ALEXANDER FLEMING 1881-1955
(Who discovered Penicilin)
Sir Alexander Fleming was born at Lochfield near Darvel in Ayrshire, Scotland on August 6th, 1881. He attended Louden Moor School, Darvel School, and Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London where he attended the Polytechnic. He spent four years in a shipping office before entering St. Mary’s Medical School, London University. He qualified with distinction in 1906 and began research at St. Mary’s under Sir Almroth Wright. A pioner in vaccine therapy. He gained M.B.,B.S., (London), with Gold Medal in 1908 and became a lecture atSt. Mary’s until 1914. He served throughout World War I as a captain in the Army Medical Corps, being mentioned in dispathced and in 1918 he return to St. Mary’s. He was elected Professor of the School in 1928 and Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology, University of London in 1948. He was elected Fellow of Royal Society in 1943 and knighted in 1944.
1921, he discovered in “tissue and secretion” an important bacteriolytic substance wic he named Lysozyme. In 1928, while working on influenza virus, he observed that mould had developed accidently on a staphylococcus culture plate and that the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. He wa inspired to further experiment and he found that a mould culture prevented growth of staphylococci, even when diluted 800 times. He named the active substance penicilin.
He served as President of the Society for General Microbiology, he was a Member of Pontificial Academy of Sciences and Honorary Member of almost all the Medical and Scientific Societies of the world. He was Rector of Edinburgh University during 1951-1954, freeman of many boroughs and cities and Honorary Chief Doy-gei-tau of the Kiowa tribe. He was also awarded doctorate, honouris causa, degrees of almost thirty European and American Universities.
In 1915, Fleming married Sarah Marion McElroy of Killala, Ireland, who died in 199. Their son is a general medical practitioner.
Fleming married again in 1953, his bride was Dr. Amalia Koutsouri-Voureka, a Greek colleague at St. Mary’s.
Dr. Fleming died on March 11th in 1955 and is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.