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Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2004 Apr;15(2):109-14.

Sir Howard Walter Florey--the force behind the development of penicillin.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 66212 Fannin, A-150, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The development of penicillin was a watershed in the battle against infectious diseases. The primary individuals responsible for its discovery and development were Sir Alexander Fleming, Sir Howard Walter Florey, and Ernst B. Chain, now primary figures in the annals of medical history. The individual who serendipitously "discovered" penicillin was Sir Alexander Fleming. Despite the determination displayed by Fleming, little notice was given to his discovery for more than a decade, and the active substance was not isolated. Finally, in 1939, Florey, along with Chain, led a team of British scientists who successfully manufactured the drug from the liquid broth in which penicillin grows. They, along with Fleming, were given the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their roles in the discovery and development of this agent. This biography focuses on the life and work of Sir Howard Walter Florey.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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