Twort, Frederick William

Twort, Frederick William

 

Born Oct. 22, 1877, in Cam-berley, England; died there Mar. 20, 1950. British microbiologist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1929).

Twort completed his medical education at St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1900 and worked at St. Thomas’ Hospital in 1901 and 1902. From 1902 to 1909 he was assistant bacteriologist at London Hospital, and in 1909 he became superintendent of the Brown Institution and professor of bacteriology at the University of London. Twort’s principal works dealt with the culturing of microorganisms. Twort was the first to apply the selective method for obtaining pure bacterial cultures (1908). Together with G. Ingram, he was the first to establish that the presence of a growth factor (vitamin K) was essential for the growth of certain microorganisms (1912). In 1915 he described the destruction of a pyogenic staphylococcus by a filterable agent that was able to survive in the bacterial culture. He thereby discovered the bacterial virus, which F. d’Hérelle named bacteriophage in 1917.

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