Sir Alexander Fleming
Born: 6 August 1881, Lochfield, Scotland
Died: 11 March 1955, London, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: London University, London, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases."
Prize share: 1/3
Among microorganisms, life is a constant battle for survival. Alexander Fleming became interested in this. He used to leave bowls with bacteria cultures standing by his worktable. In 1928 he saw that in addition to bacteria, a mold fungus had begun to grow in a bowl and that the bacteria's growth had been impeded in the vicinity of the mold. He concluded that the mold contained a substance that was effective against bacteria. The substance was given the name penicillin and became the basis for medication to treat bacterial infections.