The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) has selected Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized physician-scientist, global health advocate, accomplished author, and 2022 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, as the 2022 John P. McGovern Award Recipient. This award recognizes preeminent contributions to the various modes of medical communication and is named in honor of renowned allergist and philanthropist John P. McGovern, MD.
Based in Houston, Texas, Hotez is a professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, professor at Baylor University, and codirector of Texas Children's Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development. Considered a pioneer in his field, Hotez is an expert in neglected tropical diseases, global health, and vaccinology with a passion for developing new interventions, combatting anti-science misinformation, and communicating science.Upon receiving news of this honor, Hotez expressed his appreciation and shared, “I am thrilled to receive this award. I’ve worked hard to become a writer and find ways to communicate science and medicine, and therefore this award has special meaning.”
As part of his many contributions to science and medical communication, Hotez’s scientific publications and advocacy have addressed treatment needs for millions of underserved populations afflicted with neglected tropical diseases around the world. He has co-led efforts to develop new “antipoverty” vaccines for neglected tropical diseases, including CORBEVAX, a low-cost recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine specifically engineered to combat the worldwide problem of vaccine access and availability. Originally granted Emergency Use Authorization for distribution in India in December of 2021, over 30 million shots have now been administered to children aged 12 to 14. The vaccine technology has most recently been approved for use in Botswana with additional countries on the horizon.
His contributions to the field of medical communication include a plethora of peer-reviewed journal articles and 5 single-author books, such as his most recent and timely, Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-science. His other books include Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor Amid Wealth and Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism (Johns Hopkins University Press); the latter publication is Hotez’s personal reflection on his journey as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist, and father of an autistic child.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hotez has appeared almost daily on national platforms to educate the world on vaccines and to address the spread of misinformation. His research on coronaviruses began a decade prior to the pandemic. Through this knowledge and diplomacy, he has become a regular contributor to many media platforms and a trusted source to many.
“Dr Hotez’s advocacy for health equity among underserved populations, continued work on vaccines and COVID-19, and passion for communicating science has resonated with medical communicators,” said Katrina Burton, AMWA President. “I will be honored to present a much-deserved award to this leader in medical communication on behalf of the entire AMWA membership.”
Dr Hotez will receive the McGovern Award and give an address at the AMWA 2022 Medical Writing & Communication Conference in Denver, CO, November 2-5, 2022