In 2006, an Ecuadorian investigator, Eugenia Del Pino, was elected to the U. S. National Academy of Sciences. Her extraordinary contributions pertained to frog development, not exactly a microbiological subject. (She was even quoted as saying: "I didn't want to work with bacteria.") Nevertheless, the announcement causes me to celebrate. I spent my youth in Quito, Ecuador's capital, and have a special affection for that city and country. Hers is a singular honor, seldom bestowed on investigators from the developing world. It is not her first such award – another demonstration that exceptional talent cannot be constrained by suboptimal working conditions. The biographical note in a recent issue of PNAS attests to this and can inspire us all.