Selman A. Waksman


Selman Abraham Waksman

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Selman Abraham Waksman
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1952

Born: 22 July 1888, Priluka, Russian Empire (now Nova Pryluka, Ukraine)

Died: 16 August 1973, Hyannis, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Prize motivation: “for his discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis”

Prize share: 1/1


After Robert Koch discovered that tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium, the hunt for a cure began. In 1939 Selman Waksman and colleagues began systematic studies of how microorganisms in soil affect tubercle bacteria. They found that their growth was impeded by another bacterium, Streptomyces grisues. In 1943 Waksman's colleague, Albert Schatz, isolated streptomycin from this bacterium, which proved an effective medicine against tuberculosis.

To cite this section
MLA style: Selman A. Waksman – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Mon. 25 Sep 2023. <>

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