Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Brown

Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Brown

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Credit: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: American microbiologist Elizabeth Lee Hazen (left, 1888-1975) and American chemist Rachel Brown (1898-1980). Hazen and Brown are best known for the discovery of the first antifungal drug nystatin. Hazen, working in New York City, sampled soil to find bacteria that produce antifungal agents. Once antimicrobial activity was found, cultures of the bacteria were mailed to Brown in Albany, New York, who would extract and isolate potential active agents. These were sent back to Hazen for testing against fungi. Of the hundreds of successful active agents only one wasn't toxic in animals, this became nystatin. Photographed in 1950 at the Division of Laboratories and Research, New York State Department of Health, Albany.

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