The unlikely diplomat

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Science  22 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6284, pp. 405-406
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6284.405

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Malariologist Myaing Myaing Nyunt was a medical student in Rangoon, Burma, on 8 September 1988 when her country erupted in prodemocracy riots. When the army opened fire, Nyunt, like thousands of other student radicals, fled for the borders. After a time in Thailand and then the United Kingdom, she eventually immigrated to the United States to continue her education—with no intention of returning home. But malaria has brought her back—specifically, a unique collaboration she and her collaborator/husband are leading, along with government scientists, to forge the scientific and political links needed to drive the disease from her country.