Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Robert Koch

11 December 1843, Clausthal – 27 May 1910, Baden-Baden

The physician and microbiologist Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis in 1882. Koch was the first physician who succeeded in identifying a pathogenic microorganism.

Starting in 1880 Koch worked at the Royal Health Office (Kaiserliches Gesundheitsamt) in Berlin. In 1885 he was appointed professor of internal medicine and hygiene at the Medical Faculty of Berliner Universität, a chair that was especially created for him. He was also head of the Institute of Hygiene and from 1891 director of the newly founded Institute of Infectious Diseases. Koch, who also discovered the pathogens that cause anthrax and cholera, is the founder of modern bacteriology and clinical infectiology, and to some extent of tropical medicine.

In 1905 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of the pathogens that cause various infectious diseases.