Selman Abraham Waksman was a Ukrainian-born American inventor, biochemist and microbiologist whose research into organic substancesâ€”largely into organisms that live in soilâ€”and their decomposition promoted the discovery of Streptomycin, and several other antibiotics. A professor of biochemistry and microbiology at Rutgers University for four decades, he discovered over twenty antibiotics and introduced procedures that have led to the development of many others. The proceeds earned from the licensing of his patents funded a foundation for microbiological research, which established the Waksman Institute of Microbiology located on Rutgers University's Busch Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey. In 1952 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition "for his discovery of "streptomycin," the first antibiotic active against tuberculosis." Waksman was later accused of fraud by Albert Schatz, a PhD student working in his lab â€“ who published the first paper on Streptomycin with Waksman as the secondary co-author.
In 2005 Selman Waksman was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of the significant work of his lab in isolating more than fifteen antibiotics, including streptomycin, which was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis.