Howard Florey, an Australian pharmacologist, and the pathologist were born in Adelaide in 1898. He is considered to be one of the greatest scientists. Howard Florey shares the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine with colleague Ernst B. Chain and Alexander Fleming for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases.
Florey studied medicine at Adelaide and Oxford University until 1924. He was appointed professor of pathology at Sheffield and then at Oxford. He also served as president of the Royal Society
Fleming first observed the antibiotic properties of the mold that makes penicillin, but it was Chain and Florey who developed it into a useful treatment. They were conducting the first-ever clinical trials of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford in 1941. Following World War II and the work of his research team in North Africa, penicillin came into widespread clinical use.
Sir Howard Florey died on February 21, 1968. In 1973, The Reserve Bank of Australia issued a 50 Australian Dollar note depicting Florey's portrait and scenes of laboratory research. Interestingly, the reverse carries the portrait of Ian Clunies Ross, veterinary scientist and first chairman of the CSIRO, along with scenes from the Australian environment.
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