Microbiologists

Microbiologists are the scientists who study microscopic organisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, etc. and their effects on other living organisms. Microbiology, as a separate field of biology focuses on studying the characteristics, growth and development of microorganisms both at the molecular and cellular level. It also involves the study of their ecology and their effects on other living organisms like plants and animals. Microbiologists in the course of their work collect samples from various types of environments like human beings, animal, field locations, etc. and analyze these in the laboratory to identify and monitor the microorganisms present in the samples. Some specializations within this field include bacteriology, immunology, mycology, and phycology. This field of science is closely related with other life sciences like molecular biology and biochemistry. Microbiologists work in a number of fields like medicine, research, and university teaching. They basically work in a laboratory setting and use a variety of tools like microscopes, gas chromatographs, and electrophoresis gels while working with microbes. Their work is also required in industries like pharmaceuticals, food processing, and biotechnology. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous microbiologists.
More From Microbiologists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Microbiologists

 1 
Louis Pasteur
(Chemist and Microbiologist)

Louis Pasteur
12
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 2 
Alexander Fleming
(Physician and Microbiologist)

Alexander Fleming
6
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Darvel, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

 3 

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
4
Birthdate: October 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: August 26, 1723

Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.

 4 
Robert Koch
(Physician)

Robert Koch
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Died: May 27, 1910

Robert Koch was a German microbiologist and physician. One of the prominent co-founders of modern bacteriology, Koch is credited with creating and improving laboratory techniques and technologies in the field of microbiology. He is also credited with making important discoveries in public health. In 1905, Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on tuberculosis.

Recommended Lists:

 5 
Francis Crick
(Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner)

Francis Crick
6
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 28, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British biophysicist Francis Crick is best known for his ground-breaking work to determine the structure of the DNA, along with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. He taught at various institutes, such as the Salk Institute, and was also awarded the Order of Merit.

 6 
Sucharit Bhakdi
(Known for Microbiology, fringe ideas about COVID-19)

Sucharit Bhakdi
0
Birthdate: November 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Recommended Lists:

 7 

Emmanuelle Charpentier
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Juvisy-sur-Orge, France
You May Like

 8 
Bruce Edwards Ivins
(Biologist, Scientist, Circus performer, Politician)

Bruce Edwards Ivins
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lebanon
Died: July 29, 2008

Bruce Edwards Ivins was a microbiologist and vaccinologist. He served as the senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He was the suspected perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks and died in an apparent suicide after realizing that he was likely to face criminal charges for his alleged role in the attacks. 

Recommended Lists:

 9 
Carlo Urbani
(Epidemiologist)

Carlo Urbani
5
Birthdate: October 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castelplanio
Died: March 29, 2003
Microbiologist Carlo Urbani, a parasitic infections expert, was working at the WHO Hanoi office when the deadly and contagious disease SARS had started to spread across the world in 2003. He alerted the WHO headquarters in Geneva about the disease, thus saving many lives, though he eventually succumbed to it.

 10 

Richard M. Krause
5
Birthdate: January 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marietta, Ohio, United States
Died: January 6, 2015
Recommended Lists:

 11 
Maurice Hilleman
(Microbiologist)

Maurice Hilleman
8
Birthdate: August 30, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miles City, Montana, United States
Died: April 11, 2005

Maurice Hilleman was an American microbiologist who developed more than 40 vaccines. His vaccines save almost eight million lives every year and he is regarded as one of the most important vaccinologists of all time. He also played a major role in the discovery of antigenic drift and shift. In 1988, he was honored with the National Medal of Science.

 12 
Selman Waksman
(Inventor)

Selman Waksman
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nova Pryluka, Ukraine
Died: August 16, 1973
Nobel Prize-winning Ukrainian-American biochemist and microbiologist Selman Waksman revolutionized science with his pathbreaking discovery of a number of antibiotics. His research on soil microbes helped in the discovery of streptomycin, the first successful treatment of tuberculosis, though he was sued by his student Albert Schatz for stealing credits.

 13 
Peter Piot
(Microbiologist)

Peter Piot
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leuven, Belgium

 14 
Martinus Beijerinck
(Microbiologist)

Martinus Beijerinck
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931
Recommended Lists:

 15 
Salvador Luria
(Microbiologist)

Salvador Luria
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: February 6, 1991

Nobel Prize-winning Italian microbiologist Salvador Luria is best remembered for his work on bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. He had also chaired Microbiology and later, the Center for Cancer Research at MIT. As a political activist, he was against nuclear weapon testing and was once banned from receiving funds.

 16 
Waldemar Haffkine
(Bacteriologists)

Waldemar Haffkine
0
Birthdate: March 15, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Odesa, Ukraine
Died: October 26, 1930
Recommended Lists:

 17 
Sergei Winogradsky
(Microbiologist)

Sergei Winogradsky
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1856
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: February 25, 1953

 18 
John Franklin Enders
(The Father of Modern Vaccines)

John Franklin Enders
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: West Hartford, Connecticut
Died: September 8, 1985

 19 
Ferdinand Cohn
(Founder of Bacteriology and Microbiology)

Ferdinand Cohn
2
Birthdate: January 24, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: June 25, 1898

Ferdinand Cohn was a German biologist who is credited with co-founding microbiology and modern bacteriology. Apart from publishing more than 150 research reports, Cohn also made significant contributions to the field of botany. He was also the first person to classify algae as plants. Ferdinand Cohn received the prestigious Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1885.

