(December 11, 1843 – May 27, 1910)

Koch is one of the scientists whose works supplanted Galen’s age-long Miasma Theory: by consolidating the more modern and more accurate Germ Theory of Diseases. He developed what became known as the Koch’s Postulates in the 19th century. In it he demonstrated the exponential abundance of pathogenic microbes in individuals afflicted with infectious diseases. He also proved that these microbes could be isolated from their hosts, and grown into pure laboratory cultures capable of instigating the same illnesses if (or when) inoculated into healthy persons. Finally, he showed that the subsequent isolates from these new patients were identical to the pathogens from the initial hosts. Robert Koch identified and worked extensively with the causative agents of cholera, tuberculosis and anthrax. He was a meticulous pathfinder in clinical microbiology. His pioneering researches were so advanced that they paved new ways of approaching modern medicine. He remained an avid researcher throughout his professional life: thanks to the early encouragements from Jakob Henle (the anatomy professor who whetted his appetite for evidence-based-medicine). Koch would in turn inspire an up-and-coming Paul Ehrlich. His groundbreaking works advanced laboratory techniques, improved public health, and instigated further researches on infectious diseases.


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