Albert Alexander biography

Albert Alexander

Male, Deceased Person

1873 – 1941


Who was Albert Alexander?

Reserve Constable Albert Alexander was the fourth patient to be treated with injections of penicillin.

Albert Alexander was a constable in the police force of the County of Oxford, England. In December 1940, Constable Alexander was accidentally scratched by a rose thorn in his mouth. By the end of the month the scratch was badly infected with both Staphylococcus and Streptococcus and Constable Alexander was hospitalised in the Radcliffe Infirmary. Despite efforts of various treatments, Alexander's head was covered with abscesses and one of his eyes had been removed.

Ethel Florey, wife of pharmacologist and medic Dr Howard Walter Florey, and Dr Charles Fletcher brought Constable Alexander's case to Florey's attention.

The ability of penicillin to slow/prevent bacterial infection had first been noticed by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928. Florey, Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley, at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford were working on the medical applications of penicillin, as produced by the mould Penicillium notatum, and attempting to isolate large enough quantities of penicillin from the mould for a human trial.


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Albert Alexander." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 May 2021. <>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Mar 15, 1941

on July 23, 2013

Discuss this Albert Alexander biography with the community: