2019 Keynote Speakers
Charles Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Liu completed his undergraduate education in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and went on to receive his PhD in Chemical/Biomedical Engineering at Rice University. He then attended the Yale University School of Medicine, receiving his MD degree. He trained in neurosurgery at the University of Southern California Affiliated Hospitals.
He is presently professor of neurosurgery and neurology and holds the Apuzzo Professorship for Advanced Neurosurgery. He is also Director of the USC Center for Neurorestoration, which functions to bring scientific advances in the laboratory and engineers new tools to restore function to the injured and diseased nervous system. He also serves as the Surgical Director of the USC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, one of the premier and highest volume surgical epilepsy programs in the world.
He has received numerous research awards and made a large number of visitorships/invited lectures throughout the world. He also serves as Associate Editor of the journal, WORLD NEUROSURGERY. He is a principal neurosurgical consultant for the NCAA USC Trojans Athletics Department. In addition, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. At Rancho los Amigos, Dr. Liu is Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and is developing cutting-edge programs in restorative neurosurgery, collaborating with scientists at Caltech and USC, among others.
Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. 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 Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also University Professor at Baylor University, and Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy.
Dr. Hotez is an internationally-recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. As head of the Texas Children’s CVD, he leads the only product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, and Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS, diseases affecting hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide. In 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative he co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for hundreds of millions of people
In 2016, Prof. Hotez emerged as a major national thought leader on the Zika epidemic in the Western Hemisphere and globally. He was among the first to predict Zika’s emergence in the US and is called upon frequently to testify before US Congress, and served on infectious disease task forces for two consecutive Texas Governors. For these efforts in 2017 he was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the 34 most influential people in health care.
In addition, as both a vaccine scientist and autism Dad he has led national efforts to defend vaccines and to serve as an ardent champion of vaccines going up against a growing national “antivaxx” threat. He appears frequently on television (including BBC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC), radio, and in newspaper interviews (including the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal).