Sir Alexander Fleming was born at Lochfield near Darvel in Ayrshire, Scotland on August 6th, 1881. He attended Louden Moor School, Darvel School, and Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London where he attended the Polytechnic. He spent four years in a shipping office before entering St. Mary’s Medical School, London University.
He qualified with distinction in 1906 and began research at St. Mary’s under Sir Almroth Wright, a pioneer in vaccine therapy. He gained M.B., B.S., (London), with Gold Medal in 1908, and became a lecturer at St. Mary’s until 1914.
Fleming served throughout World War I as a captain in the Army Medical Corps, being mentioned in dispatches, and in 1918 he returned to St.Mary’s. He was elected Professor of the School in 1928 and Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology, University of London in 1948. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1943 and knighted in 1944.
Early in his medical life, Fleming became interested in the natural bacterial action of the blood and in antiseptics.
In 1928, Alexander Fleming, made a remarkable discovery when he returned to his lab after a two-week vacation. He noticed that a petri dish he had left out had been contaminated with mold, but the bacteria in the dish surrounding the mold had been destroyed. He identified the mold as Penicillium notatum and realized that it produced a substance that could kill many types of bacteria. He named the substance penicillin, and he spent the next decade researching and refining the drug.
But it wasn't until 1940 that penicillin was produced on a large enough scale to treat people. That's when Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, two researchers at Oxford University, read about Fleming's discovery and began working to purify and mass-produce penicillin. They tested the drug on mice and then on a police officer who had a severe infection, and the results were astonishing. The officer recovered, and the drug proved to be incredibly effective against many types of bacterial infections.
With the help of American pharmaceutical companies, Florey and Chain were able to ramp up production of penicillin, and it became a crucial tool in the fight against infections during World War II. The drug saved countless lives and marked a turning point in the treatment of bacterial diseases.
Fleming, Florey, and Chain all received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945 for their work on penicillin, and their discovery has had a profound and lasting impact on the world. Thanks to their determination and ingenuity, we now have a powerful weapon in the fight against bacterial infections, and countless lives have been saved as a result.
Source : Happynass Team