The Life of Ernst Chain: Penicillin and Beyond

Ronald William Clark, Author St. Martin's Press $25 (217p) ISBN 978-0-312-48419-4
Though his name is not well known to the general public, Chain was of central importance in the development of antibiotics, and was co-recipient of a 1945 Nobel Prize for his work on penicillin. Clark, author of The Survival of Charles Darwin, etc., effectively recreates Chain's life and career, from his Berlin youth as a scientifically and musically gifted Russian-German Jew until his move to England in 1933. There he joined Howard Florey's biochemistry laboratory to research the therapeutic application of penicillin; by 1944, the drug was being mass-produced for war use. The author draws a candid portrait of the ebullient, temperamental Chain and of his stormy professional relations. In Rome, where he headed the first international center for research on antibiotics, and later again in England, he developed semi-synthetic penicillin, which was of utmost value in the battle against bacteria. Chain also fostered academic collaboration with industry and government support of medical research. Photos. (April 28)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-1-4482-0119-8
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