10 Interesting Facts about Alexander Fleming

One of these following facts about Alexander Fleming will obviously give you much information about this figure. Alexander Fleming was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicilin from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. Furthermore, to get to know more about this figure, here are some facts about Alexander Fleming you might be interested in.

Facts about Alexander Fleming 1: World War I

Fleming served throughout World War I as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was mentioned in Dispatches. He and many of his colleagues worked in battlefield hospitals at the Western Front in France. In 1918 he returned to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was elected Professor of Bacteriology of the University of London in 1928.

Facts about Alexander Fleming 2: Work before Penicillin

Following World War I, Fleming actively searched for anti-bacterial agents, having witnessed the death of many soldiers from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. Antiseptics killed the patients’ immunological defences more effectively than they killed the invading bacteria.

Facts about Alexander Fleming - Alexander Fleming

Facts about Alexander Fleming – Alexander Fleming

Facts about Alexander Fleming 3: Purification and Stabilization

In Oxford, Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham discovered how to isolate and concentrate penicillin. Abraham was the first to propose the correct structure of penicillin.

Facts about Alexander Fleming 4: Fleming Myth

Fleming was modest about his part in the development of penicillin, describing his fame as the “Fleming Myth” and he praised Florey and Chain for transforming the laboratory curiosity into a practical drug. Fleming was the first to discover the properties of the active substance, giving him the privilege of naming it: penicillin.

Facts about Alexander Fleming - 3D model of penicillin

Facts about Alexander Fleming – 3D model of penicillin

Facts about Alexander Fleming 5: Antibiotics

Fleming’s accidental discovery and isolation of penicillin in September 1928 marks the start of modern antibiotics. Before that, several scientists had published or pointed out that mould or penicillium sp. were able to inhibit bacterial growth, and even to cure bacterial infections in animals

Facts about Alexander Fleming 6: Personal Life

Fleming’s first wife, Sarah, died in 1949. Their only child, Robert Fleming, became a general medical practitioner. After Sarah’s death, Fleming married Dr. Amalia Koutsouri-Yourekas, a Greek colleague at St. Mary’s, on 9 April 1953; she died in 1986.

Facts about Alexander Fleming - Display at the museum

Facts about Alexander Fleming – Display at the museum

Facts about Alexander Fleming 7: Discovery

His discovery of penicillin had changed the world of modern medicine by introducing the age of useful antibiotics; penicillin has saved, and is still saving, millions of people around the world.

Facts about Alexander Fleming 8: Fleming Museum

The laboratory at St Mary’s Hospital where Fleming discovered penicillin is home to the Fleming Museum, a popular London attraction. His alma mater, St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, merged with Imperial College London in 1988.

Facts about Alexander Fleming - Faroe Island stamp

Facts about Alexander Fleming – Faroe Island stamp

Facts about Alexander Fleming 9: Use

Fleming cautioned about the use of penicillin in his many speeches around the world. He cautioned not to use penicillin unless there was a properly diagnosed reason for it to be used, and that if it were used, never to use too little, or for too short a period, since these are the circumstances under which bacterial resistance to antibiotics develops.

Facts about Alexander Fleming 10: Death

On 11 March 1955, Fleming died at his home in London of a heart attack. He was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Facts about Alexander Fleming - Receiving award

Facts about Alexander Fleming – Receiving award

Hope you would find those Alexander Fleming facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.



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