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Sir Alexander Fleming was born at Lochfield near Darvel in Ayrshire Scotland on August 6th 1881 He attended Louden Moor School Darvel School and Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London where he attended the Polytechnic He spent four years in a shipping office before entering St Marys Medical School London University He qualified with distinction in 1906 and began research at St Marys under Sir Almroth Wright a pioneer in vaccine therapy He gained MB BS London with Gold Medal in 1908 and became a lecturer at St Marys until 1914 He served throughout World War I as a captain in the Army Medical Corps being mentioned in dispatches and in 1918 he returned to StMarys He was elected Professor of the School in 1928 and Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology University of London in 1948 He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1943 and knighted in 1944 Early in his medical life Fleming became interested in the natural bacterial action of the blood and in antiseptics He was able to continue his studies throughout his military career and on demobilisation he settled to work on antibacterial substances which would not be toxic to animal tissues In 1921 he discovered in tissues and secretions an important bacteriolytic substance which he named Lysozyme About this time he devised sensitivity titration methods and assays in human blood and other body fluids which he subsequently used for the titration of penicillin In 1928 while working on influenza virus he observed that mould had developed accidentally on a staphylococcus culture plate and that the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself He was inspired to further experiment and he found that a mould culture prevented growth of staphylococci even when diluted 800 times He named the active substance penicillin Sir Alexander wrote numerous papers on bacteriology immunology and chemotherapy including original descriptions of lysozyme and penicillin They have been published in medical and
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