Sir Howard Walter Florey
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945
Born: 24 September 1898, Adelaide, Australia
Died: 21 February 1968, Oxford, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: “for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases”
Prize share: 1/3
After Alexander Fleming’s 1928 discovery that a certain mold produced a substance called penicillin that inhibited the growth of bacteria, it was not a major leap to think that penicillin could be used as a pharmaceutical. However, the substance proved to be unstable and difficult to produce in pure form. Howard Florey, Ernst Boris Chain, and their colleagues succeeded in systematically producing a pure form of penicillin at the beginning of the 1940s and in investigating its properties in more detail. Additional efforts led to a pharmaceutical that could be produced in larger quantities.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.