Robert Koch
Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (ˈkɔx; 11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis
Bacillus anthracis
Bacillus anthracis is the pathogen of the Anthrax acute disease. It is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, with a width of 1-1.2µm and a length of 3-5µm. It can be grown in an ordinary nutrient medium under aerobic or anaerobic conditions.It is one of few bacteria known to...

(1877), the Tuberculosis bacillus
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogenic bacterial species in the genus Mycobacterium and the causative agent of most cases of tuberculosis . First discovered in 1882 by Robert Koch, M...

 (1882) and the Vibrio cholerae
Vibrio cholerae
Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative, comma-shaped bacterium. Some strains of V. cholerae cause the disease cholera. V. cholerae is facultatively anaerobic and has a flagella at one cell pole. V...

 (1883) and for his development of Koch's postulates
Koch's postulates
Koch's postulates are four criteria designed to establish a causal relationship between a causative microbe and a disease. The postulates were formulated by Robert Koch and Friedrich Loeffler in 1884 and refined and published by Koch in 1890...


He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

 for his tuberculosis findings in 1905. He is considered one of the founders of microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

, inspiring such major figures as Paul Ehrlich
Paul Ehrlich
Paul Ehrlich was a German scientist in the fields of hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy, and Nobel laureate. He is noted for curing syphilis and for his research in autoimmunity, calling it "horror autotoxicus"...

 and Gerhard Domagk
Gerhard Domagk
Gerhard Johannes Paul Domagk was a German pathologist and bacteriologist credited with the discovery of Sulfonamidochrysoidine – the first commercially available antibiotic – for which he received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.Domagk was born in Lagow, Brandenburg, the...

Koch was born in Clausthal
Clausthal-Zellerfeld is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located in the southwestern part of the Harz mountains. Its population is approximately 15,000, Clausthal-Zellerfeld is also the seat of the Samtgemeinde Oberharz....

, Prussia, one of the German states, as the son of a mining official.