Find out which British bacteriologist discovered penicillin.
British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) discovered the bacteria-killing property of penicillin in 1928.
Fleming noticed that no bacteria grew around bits of the penicillium notatum fungus that accidentally fell into a bacterial culture in his laboratory. However, although penicillin was clinically used, it was not until 1941 that Dr. Howard Florey (1898-1968) purified and tested it.
The first large-scale plant to produce penicillin was constructed under the direction of Dr. Ernest Chain (1906-1979). By 1945, penicillin was commercially available. In that year, Chain, Florey, and Fleming received a joint Nobel Prize for their work on penicillin.