An expert in tropical diseases will lead an elite team of researchers in establishing a unique center in Houston to study and develop vaccines for these afflictions, which affect millions of poor people worldwide. Peter Hotez, MD, who will join the staffs of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine this summer, will serve as founding dean of a new, as yet unnamed, tropical disease research school at Baylor. It will be the only such institution in North or South America, said Hotez, who was in Houston for the announcement Wednesday. He is chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and president of the nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute, named for polio vaccine developer Albert Sabin, MD. More than 20 researchers with the Sabin Institute's vaccine-development arm will come to Houston with Hotez. Other functions of the institute will remain in Washington.