Inventors are inspirational. Alexander Fleming was an inventor, biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist. He is remembered for his discovery of the enzyme lysozyme and penicillin. He was, also, the author of numerous articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy.
Alexander Fleming was born on August 6, 1881 in Scotland. He had three siblings. He attended what was called Loudoun Moor School and earned a scholarship to Kilmarnock Academy. He then moved to London, England to attend the Royal Polytechnic Institution. In 1903, he went to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School. Fleming was in the London Scottish Regiment and served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I. He saw the death of many soldiers from the results of infected wounds. This led to him writing about current practices and to him doing experiments. In 1918, Fleming returned to St. Mary’s Hospital. His work with antibacterial substances led to the discovery of lysozyme, which is present in many body secretions. Fleming became known as a brilliant researcher.
In 1928, he made a discovery that changed the world because he was what has become seen as the “messy scientist”. He came back to his lab in September following an August vacation and noticed a change with some staphylococci cultures he had not taken care of before he left. One had a fungus and the staphylococci in it only had been destroyed. Fleming grew the mold. He named it penicillin in 1929. His discovery was published in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology. Investigations and clinical tests occurred. Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain researched and mass-produced penicillin. Chain and Edward Abraham discovered how to isolate and concentrate it. A team developed methods for mass production and distribution in 1945. Other scientists had worked with penicillin for many years, however it took Fleming’s work to bring it to the world.
Fleming died in 1955 in London at his home. He changed medicine by discovering penicillin and ushering in the use of helpful antibiotics. He, Florey, and Chain received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, was knighted as Knight Bachelor, and was made a Knight Grand of the Order of Alfonso X the Wise. There are other awards, honors, and tributes as well. Be inspired! Have a bright day!