Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from F-J

Florey, Howard Walter, Baron Florey of Adelaide

penicillin pathology oxford australian

(1898–1968) Australian pathologist: central figure in introduction of penicillin as useful antibiotic.

Born and educated in Adelaide, Florey studied physiology in Oxford and pathology in Cambridge; in 1931 he became professor of pathology in Sheffield and in 1934 at Oxford. In the early 1930s he began to study lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme present in mucus discovered by in 1922. In 1935 joined the department and in 1936 ; both were chemists and so the group had the skills to begin a study of the antibacterials formed in small amounts by certain moulds.

Fleming in 1928 had discovered a good candidate, penicillin, which he had been unable to isolate because of its instability, and this came early on the group’s programme. By 1941 they had isolated enough penicillin to try on nine human patients and the results were good. The war was at a critical stage and large-scale production was begun in the USA out of range of enemy bombers, as a result of Florey’s discussions with US drug companies. By 1944 enough was available to treat casualties in the Normandy battles, as well as severe civilian infections, with impressive results. Fleming, Florey and Chain shared a Nobel Prize in 1945 for their work on penicillin.

Florey went to work on other antibiotics, but he was always involved in other areas of experimental pathology, especially on the lymphatic and vascular systems. Although he lived in the UK from 1922 and in Oxford from 1935 he retained his Australian outlook and accent, and he did much to found the Australian National University at Canberra.

Florio, John (c. 1553–1625) - BIOGRAPHY, MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES, CRITICAL RECEPTION [next] [back] Flood

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or