Streptomycin has been referred to as the “wonder drug” due to the transformative effect it had on the prognosis of patients suffering from tuberculosis when it was first discovered. It spurred the discovery and invention of antibiotic drugs within the category know as aminoglycosides. Over the decades, it has saved the lives of millions worldwide. Yet the story of its discovery has largely either been wrongly told or simply forgotten, except to those with a special interest in medical history.
In this episode we look at the story of the discovery of streptomycin. We review what is now known about the actions of Professor Selman Waksman, the man credited with its discovery in the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and Albert Schatz, the young researcher who is now acknowledged to have made the actual discovery. It is a gripping story full of intrigue and academic skullduggery.
The video version of this podcast, with images and associated slides, can be found here.