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Robert Koch

Robert Heinrich Hermann Koch (German 11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a German physician and microbiologist. As the founder of modern bacteriology, he is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. Koch experimented with toxic medicines, including arsenic preparations.[citation needed] In addition to his innovative studies on these diseases, which involved experimenting on humans, Koch created and improved laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology, and made key discoveries in public health. His research led to the creation of Koch's postulates, a series of four generalized principles linking specific microorganisms to specific diseases that remain today the "gold standard" in medical microbiology. As a result of his groundbreaking research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. The Robert Koch Institute is named in his honour.
Career Several years after his graduation in 1866, he worked as a surgeon in the Franco-Prussian War, and following his service, worked as a physician in Wollstein in Prussian Posen (now Wolsztyn, Poland). From 1880–85, Koch held a position as government advisor with the Imperial Department of Health. Koch began conducting research on microorganisms in a laboratory connected to his patient examination room. Koch’s early research in this laboratory yielded one of his major contributions to the field of microbiology, as he developed the technique of growing bacteria. Furthermore, he managed to isolate and grow selected pathogens in pure laboratory culture. From 1885 to 1890, he served as an administrator and professor at Berlin University. In 1891, Koch relinquished his Professorship and became director of the Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases (de) which consisted of a clinical division and beds for the division of clinical research. For this he accepted harsh conditions. The Prussian Ministry of Health insisted after the scandal with tuberculin, which Koch had discovered and intended as a remedy for tuberculosis, that any of Koch's inventions would unconditionally belong to the government and he would not be compensated. Koch lost the right to apply for patent protection.
Personal life In July 1867, Koch married Emma Adolfine Josephine Fraatz, and the two had a daughter, Gertrude, in 1868. Their marriage ended after 26 years in 1893, and later that same year, he married actress Hedwig Freiberg. On 9 April 1910, Koch suffered a heart attack and never made a complete recovery. On 27 May, three days after giving a lecture on his tuberculosis research at the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Koch died in Baden-Baden at the age of 66. Following his death, the Institute named its establishment after him in his honour. He was irreligious.


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