In Oswald Avery’s laboratory, René Dubos isolated in 1939 gramicidin from Bacillus brevis and described this antibiotic’s bacterial, chemical, and clinical properties. He also created a culture medium for quantitative studies of tuberculosis and established methods to standardize the BCG vaccine. In 1960s, Dubos showed subtle stresses of malnutrition, toxin, and crowding increase susceptibility to disease. He also demonstrated the digestive tract is an ecosystem that needs a diverse microbial population to develop and function.
President of ASM in 1952
Photo by Lubosh Stepanek
The Markus Library
Merrill W. Chase Instrument Collection, exhibit, microbiology, René Dubos, The Markus Library