Howard Walter Florey is honoured for his discovery of the unique therapeutic properties of penicillin, the development of which has done more than any probably other in medical history to relieve human suffering.
Born in 1898 in Adelaide, Australia, he came to Magdalen College on a Rhodes Scholarship in 1921. After appointments in England and America he returned to Oxford in 1934 as Professor of Pathology (at Lincoln College). In 1941 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and two years later the clinical success of penicillin was unequivocally demonstrated at Oxford. In 1945 he was awarded a Nobel Prize for medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain. The Royal Society elected him their Fiftieth President in 1960. Two years later he relinquished the Chair of Pathology to become Provost of The Queen’s College, Oxford. In 1965 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Merit.
Engand was the scene of his success but Australia always continued to command his loyalty and affection. From 1945 to 1957 he was involved in the planning of the John Curtin School of Medical Research in the new Australian National University. When a life Peerage was conferred on him in 1965 he chose to be styled Lord Florey of Adelaide and Marston.
There is a memorial stone dedicated to his memory in Westminster Abbey, and in Oxford, opposite Magdalen at the entrance of the Oxford Botanic Garden there was established the Lasker Rose Garden in honour of his achieveme