How fast can you count to this #?
We Need Your Help!
Do You Know This Scientist?
If you do, we welcome your input. Please share your funny stories, brief anecdotes, quotes, and photos of the scientist - as well as your own inspirational opinions. Personal accounts help bring a scientist alive and create an enduring historical picture. You can be a part of this exciting history by providing your personal account!
Please click here to learn more about how to contribute:
Participate as a Friend Scholar
Can You Write or Research?
Help us learn more about this great scientist. You can be a credited Support Scholar by contributing your knowledge about this scientist and important discovery. Entries can be as short as a single section and as easy as compiling quotes. Click here to learn more about becoming a Support Scholar:
Participate as a Support Scholar
Would you like to adopt a scientist?
Endeavor to research all the sections of a scientist. Click here to learn how to be an Expert Scholar.
Participate as an Expert Scholar
Have Historically Significant Photographs?
Participate with Photos
Click here for all the ways you can participate:
Participate to ScienceHeroes.com
Has this scientist’s science impacted your life?
Click here to tell your story or to read others’ life changing anecdotes:
Post Your Own Testimonial
Testimonials for Norman Heatley
(January 10, 1911 - January 6, 2004)
Born in England
Year of Discovery: 1940
Engineered Methods to Grow Penicillin, Crucial to Making Antibiotic Treatment Usable
Heatley joined the famous Florey research team in 1936 after receiving his PhD from Cambridge. Though a rather quiet individual, he would have a monumental impact on the development of penicillin. Heatley was the junior member of the research team but, without his contributions, it's unlikely they would have been successful. Heatley's first breakthrough was in figuring out how to remove the active penicillin from within the liquid produced by the mold culture. Once this was achieved, he faced the difficulty of producing sufficient quantities of penicillin to begin testing. Once again, Heatley used his ingenuity, utilizing every conceivable type of container from discarded glass bottles to ceramic bedpans to culture the penicillin mold. His efforts helped pave the way for the development of penicillin, credited with saving over 80 million lives.
Heatley was an insightful biochemist, whose quiet nature served him well in his collaboration with his more assertive colleagues. But, though soft-spoken, Florey and his team came to rely on Heatley's genius to solve the most complex issues. The team discovered that adding ether helped isolate the penicillin. But, it was Heatley who figured out how to then extract the active penicillin from the ether solution, by changing the pH. Heatley also directed the effort to produce sufficient quantities of penicillin to begin trials. He set up a makeshift production facility, in the midst of World War II, with few supplies readily available. When a glass manufacturer couldn't produce the culture vessels he needed, he remembered reading about the production of ceramics as a boy, and was convinced he could make a fired ceramic vessel work. He designed the vessel's dimensions and contacted a ceramics company in an English region known as The Potteries to produce them. Heatley even picked up the first batch of 174 himself, in a borrowed van, just two days before Christmas, 1940. This simple production facility produced enough penicillin to conduct the first human trials. Following their early success, Heatley accompanied Florey to the
Fleming, Florey, and Chain received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945 for the discovery of penicillin - there was no mention of the critical contributions that Heatley had made. But, in 1991, almost 50 years later,
Introduction by Tim Anderson
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Links to More Information About the Scientist
Key Experiment or Research
Quotes by the Scientist
Quotes About the Scientist
Fun Trivia About The Science
The Science Behind the Discovery
Science Discovery Timeline
Recommended Books About the Science
Books by the Scientist
Books About the Scientist
Major Academic Papers
Links to Science and Related Information on the Subject
Links to More About the Scientist & the Science
Science Watch overview of Heatley's work with penicillin:
Sliders & Images here
Image Flow Here
The Science Behind the Discovery
Links to Information on the Science