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Howard Florey
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Doctor
    (September 24, 1898-February 21, 1968)
    Born in Adelaide, Australia
    With Ernst Chain isolated penicillin from the mold penicillium notatum
    Developed techniques for mass production of penicillin
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Chain and Alexander Fleming (1945)
    Named a life peer as Baron Florey (1965)
    The first patient he treated with penicillin started recovering, but had a relapse and died when the supply of the drug ran out.
    His role in the development of penicillin was overshadowed by Alexander Fleming's.
    After his first wife died, he married his research assistant.
    He said, 'People sometimes think that I and the others worked on penicillin because we were interested in suffering humanity. I don't think it ever crossed our minds about suffering humanity. This was an interesting scientific exercise.'
    He refused to take out a patent on penicillin since it could benefit all mankind.
    He went from testing penicillin on mice to mass production in only three years.
    Mass production of penicillin started in 1943, saving the lives of millions of Allied soldiers in World War II.
    Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies said, 'In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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