Baylor College of Medicine Professor to Give Lecture on Childhood Vaccines and Autism

Nov. 13, 2018
Peter J. HotezBaylor will host Peter Hotez, Ph.D., for a lecture at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Room B.110 of the Baylor Sciences Building, 101 Bagby Ave. Hotez will discuss his new book, "Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism."

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by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Nov. 13, 2018) – In 1994, Peter Hotez’s daughter, Rachel, was diagnosed with autism. Hotez was troubled by growing narrative surrounding childhood vaccines and autism.

Hotez, Ph.D., dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and University Professor of Biology at Baylor University, develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the world’s poorest people.

Baylor will host Hotez for a lecture at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Room B.110 of the Baylor Sciences Building, 101 Bagby Ave. Hotez will discuss his new book, “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism.”

“Dr. Hotez is a leading international scholar of tropical medicine and to have him on campus to speak is always a great pleasure,” said Lee Nordt, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “The topic of his lecture this Thursday is particularly important because it addresses a growing concern over the potential causes of autism.”

In his book, Hotez draws on experiences as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist and father. He outlines the arguments on both sides of the vaccine debate, examines the science that refutes anti-vaccines concerns and critiques the failure of the scientific community to effectively communicate facts about vaccines and autism to the public. Hotez also shares his story of raising his daughter.

“Dr. Hotez's current book 'Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism' is based on years of studies attempting to find a possible genetic cause for this disease,” Nordt said. “It is a personal story too, and you will want to learn more about Rachel.”

Hotez is the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics and the director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at the Baylor College of Medicine. He is the author of “Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Disease of the Poor Amid Wealth.”

The lecture is presented by the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences. It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the College of Arts & Sciences website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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