American microbiologist and science educatorDied when: 84 years 350 days (1019 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius
Albert Israel Schatz (2 February 1920 – 17 January 2005) was an American microbiologist and science educator, best known as the discoverer of the antibiotic streptomycin.
Schatz graduated from Rutgers University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in soil microbiology, and received his doctorate from Rutgers in 1945.
In 1943, as a 23-year-old postgraduate research assistant working in the university's soil microbiology laboratory under the direction of Selman Waksman, Schatz volunteered to search for soil-borne microorganisms that would kill or inhibit the growth of penicillin-resistant bacteria including tubercle bacillus, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB).
In three and a half months, he had isolated two distinct microorganisms excreting a substance (which he named "streptomycin") that stopped the growth of tubercle bacillus and several other penicillin-resistant bacteria in a Petri dish.