Biography: Selman A. Waksman, PhD (1888-1973): pioneer in development of antibiotics and Nobel Laureate

Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2003 Jan;14(1):60-3. doi: 10.1053/spid.2003.127220.


Selman Abraham Waksman is regarded today as the foremost authority on soil biology. A Nobel Prize recipient for his work on antibiotics, he also coined the term. Waksman started life in humble surroundings in Priluka, the Ukraine, and later, as a young man, emigrated to the United States, where he later became a renowned scientist. His work on antibiotics has changed the lives of many people, far more than he could possibly have imagined. This brief biography seeks to honor this individual and his contributions to the war against infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Nobel Prize
  • Soil Microbiology
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents

Personal name as subject

  • Selman Abraham Waksman