Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD, FASTMH

senior associatE dean, national school of tropical medicine 

division chief, pediatric tropical medicine

co-director, texas children's hospital center for vaccine development, texas children's hospital

Maria Elena Bottazzi, is Sr. 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 is an internationally recognized tropical and emerging disease vaccinologist, global health advocate and co-creator of a patent-free, open science COVID-19 vaccine technology that led to the development of Corbevax, a COVID-19 vaccine for the world. She pioneers and leads the advancement of a robust infectious and tropical disease vaccine portfolio tackling diseases such as coronavirus, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and Chagas that affect disproportionally the world’s poorest populations. She also has established innovative partnerships in Latin America, Middle East and Southeast Asia, making significant contributions to innovative educational & research programs, catalyze policies and disseminate science information to reach a diverse set of audiences.

As global thought-leader she has received national and international highly regarded awards, has more than 230 scientific papers and participated in more than 250 conferences worldwide. She is Member of the National Academy of Science of Honduras and Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine of the National Academy of Medicine in the US.

Dr. Bottazzi is a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), the Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement and Sr. Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF). Forbes LATAM in 2020 and 2021 selected Dr. Bottazzi as one of 100 Most Powerful Women in Central America. Dr. Bottazzi has served in several National Academies Ad-hoc Committees and serves as Co-chair of the Vaccines and Therapeutics Taskforce of the Lancet Commission on COVID-19. In 2022, alongside Dr. Peter Hotez, she was nominated by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher of Texas for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Bottazzi obtained her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Honduras and a 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 Pennsylvania, where afterwards worked at the George Washington University prior to relocating to Texas.