Louis Pasteur

Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

On August 12, 1865, British surgeon Dr. Joseph Lister became the first surgeon to perform an antiseptic operation by liberal use of carbolic acid (phenol) as a disinfectant. Using phenol to sterilise surgical instruments and to clean wounds led to a reduction in post-operative infections and made surgery safer for patients. Joseph Lister – Early Years Joseph Lister was born on April 5, 1827 in Upton, Essex, England into a wealthy Quaker family in Upton, Essex. His…
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Girolamo Fracastoro’s Proposal of a Scientific Germ Theory

Girolamo Fracastoro’s Proposal of a Scientific Germ Theory

On August 6, 1553, an Italian physician, poet, and scholar in mathematics, geography and astronomy Girolamo Fracastoro passed away. Fracastoro subscribed to the philosophy of atomism, and rejected appeals to hidden causes in scientific investigation. He is known for his proposal of a scientific germ theory for how diseases are transmitted. Fracastoro’s ideas helped make unpopular public health measures more accepted, such as destroying animals, or thorough cleaning or burning of infected possessions during…
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Ilya Mechnikov and the Discovery of Macrophages

Ilya Mechnikov and the Discovery of Macrophages

On May 16, 1845, Russian biologist, zoologist and Nobel Laureate Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov was born. He is best known for his pioneering research into the immune system. In particular, Mechnikov is credited with the discovery of macrophages in 1882. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, shared with Paul Ehrlich, for his work on phagocytosis.[4] “The duration of the life of men may be considerably increased. It would be true progress to…
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Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

On December 13, 1838, French botanist Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet was born. He is best remembered for his work dealing with plant pests, especially in the vineyards of France that were infested by the destructive Phylloxera in the 1860s. Pierre Millardet – Background Millardet attended the Collège de l’Arc and later Besançon, he studied medicine as well as nature science at the University of Freiburg and Heidelberg before becoming professor of botany at the…
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Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

On July 1, 1818, Hungarian physician of German extraction Ignaz Semmelweis was born. He is best known for his discovery of the cause of puerperal (“child bed”) fever and introduced antisepsis into medical practice by insisting on health workers rigorously handwashing between patients, and clean bed sheets. Ignaz Semmelweis – Youth and Education Ignaz Semmelweis was born in 1818 in the Tabán sub-district of Buda, Hungary,  in 1818 as the 5th child of the…
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Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

On December 11, 1843, Robert Koch, the founder of modern bacteriology, was born. He is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. As a result of his groundbreaking research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. “When the doctor walks behind the coffin of his patient, sometimes…
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Louis Pasteur – the Father of Medical Microbiology

Louis Pasteur – the Father of Medical Microbiology

On December 27, 1822, French chemist Louis Pasteurwas born, who is considered one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases. “I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the…
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Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

On July 12, 1863, French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist Léon Charles Albert Calmette was born. Calmette discovered the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, an attenuated form of Mycobacterium bovis used in the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. He also developed the first antivenom for snake venom, the Calmette‘s serum. From Naval Medical Corps to Institute Louis Pasteur Calmette was born in Nice, France. He wanted to serve in the Navy and be a physician, so in 1881…
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Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

On March 15 1860, Russian bacteriologist Sir Waldemar Mordechai Wolff Haffkine was born. Haffkine is best known for an anti-cholera vaccine that he tried out successfully in India. He is recognized as the first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague. He tested the vaccines on himself. Lord Joseph Lister named him “a saviour of humanity”.[4] Early Years Born as Vladimir Aaronovich Khavkin, Waldemar Haffkine was born into a family of Jewish teachers living…
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Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

On February 6, 1834, Swiss-German pathologist Theodor Albrecht Edwin Klebs was born. Klebs is mainly known for his work on infectious diseases. His works paved the way for the beginning of modern bacteriology, and inspired Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. He was the first to identify a bacterium that causes diphtheria, which was called Klebs–Loeffler bacterium. Medical Studies in Königsberg and Würzburg Edwin Klebs was born in Königsberg, Province of Prussia. Ignoring…
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