Which famous people have you outlived?

Albert Schatz

American microbiologist and science educator

Died when: 84 years 350 days (1019 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius


Albert Schatz

Albert Israel Schatz (2 February 1920 – 17 January 2005) was an American microbiologist and academic who discovered streptomycin, the first antibiotic known to be effective for the treatment of tuberculosis.

He graduated from Rutgers University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in soil microbiology, and received his doctorate from Rutgers in 1945.

His PhD research led directly to the discovery of streptomycin.Born to a family of farmers, Schatz was inspired to study soil science for its potential applicability to take up his family occupation.

Topping his class at Rutgers in 1942, he immediately worked under Selman Waksman, then head of the Department of Soil Microbiology, but was drafted to the US Army to serve in the World War II.

After a back injury led to his discharge from the army, he rejoined Waksman in 1943 as a PhD student.Working in isolation from others due to his use of the dreaded tuberculosis bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), he discovered a new antibiotic which he named "streptomycin" that was proven safe and effective against the tuberculosis bacterium and other Gram-negative bacteria.

He also contributed to the discovery another antibiotic albomycin in 1947.The discovery of streptomycin led to controversies over its royalties from commercial production, and the Nobel Prize.

Unbeknownst to Schatz, Waksman had claimed financial benefits only for himself and the Rutgers Research and Endowment Foundation.A lawsuit granted Schatz 3% of the royalties and legal recognition as the co-discover.

Then, the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded solely to Waksman explicitly "for his discovery of streptomycin," which The Lancet remarked as "a considerable mistake by failing to recognize Schatz's contribution." As an act of goodwill, Schatz was honored with the Rutgers University Medal in 1994.

This content was extracted from Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License