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The internationally recognized infectious disease experts were honored for their pioneering research to develop a safe, affordable COVID-19 vaccine technology to benefit the world

HOUSTON, May 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Texas Children’s Hospital is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and Sr. Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, received the prestigious 2023 Lyndon B. Johnson Moral Courage Award from the Holocaust Museum Houston, for their efforts researching and developing a patent-free, recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine technology for the world’s benefit and use.

The LBJ Moral Courage Award is given annually to individuals who have shown the moral courage to stand up against injustice, hatred, prejudice and apathy and who used their influence to change our world for the better.

“To receive this recognition from the Houston Holocaust Museum is an extraordinary honor for me and my family at a professional level, but also a deeply personal level. For decades our team has been actively pursuing a program of science for humanitarian goals – making vaccines for the world. I’ve also been leading efforts to combat rising antivaccine disinformation and with it, antisemitism,” said Dr. Peter Hotez.

The vaccine technology developed by Drs. Hotez, Bottazzi and their team at Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development and Baylor College of Medicine has been produced by local manufactures in both India and Indonesia, with millions of people vaccinated. Drs. Hotez and Bottazzi were also honored for dedicating themselves to improving the health of the most vulnerable populations, promoting science-based facts to the misinformed and championing the benefits of vaccinations.

“Since I was a little girl, my calling has been to contribute towards the understanding of health inequities and to solve the underpinnings of poverty. This award named after President Lyndon B. Johnson is a huge honor for me. It exemplifies his legacy and validates our work to achieve a ‘Great Society’ by applying vaccine science and diplomacy. Having this recognition alongside my science partner, Dr. Hotez, makes it even more special. I dedicate this to scientists and partners around the world who share our philosophy,” said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi.

In 2022, Drs. Hotez and Bottazzi received a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination for their vaccine development work and received Fast Company’s 2022 Most Creative People in Business’ Award.

Previous recipients of the Lyndon B. Johnson Moral Courage Award include Steven Spielberg, The Kingdom of Denmark, Colin Powell, Senator Bob Dole Elie Wiesel, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (posthumously) and Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg (posthumously).

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s HealthPlan, the nation’s first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at

SOURCE Texas Children’s Hospital

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