin, with Founding Chairman Dr. H.R. Shepherd, to honor the legacy of her late husband Dr. Sabin. A scientist and humanitarian, Dr. Sabin was also a pioneering global health advocate. Heloisa Sabin shared her husband’s dedication to the elimination of needless human suffering and poverty, and the Sabins helped ensure access to safe immunization for millions and changed the world.
Peter joined Sabin in 2000 as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee to lead vaccine research and development efforts, becoming President in 2007. As President, Peter and his fellow Board Trustees led Sabin to embody Dr. and Mrs. Sabin’s vision of alleviating the burden of disease for the world’s poorest people.
Sabin and Peter have worked tirelessly with international organizations to bring global attention to these forgotten people and the NTDs that afflict them. At the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative, Sabin co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for more than 1 billion people. Today, NTDs are now a priority on the global health agenda with a “roadmap” for control and elimination led by the World Health Organization. We are proud of the role Sabin’s Global Network played in this effort, assisting more than 70 countries in developing NTD plans and raising more than $165 million for treatment.
Recognizing that there are few, if any, incentives to develop vaccines for the very poor, in 2000 - led by Peter - Sabin launched the first non-profit product development partnership (PDP) focused on safe, effective and low-cost vaccines for NTDs. Moving the Sabin PDP labs to Houston in 2011 to the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine, Peter has continued to lead the organization’s research efforts on “antipoverty vaccines” for eight different neglected and infectious diseases.
In addition to his role with Sabin and his research, in August 2011, Peter became the founding dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine where he is training, but also inspiring, the next generation of scientists and global health leaders. As a Science Envoy with the Obama Administration from 2015-2016, Peter used vaccines as a diplomatic tool, recalling how Albert Sabin reached out to the former Soviet Union to make the oral polio vaccine available to its people during the Cold War.
With his increasing responsibilities in Texas, Peter resigned as President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute effective yesterday – April 24. Sabin’s Board of Trustees and staff are enormously appreciative of Peter’s contributions over the years. We wish Peter continued success with his new endeavors and look forward to his continued contributions to global health.
Over the last nine months, the Sabin team has worked diligently to develop the organization’s new strategy that will carry Sabin forward for the next five years. Last month, Dr. Bruce Gellin, former Deputy Assistant Secretary with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, joined the Sabin executive team. With a new strategy ready for implementation and new leadership, the Sabin team has a renewed dedication to improving human health through vaccines and immunization.
Looking ahead, we are proud to continue Dr. Sabin’s legacy by making life-improving vaccines more accessible, enabling innovation and expanding immunization across the globe. We are committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of life-improving vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe changing lives through the promise of vaccines changes the world.