Selman Waksman. Portrait of Selman Abraham Waksman (1888-1973), Russian-American biochemist. Waksman did a systematic search of microorganisms in order to discover if any produced an antibiotic similar to penicillin. In 1943 he isolated streptomycin from Streptomyces griseus He discovered that the chemical was effective against Gram-negative bacteria that were immune to penicillin. The first use of the new antibiotic was against tuberculosis. Waksman subsequently isolated many other antibiotics, including neomycin. In 1953 he received the Nobel prize for medicine; he donated the prize money to a research foundation.
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