“One of the great advances in civilisation”
In 1945 The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Alexander Fleming, Howard Walter Florey and Ernst Boris Chain “for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases.
Sir Alexander Fleming receiving the Nobel Prize from King Gustaf V of Sweden in Stockholm, December 10,1945,Howard Walter and Ernst Boris Chain.Photo Bild i Syd
St. Mary’s Hospital, birthplace of penicillin
Alexander Fleming (1881 – 1955) at St. Mary’s Hospital, London University), Howard Walter Florey (1889 – 1968) and Ernst Boris Chain (1906 -1979) both at Oxford University were awarded the unquestioned 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the antibiotic penicillin and identified how it cures bacterial diseases.
Finding penicillin was a lucky accident. While studying bacteria, Fleming already in 1928 noticed that some had been killed and had dissolved away around a spot of blue-green mould which by chance had contaminated one of his dishes.
He transferred the mould to broth, which he found had such a strong effect on bacteria that even when diluted hundreds of times, the penicillin completely prevented bacterial growth. This mould belonged to the Penicillium group of moulds, and he therefore named the broth, later the substance itself, penicillin.
Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey went on to purify and extract penicillin, enabling it to be produced in large amounts to treat many different bacterial diseases.
Source: URKI website
More info: www.nobelprize.org