26 September, 2008

The Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945

        → http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1945/index.html

The British media incorrectly reported the story of penicillin, 
in which Fleming is the developer of penicillin therapy for 
bacterial infections in human. 

But the Nobel committee made fair judge. In 1945, Alexander 
the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Without Dr. Chain's new knowledge of biochemistry,The work
did not succeed. Without Dr. Florey's leadership, penicillin 
project did not succeed. Without Heatley's technical assistance, 
did not succeed.

I think that Dr. Fleming have been overestimated by mass
media,as in the case of Dr. Hideo Noguchi, in the History 
of Medicine.

As a researcher of Bacteriology, Fleming was a genius. 
but he was a lonely, egoistic man. On the other, Dr.Florey 
did not find any something new in field of Pathology or 
Medicine. He followed up the previous findings or discoveries, 
and deduced the final conclusion on the subject. He was 
pragmatist and organizer.

Heatley contributed the technical device and idea for the 
assay or extraction, isolation of penicillin. 

In 1990, Norman George Heatley was awarded the unusual 
distinction of an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from Oxford 
University, the first given to a non-medic in Oxford's 800-year 

1) Abraham EP, Chain E, Fletcher CM, Florey HW,Gardner AD, 
     Heatley NG, Jennings MA,: Further observations on Penicillin.
    The Lancet 238:177-188, August 16, 1941. 
    The article described the first human trials of penicillin for 
    bacterial infection. 
    Nobel Lecture, March 20, 1946 
3) Gwyn Macfarlane: Howard Florey; The making of a great scientist.
    Oxford University Press, 1980. 
  The biography, written by Oxford Medical doctor. Based on his research    
 experience in Hematology, Dr. Macfarlane described the Florey's medical   
 research in detail, and not forcas in human story.
4) Gwyn Macfarlane: Alexander Fleming: The Man and the Myth. 
     Oxford University Press, 1985.
  So many books of Fleming's biography have been published. 
  However, Almost all biographer have been writers without medical 
  training or knowledges. This biography was written by medical 
  doctor of Oxford. Dr.Macfarlane accessed to unpublished material
  about Fleming. and described the true fact of his penicillin 

Any questions: write to Keiji Hagiwara, M.D. 
                            E-mail: keijihagiwara@gmail.com