The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) at Baylor College of Medicine is the recipient of the 2023 David and Beatrix Hamburg Award for Advances in Biomedical Research and Clinical Medicine for their development of a recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine technology, created in Houston, which has benefited millions of people around the world.
"Developing and testing safe, effective and affordable vaccines represents the product or deliverable of true team science, and I'm personally thrilled to see this type of appreciation and endorsement by one of our nation's most important biomedical academies," said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.
The Hamburg Award is awarded by the National Academy of Medicine in recognition of an exceptional biomedical research discovery that has fundamentally enriched our understanding of human biology and disease, leading to a significant reduction of disease burden and improvement in human health.
"Our group of scientists works together across disciplines to develop and advance vaccines for tropical and emerging infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable individuals around the world," said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, senior associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's. "This recognition reinforces the importance of fostering exceptional, creative and interdisciplinary scientific teams to advance biomedical sciences that benefit humanity."
In addition to Drs. Hotez and Bottazzi, several other team members were recognized including:
- Wen-Hsiang Chen, Ph.D., assay development and quality control unit leader and assistant professor of pediatric tropical medicine at Baylor
- Jason Kimata, Ph.D., genetic engineering unit leader and associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor
- Jungsoon Lee, Ph.D., process development unit leader and tropical medicine research director at Baylor
- Zhuyun Liu, M.S., process development unit leader and tropical medicine research director at Baylor
- Jeroen Pollet, Ph.D., formulation and delivery unit leader and assistant professor of pediatric tropical medicine at Baylor
- Bin Zhan, M.D., molecular biology unit leader and associate professor of pediatric tropical Medicine at Baylor
The Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, in partnership with BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, enabled the technology transfer of the COVID-19 vaccine technology to developing countries' vaccine manufactures to produce and advance the vaccine. In India, the vaccine is produced under the name Corbevax by Biological E. Limited. Botswana has also approved Corbevax and the team is further assisting with vaccine development capacity in Africa through a training program for scientists. In Indonesia, the vaccine is produced by manufacturer Bio Farma under the name IndoVac.