Alexander Fleming 6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955
Fleming was a Scottish biologist, pharmacological and botanist also known for the discovery of penicillin
Researched at St Mary's Hospital Medical School at the University of London under Sir Almroth Wright, a pioneer in vaccine therapy.
Fleming wrote numerous papers on bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy. He was elected professor of the medical school in 1928 and emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of London in 1948. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1943 and knighted in 1944. In 1945 Fleming, Florey and Chain shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Fleming died on 11 March 1955.
Fleming noticed that mould had developed accidentally on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. The mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. Fleming experimented further and named the active substance penicillin.
At first supplies of penicillin were very limited, but by the 1940s it was being mass-produced by the American drugs industry.