The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1905
Born: 11 December 1843, Clausthal (now Clausthal-Zellerfeld), Germany
Died: 27 May 1910, Baden-Baden, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: Institute for Infectious Diseases, Berlin, Germany
Prize motivation: “for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis”
Prize share: 1/1
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious illness affecting tissue, especially in the lungs. Robert Koch, who had conducted a range of important studies on illnesses caused by microorganisms, discovered and described the TB bacterium in 1882. He later studied tuberculin, a substance formed by tubercle bacteria. It was hoped it could be used as a cure for TB, but proved ineffective. Koch didn't believe there was a connection between TB in humans and animals, but he was not entirely correct.
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