Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Dr. Huda Zoghbi Inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame at 2023 Gala


HOUSTON (March 2, 2023) – Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are proud to announce that Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Huda Zoghbi were honored today by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC) and inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding women who have contributed significantly to the advancement of women and improved the quality of life for future generations of Texas women.

Dr. Bottazzi, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and Senior Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Zoghbi, Director of The Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, joined 19 other women who were also recognized for their contributions.  

“It is a great honor to be inducted in the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame”, said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi. “I hope that my work as a scientist and global health advocate will contribute to the advancement and empowerment of women in the Houston area and around the world to amplify our voices through leadership, education, advocacy and mentoring.”

Dr. Bottazzi, along with Dr. Peter Hotez, was nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize last February for their efforts developing patent-free COVID-19 vaccine technology. They were also named two of Fast Company’s 2022 Most Creative People in Business. Alongside their team of scientists, they harnessed scientific knowledge and data from decades-long studies to develop a recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine technology at Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development. The technology has empowered local producers and reached the goal of benefiting the world’s populations most in need in middle to low-income countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so honored to be named to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame along with so many other accomplished women in Houston. Together we hope to inspire girls and young women for generations to come,” said Dr. Zoghbi.

Dr. Zoghbi received the prestigious Kavli Prize in September 2022. She and her fellow neuroscience laureates were recognized for pioneering the discovery of genes underlying a range of serious brain disorders. Dr. Zoghbi was specifically recognized for two discoveries – first, the gene responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia 1 (SCA1), a progressive and often deadly disease in which neurons in the cerebellum and brain stem degenerate, causing loss of balance and coordination as well as swallowing difficulties. Second, for her discovery of the MECP2 gene responsible for Rett syndrome, a developmental disorder that strikes children, mostly girls, causing regression and disability. Additionally, Dr. Zoghbi received the Lundbeck Foundation Brain Prize, the largest prize for neuroscience in the world, in 2021. In 2017 she received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s Health Plan, the nation’s first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.