Short Biography on Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander Fleming is rightly called the ‘Penicillin Man’. His discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin has saved and is still saving millions of lives.
He was born on 6th August 1881 at Lochfield, Ayeshire in Scotland. He completed his initial education in Scotland and then went to London for further studies. Initially, he worked at a shipping office. Then he joined St.Mary’s Medical School and in 1906 he passed with distinction.
Fleming began research on vaccine therapy in the same institute. He got the opportunity to work with the great bacteriologist Dr. Almroth Wright. In 1908 he earned a gold medal in the M.B.B.S. degree. During the First World War, he served in the Army Medical Corps.
After the war, he returned to St.Mary’s Medical School and worked there as a professor and later as an emeritus professor of bacteriology.
Fleming was always interested in bacterial studies. He did research on substances that would be toxic to the bacteria but not to the animal tissues. He discovered ‘Lysozyme’, which is present in animal and plant tissues and was found effective against some bacteria. However, it didn’t have a bacteriolytic effect on all the pathogens.
In 1928 Fleming found growth of a mold on the Staphylococci (a type of bacteria) culture plate. He observed that the growth of the bacteria was prevented around this growth of mold. He worked further on this particular mold, Penicillium notatum, and found it effective against the bacteria Staphylococci. He named it Penicillin.
Fleming conducted further research on it to extract and stabilize the drug. But this was posing problems and it was difficult to produce Penicillin on large scale. After years of hard work, in 1943 Penicillium chrysogenum was discovered which helped in the large-scale production of the drug.
Fleming was chosen as the Fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 1943. In July 1944, Alexander Fleming was honored with Knighthood. He did not agree to patent Penicillin, which could have brought him millions. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1945. He has won many more awards in the field of medicine. He had been given honorary doctorate degrees at almost thirty universities.
After his wife Sarah’s death in 1949, he married his Greek colleague Amalia in 1953. Sir Fleming died of heart disease on 11th March 1955.
Q1. When was Alexander Fleming born?
Ans. Alexander Fleming was born on 6 August 1881
Q2. Where was Alexander Fleming born?
Ans. Alexander Fleming was born in Darvel, United Kingdom
Q3. When and where did Alexander Fleming die?
Ans. Alexander Fleming died on 11 March 1955 in London, England
Q4. Who discovered the antibiotic Penicillin?
Ans. Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic Penicillin