Howard Florey (pictured in 1948), a scientist with medical training, collaborated with biochemist Ernst Chain to make one of the biggest advances in modern medicine. Ten years earlier, Alexander Fleming had discovered the first known antibiotic, penicillin. But Fleming struggled to turn it into a useful drug. Chain and Florey, with their combination of scientific and medical expertise, did just that. Florey led the first clinical trial in 1941 and, within a year, millions of penicillin tablets had been produced to help save the lives of those injured during World War II. Today, there remains a need to share knowledge between the medical and scientific communities, to speed up the translation of scientific discoveries into useful treatments. To help to address this, the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre offers junior doctors the opportunity to complete a science PhD. This ’Chain-Florey Scheme’ helps to drive the development of world-class academic clinicians.
Howard Florey was born on this day in 1898
More information on the Chain-Florey Scheme can be found here
Written by Deborah Oakley
- Image courtesy of the Archives of the Australian National University
- Photographer unknown; copyright expired