 20 
Werner Arber
(Microbiologist & Geneticist)

Werner Arber
2
Birthdate: June 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gränichen, Aarau, Aargau, Switzerland

Werner Arber is a Swiss geneticist and microbiologist whose discovery of restriction endonucleases earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978; he shared the award with Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith. Arber's work alongside Nathans and Smith led to the progression of recombinant DNA technology. Werner Arber is also credited with co-founding the World Cultural Council.

 21 
Daniel Nathans
(Microbiologist)

Daniel Nathans
2
Birthdate: October 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, US
Died: November 16, 1999

 22 
Ken Alibek
(Creating the most virulent strain of anthrax ever synthesized)

Ken Alibek
0
Birthdate: 1950 AD
Birthplace: Kauchuk, Kazakhstan
Recommended Lists:

 23 

Heinrich Anton de Bary
2
Birthdate: January 26, 1831
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: January 19, 1888

German surgeon and botanist Heinrich Anton de Bary is regarded as the pioneer of plant pathology and mycology. Apart from teaching botany, he chalked the life cycles of many fungi and also coined the term symbiosis to explain the mutually beneficial co-existence of many orgnanisms, such as fungi and algae.

 24 
Hamilton O. Smith
(Microbiologist)

Hamilton O. Smith
7
Birthdate: August 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 25 
Albert Schatz
(Microbiologist)

Albert Schatz
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 17, 2005

 26 
Jules Bordet
(Microbiologist and Immunologist)

Jules Bordet
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Soignies
Died: April 6, 1961
Recommended Lists:

 27 
René Dubos
(Microbiologist)

René Dubos
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France
Died: February 20, 1982

 28 
Rebecca Lancefield
(Microbiologist)

Rebecca Lancefield
2
Birthdate: January 5, 1895
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 3, 1981
Recommended Lists:

 29 
Nkandu Luo
(Scientist)

Nkandu Luo
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chinsali, Zambia

 30 
Jacob Dolson Cox
(Statesman)

Jacob Dolson Cox
7
Birthdate: October 27, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: August 4, 1900

Apart from being a lawyer and a war historian, Jacob Dolson Cox had served as the governor of Ohio and as a US representative from Ohio's 6th district. During the American Civil War, he was a Union general. As the Secretary of the Interior, he introduced a civil service merit system.

Recommended Lists:

 31 
Friedrich Loeffler
(Bacteriologist)

Friedrich Loeffler
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1852
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: April 9, 1915

 32 

Johannes Eugenius Bülow Warming
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1841
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mano, Denmark
Died: April 2, 1924

 33 
Shiga Kiyoshi
(Physician)

Shiga Kiyoshi
1
Birthdate: February 7, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Miyagi, Japan
Died: January 25, 1957

 34 
André Lwoff
(Microbiologist)

André Lwoff
1
Birthdate: May 8, 1902
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ainay-le-Château, Allier, Auvergne, France
Died: September 30, 1994
Recommended Lists:

 35 
Max Schultze
(Anatomist)

Max Schultze
1
Birthdate: March 15, 1825
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: June 16, 1874

 36 
Froilano de Mello
(Microbiologist and Author)

Froilano de Mello
1
Birthdate: May 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Benaulim, Goa, Kingdom of Portugal
Died: January 9, 1955
Recommended Lists:

 37 
Monica Musenero
(Ugandan women scientist)

Monica Musenero
2
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Patete, Butebo District, Uganda

 38 
Félix d'Hérelle
(Microbiologist)

Félix d'Hérelle
1
Birthdate: April 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 22, 1949

 39 
Fritz Schaudinn
(Zoologist)

Fritz Schaudinn
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Prussia
Died: June 22, 1906

 40 

Kenneth V. Thimann
1
Birthdate: August 5, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ashford, England
Died: January 15, 1997

British-American plant physiologist Kenneth V. Thimann is best remembered for isolating and identifying the plant hormone auxin. Associated with Harvard University for most of his initial career, he later joined the University of California. His best-known works include Phytohormones on plant hormones and The Life of Bacteria on microbiology.

 41 
Hattie Alexander
(Pediatrician)

Hattie Alexander
1
Birthdate: April 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: June 24, 1968

 42 
August von Wassermann
(Bacteriologist)

August von Wassermann
1
Birthdate: February 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: March 16, 1925

 43 
Armand Frappier
(Physician, Microbiologist)

Armand Frappier
0
Birthdate: November 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada
Died: December 17, 1991

 44 
Mary Bunting
(Educator)

Mary Bunting
0
Birthdate: July 10, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 21, 1998

 45 
Julia Levy
(Microbiologist, Immunologist)

Julia Levy
0
Birthdate: May 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Singapore

 46 
Friedrich Karl Kleine
(Pharmacologist)

Friedrich Karl Kleine
0
Birthdate: May 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stralsund, Germany
Died: March 22, 1951

 47 
Hans Cohen
(Microbiologist)

Hans Cohen
0
Birthdate: February 3, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: May 14, 2020

 48 
Irving Millman
(Virologist)

Irving Millman
0
Birthdate: May 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 2012

 49 
Harold Ginsberg
(Microbiologist)

Harold Ginsberg
0
Birthdate: May 27, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Died: February 2, 2003

 50 
Ephraim Anderson
(Bacteriologist)

Ephraim Anderson
0
Birthdate: October 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died: March 14, 2006