When Pelagie Boko-Collins first began working as an entomologist — a scientist who studies insects — future careers in her home country of Benin seemed limited.

“In Benin, I’d say 95 percent of our entomology research is focused on malaria vector control,” she said. “This field can’t just be malaria, malaria, and more malaria. Mosquitoes — they transmit so many other diseases.”

In 2012 — after working for eight years on malaria vector control with Benin’s Ministry of Health — she heard a lecture from Professor David Molyneux of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the scientist credited with coining the term “neglected tropical diseases.”

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