Jew of the Week: Paul Ehrlich

The Guy Who Cured Syphilis

Paul Ehrlich – the guy who cured syphilis

Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) A gifted bacteriologist, Ehrlich’s first major work was in creating a serum for diphteria, together with fellow German scientist von Behring. However, von Behring screwed him over and stole all the recognition (and money), winning a solo Nobel Prize in 1901. Unfazed, Ehrlich moved his attention elsewhere, isolating a compound to treat sleeping sickness. This won him a Nobel prize in 1908, along with fellow Jew Elie Metchnikoff. However, Ehrlich is most famous for creating Salvarsan, a drug that essentially cured syphilis. This was the most widely prescribed drug in the world for over 30 years! Aside from this, Ehrlich invented the earliest type of gram-staining (perhaps the most important tool in bacteriology), the concept of a “magic bullet” drug, and coined the term “chemotherapy”.

Words of the Week

“The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not.”
– George Bernard Shaw