Baylor pediatrician earns prestigious foreign policy fellowship

Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery Collins

Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery Collins

Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery Collins has contributed years of her career serving patients in Houston and abroad, helping HIV-infected children who might never receive lifesaving treatment if it wasn’t for her time and efforts. She’ll continue that work through a prestigious fellowship.

Collins is part of a government sponsored fellowship program called the Jefferson Science Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Established in 2003, the program is a model for engaging the American academic science, technology and engineering communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy.

The program is overseen by the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, with administrative support from the National Academies.

Collins joined the Office of the Secretary of State as a senior science advisor to work on the Global Partnership Initiative, which aims to strengthen and deepen U.S. diplomacy and development around the world through partnerships that leverage the creativity, innovation and core business resources of partners for greater impact.

She started the fellowship in August, and will spend a full year in the program.

“I accepted the invitation to serve as a fellow with the Global Partnership Initiative team because it placed me in the Secretary of State’s Office and because it promised the freedom to pursue certain healthcare collaborations that I hope will advance projects of interest to myself, Baylor and the Department of State,” said Collins, an associate professor of pediatrics in the section of retrovirology and global health at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She has also worked with the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital

During the first months of her fellowship, Collins was able to generate significant interest in global health issues, including neglected tropical diseases and the growing problem of substandard, spurious, falsely-labeled, falsified and counterfeit medicines, Collins said.

She spent several weeks in 2014 in Houston for special training at Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine. In cooperation with tropical medicine school Dean Dr. Peter Hotez, chair of pediatrics Dr. Mark Kline and chair of obstetrics and gynecology Dr. Michael Belfort, Collins is working to build partnerships to address the global problem of neglected diseases.