Louis Pasteur (1822-1295) was a French chemist and bacteriologist who is known to be the founder of microbiology and pioneer of modern medicine. However, in his early days, nobody would have guessed that would be his destiny since he was neither very interested in science nor was good at it. In fact, what he enjoyed and did well in was in arts, thus most of his acquaintances thought he would become an artist. It was when he was 19 that he changed his mind.
Pasteur studied physics and chemistry at the University of Lille and he even became its dean after he had finished his PhD. Pasteur’s first success was pasteurization, which consisted of destroying most of the microorganisms that cause spoilage and prolong the storage time of food. It is used in milk, beer, wine and other products, and thanks to this method, there are much fewer infections after eating and drinking the food.
Pasteur believed that every organism comes from another and for this reason, he developed the germ theory of disease, by which he affirmed that infections happen due to the microorganisms’ capability to travel from and to other beings through air or contact. This theory being approved meant a great advance in medicine, and that was hygiene. Thanks to Pasteur, medical staff wash their hands and also sterilise their tools after every patient, avoiding so many infections from that moment on.
Moreover, Pasteur revolutionized the medical field once again by developing and creating a new vaccine, by which he injected a tiny bit of the illness into the animals so they would become immune to it. In 1888 the Pasteur Institute was founded in his honour, in Paris, having an international prestige.