The German physician-scientist and disease detective Robert Koch (December 11, 1843 — May 27, 1910) is considered the father of modern bacteriology for his work demonstrating that specific microbes are responsible for causing specific diseases.
Koch discovered the life cycle of the bacteria responsible for anthrax and identified the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and cholera. Robert Koch’s discovery of the anthrax bacillus in 1876 launched the field of medical bacteriology. A ‘golden age’ of scientific discovery ensued. A century after Koch’s death, we remember his life and work.
Robert Koch was born on December 11, 1843, in Clausthal, a silver-mining town in northwest Germany. The son of a mining engineer and the third of thirteen siblings, he was a precocious reader with an aptitude for science and maths. During visits to the country with his uncle, he developed an....