Peter J. Hotez to Receive Sigma Xi’s John P. McGovern Science and Society Award

July 01, 2024

peter-hotez_headshotMedia Contact: 
Jason Papagan
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society 


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is pleased to announce that Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, is the 2024 recipient of the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award. One of Sigma Xi’s most prominent honors, the McGovern Award recognizes achievement by a scientist or engineer that transcends their career as a researcher by contributing to the public appreciation of science. The internationally acclaimed physician and scientist will be recognized in November during Sigma Xi’s International Forum on Research Excellence (IFoRE), where he will also be a keynote speaker.

Dr. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics and molecular virology & microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also the co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital endowed chair of tropical pediatrics. He has become widely recognized as one of the world’s leading minds in vaccine development and diplomacy. His Texas Children’s CVD team has developed new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS/SARS-2 coronavirus. In December 2021, he co-led the development of low-cost recombinant protein COVID vaccine technologies for global health, resulting in emergency use authorization in India and Indonesia.

"I am thrilled to be recognized by Sigma Xi, an organization that has had such an important impact on American science,” said Hotez. “My work on vaccine development for neglected diseases and global health, along with my efforts to combat accelerating antivaccine activism, are in strong alignment with the long-standing principles of Sigma Xi's important scientific mission."

As both a vaccine scientist and autism parent, Dr. Hotez has emerged as one of the nation’s leading vaccine defenders against a growing national “antivax” threat. In 2022, along with his colleague Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for “work to develop and distribute a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine to people of the world without patent limitation.”

“Dr. Hotez’s tireless efforts to improve human health and educate the public about the benefits of scientific research have earned him this honor and many more,” said Jamie Vernon, Sigma Xi executive director and CEO. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognize him for demonstrating excellence on so many levels.” 

At November’s IFoRE conference in Washington, DC, Dr. Hotez will be presented with a commemorative medal and honorarium. His talk, “Global Immunizations and the Antipoverty Vaccines: The Science vs. the Anti-science,” will follow the award ceremony as one of the featured presentations at the conference. Interested attendees can learn more and register for the event by visiting


More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety