In this guest editorial, UTMB’s Scott Weaver, director of UTMB’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and scientific director of the Galveston National Laboratory, discusses how the battle against infectious disease has always been a priority at UTMB — from the 19th-century days when sailing ships from around the world brought not only cargo into the port of Galveston, but also rats and mosquitoes harboring exotic viruses and bacteria — to today, when UTMB’s GNL houses an infectious disease program described by Science magazine as one that “may well become the center for tropical medicine in the world.”