The two organizations are a major part of the research that takes place at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
The $1.8 million grant was donated by the Robert and Helen Kleberg Foundation to speed the development of the world’s first therapeutic vaccine to prevent humans from contracting Chagas disease.
Chagas is one of the five most neglected parasite infections within the U.S. Texas alone has thousands of cases of the illness, which is spread through trypanosomes, or parasitic microorganisms. The disease destroys heart tissue, causing Chagasic cardiomyopathy. People contract the illness through bits from triatomines, or insects with the trypanosome parasite that suck blood.
"Chagas has become a serious health issue, especially for the population of South Texas," Peter Hotez, Texas Children’s Hospital endowed chair in Tropical Pediatrics, said. "Thanks to the support and confidence of the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, we will be able to speed the research and development needed to create a vaccine for Chagas."
Texas Children's Hospital is at 6621 Fannin St. in Houston.