Saturday, February 4, 2017

Boyd Woodruff, possibly last of the decision-makers from the early days of penicillin research, dies at 99

Possibly the last of the decision making participants from the pioneering days of wartime penicillin (I am talking basically pre mid 1943) has died.

There are almost certainly still people alive who were very young patients from the earliest days of penicillin or who merely followed orders while working on some penicillin production line but I do not know who they are.

But Boyd Woodruff had a powerful role in the earliest days of antibiotics while still basically an undergraduate - that and his very long life made him a rare living link to events that we know can only know second hand, as history not journalism.

I knew he was still alive, still mentally active, knew his phone number and home address since 2005, but I always was too shy to call him and ask him what he recalled personally of Dr Dawson's parallel penicillin efforts.


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