Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
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. Robert Koch didn't believe there was a connection between TB in humans and animals, but he was not entirely correct.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.