Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide OM FRS FRCP was born on this date in 1898. He was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin. Although Fleming received most of the credit for the discovery of penicillin, it was Florey who carried out the first ever clinical trials in 1941 of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on the first patient, a Postmaster from Wolvercote near Oxford. The patient started to recover but subsequently died because Florey had not made enough penicillin. It was Florey and his team who actually made a useful and effective drug out of penicillin after the task had been abandoned as too difficult. Florey’s discoveries are estimated to have saved over 82 million lives, and he is consequently regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures. Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, said, “In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia.”
André Frédéric Cournand was born on this date in 1895. He was a French physician and physiologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956 along with Werner Forssmann and Dickinson W. Richards for the development of cardiac catheterization. Born in Paris, Cournand emigrated to the United States in 1930 and, in 1941, became a naturalised citizen. For most of his career, Cournand was a professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and worked at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Many seats of medical research have recognized his work, and he has received the Anders Retzius Silver Medal of the Swedish Society for Internal Medicine (1946), the Lasker Award of the United States Public Health Association (1949), the John Philipps Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians (1952), the Gold Medal of the Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique and of the Académie Nationale de Médecine, Paris (1956). He was elected Doctor (honoris causa) of the Universities of Strasbourg (1957), Lyon (1958), Brussels (1959), Pisa (1961), and D.Sc. of the University of Birmingham (1961). His widow Beatrice died in 1993 aged 90.
Severo Ochoa de Albornoz was born on this date in 1905 – 1 November 1993) was a Spanish physician and biochemist, and joint winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Arthur Kornberg. A new research centre that was planned in the 1970s, was finally built and named after Ochoa. The asteroid 117435 Severochoa is also named in his honour. In June 2011, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp honouring him, as part of the American Scientists collection, along with Melvin Calvin, Asa Gray, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer. This was the third volume in the series.