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Alexander Fleming


Sir Alexander Fleming was one of the most influential scientists of his time. He is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the antibiotic penicillin in 1928. Penicillin has saved about millions of people’s lives. Fleming was born in Scotland on August 6, 1881.

He completed a course at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in Paddington, London. After which he joined the research team at St Mary’s where was the assistant to a bacteriologist, Sir Almroth Wright.


Quick Facts: –

  • Alexander Fleming has received his licentiate from the Royal College of Physicians in 1906 and then he joined the Inoculation Department.
  • Fleming served as a member of the Territorial Army from 1900 to 1914 in the London Scottish Regiment.
  • He also served in battlefield hospitals when World War I broke out.
  • In 1928, he was appointed as a professor of bacteriology in 1928 at the University of London.
  • He was knighted as Knights Bachelor in 1944 and became Sir Alexander Fleming.
  • Fleming also worked in a shipping office for four years in his initial days.
  • He studied the different properties of a strain of staphylococcus bacteria.
  • He used to leave bowls with bacteria cultures standing by his worktable and this led to his discoveries.
  • Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham discovered how to isolate the penicillin and increase its potential.
  • This is the reason why they shared the Nobel Prize with Fleming which was awarded in 1945.
  • Fleming also demonstrated that antiseptic agents were only useful in treating superficial wounds, but were harmful when applied to deep wounds.



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