Keynote Speakers

Maria Bottazzi, PhD

Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD is Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics and Co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is an internationally-recognized vaccinologist and global health advocate for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). With more than two decades of experience applying the product development partnership (PDP) model, she has built sustainable biotechnology capacity and successfully transitioned several NTD and emerging disease vaccines (i.e. a hookworm and schistosomiasis) from bench up to phase 2 clinical trials. As global thought-leader she has received national and international highly regarded awards, has > 130 scientific papers and participated in more than 200 conferences worldwide. She is Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar of the National Academy of Medicine and member to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the Stronger Food and Drug Regulatory Systems Abroad consensus study committee. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement (Infectious Diseases) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Sr. Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF).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.

Theresa Ochoa, MD

Dr. Theresa Ochoa is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist working in Peru as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH) and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Tropical Medicine Institute at UPCH and Head of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Laboratory at the Institute in Lima. Dr. Ochoa´s main areas of research are: (1) Enteric pathogens and diarrhea in children, with a special interest in the epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance, virulence, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diarrheagenic E. coli, Shigella, Salmonella and Campylobacter; (2) Respiratory infections, with a focus on antimicrobial resistance and serotype distribution of pneumococcal infections; (3) Neonatal and perinatal infections, including diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neonatal sepsis, congenital zika and neonatal herpes; (4) Protective factors in human milk, with a focus on the antimicrobial effect of lactoferrin from in vitro studies to clinical trials in pediatric populations; (5) Pediatric malnutrition and its association with enteric infections and the gut microbiome. Her long-term objectives are to find cost-effective interventions to decrease the burden of infectious disease, and improve outcomes in pediatric populations in developing countries.

Stephen Klineberg, PhD 

Dr. Stephen Klineberg is the Founding Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Rice University.He has been shaping local thought on the ongoing trends in the Houston metropolitan region for almost forty years. As the director of the annual “Kinder Houston Area Survey” (1982-2020), he has tracked the economic outlooks, demographic patterns, experiences and beliefs of area residents during a period of remarkable change. Under contract with Simon & Schuster, his book, Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America, will be released in spring 2020. Dr. Klineberg is the recipient of twelve major teaching awards and a much sought-after speaker in the Houston community and beyond. He is a graduate of Haverford College, with a master’s degree from the University of Paris, and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He and his wife Margaret have lived in Houston since the early 1970s; they have two children and five grandchildren.