If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room

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Everything in my life involves mosquitoes. They're my passion. But also my biggest enemy. I admire their beauty. But detest what they do to mankind. I love to research them. But prefer to eliminate them.

I am a vector biologist and have devoted my entire career to the study of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, notably malaria and dengue. I was fortunate to live and work in East- and southern Africa for a full eleven years. Undoubtedly some of the best years of my life. Contributing to solving the global burden caused by malaria and dengue is what gets me up in the morning - and I love doing it. More so, I love doing it in a fun and creative way. 

That I managed to attract African malaria mosquitoes to a piece of Limburger cheese is a well-known example, but I was also the first person to simulate an African village inside a large screenhouse in Kenya. Now there's greenhouses for mosquito studies all over the world, and I am proud of that.

I also pioneered the use of fungi as a biological control tool for adult malaria mosquitoes. And was amazed and thrilled that it worked. By now research on fungi and mosquitoes is ongoing in Europe, Africa, and the USA.

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Since 2009 my life took a different turn. Rather than continuing as an academic I felt the urge to really start pulling up my sleeves to do something about malaria and dengue in the real world. Boots and tropical sun have started to replace meetings and the pressure of publishing to survive in academia.
And again I was lucky: to work with great colleagues at the company In2Care that we founded to develop products that matter and can really make a difference for the poor suffering from these terrible diseases.
And to work with great colleagues as social entrepreneurs in public health, where we revive great historical successes of mosquito-borne disease elimination and augment these with the fabulous new technologies we have at hand today: Soper Strategies, a company that honours the great successes accomplished by the legendary Fred L. Soper.
And then the Dutch Malaria Foundation, which I serve with all my energy as Chair of its Advisory Board.

Steve Jobs's famous quote says it all: "If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart,
you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."
Thank you Steve. I have found it.
Mosquitoes.