Robert Heinrich Herman Koch

December 11, 1843 - May 27, 1910


“I have undertaken my investigations in the interests of public health and I hope the greatest benefi ts will accrue therefrom.”


Robert Koch is considered to be one of the founders of the field of bacteriology.

He pioneered principles and techniques in studying bacteria and discovered the specific agents that cause tuberculosis (1882), cholera (1884), and anthrax (1876).

He developed methods of isolating and cultivating disease producing bacteria, and he formulated strategies for preventing their spread

He is also a founder of public health.


For his work in developing tuberculin as a test for tuberculosis he received the 1905 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine


He was born in Germany (Hanover) into a family with 13 children.

His mom took him to collect insect, when he was small.

He studied medicine at Göttingen under Jacob Henle (German physician, pathologist, and anatomist). -> and graduated in 1866

He devoted much time to microscopic studies of bacteria

From 1885 to 1891 he was a professor at the University of Berlin and head of the Institute for Infectious Diseases (founded for him) from 1891 to 1904.

In the course of his bacteriological investigations for the British and German governments he traveled to South Africa, India, Egypt, and other countries and made valuable studies of sleeping sickness, malaria, bubonic plague, rinderpest, and other diseases.

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In 1901, at the London Congress on Tuberculosis, he encountered strong disagreement from leading bacteriologists, including Joseph Lister, Edmond Nocard, Bernhard Bang, John McFadyean, and Theobald Smith.
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His criteria for the relationship between parasites and disease, known as "Koch's postulates," are still used in the study of infectious diseases