Robert Koch was a German scientist and doctor who is regarded as the founder of modern bacteriology and whose work and research earned him a Nobel Prize. The physician was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on this day in 1905. Today’s doodle celebrating Robert Kochi by illustrator Sophie Diao has potato slices which he Koch used to isolate pure bacterial cells to help with his research. Koch continued experimenting with potato slices, until his assistant, Julius Petro invented the Petri dish which is also depicted in the doodle with Koch’s photo. Dr Koch was born in Clausthal in Hanover, Germany on December 11, 1843. He died on May 27, 1910, three days after giving a lecture on his tuberculosis research at the Prussian Academy of Sciences. The institute later named its establishment in his honour.
In earlier times, not much was known about the germs that are also a part of the living organisms in a human’s body. It is Koch’s research and contribution to the medical field that proved diseases like anthrax, tuberculosis and cholera were caused by germs. Koch at a young age was started showing signs of his brilliance. He grew up with his interest in medicine and attended the University of Gottingen, where he became influenced by Jacob Henle, a professor at the university who said that infectious diseases were caused by living, parasitic organisms.
Koch dedicated his life to studying germs including some of the tiniest of living organisms on Earth and how they cause infectious diseases. He brought in a Golden Age of bacteriology by developing many of the basic principles and techniques of modern bacteriology. During this time, scientists discovered microorganisms responsible for causing twenty-one different diseases. Google quoted Koch as, “As soon as the right method was found, discoveries came as easily as ripe apples from a tree.”