Waksman, Selman A.
1952 Nobel laureate, coined term “antibiotics”, discovered streptomycin, neomycin, and others
Autograph ID: 3463
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1888-1973) Ukrainian-born Jewish-American biochemist & microbiologist, his research into organic substances, largely into organisms that live in soil, and their decomposition, promoted discovery of streptomycin, and several other antibiotics. Professor of biochemistry & microbiology at Rutgers University for 4 decades, his work led to discovery of over 20 antibiotics and procedures that have led to development of many others. Awarded 1952 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for his discovery of ‘streptomycin’ the first antibiotic active against tuberculosis.” To US 1910, US citizen 1916. Rutgers B. S. 1915, M. S. 1916, researched soil bacteriology, Ph.D.in biochemistry UC-Berkeley 1918. Joined Rutgers faculty in Dept. of Biochemistry and Microbiology where his team discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, streptomycin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Streptomycin and neomycin found extensive application in treatment of numerous infectious diseases. Waksman coined the term “antibiotics”. Streptomycin was isolated from S. griseus and found effective against tuberculosis by one of Waksman’s graduate students, Albert Schatz, who strongly contested the details and credit for discovery of streptomycin and its usefulness as an antibiotic. Waksman and Rutgers settled out of court with Schatz, resulting in financial remuneration and entitlement to “legal and scientific credit as co-discoverer of streptomycin”. Neomycin, derived from actinomycetes, was discovered by Waksman & Hubert A. Lechevalier, one of his graduate students. Created Waksman Foundation for Microbiology in 1951 using half of his personal patent royalties. At a meeting of the Foundation Board of Trustees in July 1951, he urged building a facility for work in microbiology, later named Waksman Institute of Microbiology, on Rutgers’ Busch campus, Piscataway, NJ.
SP, 7 x 5 b&w glossy bust portrait in vested suit and tie (portrait by F. J. Higgins of Highland Park, NJ) signed on while lower border in blue ball-point pen, undated but ca. 1970.”