One of the earliest pioneers in Bacteriology, Hideyo Noguchi carved a niche for himself among the pantheon of greatest physicians ever. Born in Inawashiro, Fukushima in November 9, 1876, Noguchi is remembered all over the globe for the ‘Hideyo Noguchi Africa prize’ that is awarded to men and women “with outstanding achievements in the fields of medical research”. He is also greatly revered as the bacteriologist who discovered the agent of syphilis as the reason for progressive paralytic disease in the year 1911.
For Noguchi, life was not always a bed of roses. Even before he had celebrated his second birthday, he accidentally fell down into a fireplace and injured his left hand very badly. With hardly any doctors in his small village, he had to suffer a long wait till he could receive surgery on his badly burned left hand in 1883. Perhaps, this might have served as an inspiration and ignited a burning desire to become a doctor and help the people in need. Anyway, shortly afterwards, Noguchi joined as an apprentice to the same doctor who had treated his hand. Hid talent was obvious for everyone to see and he made rapid strides in his studies and began to practice medicine at a tender age of twenty!
At the dawn of the twentieth century, Noguchi moved to the United States and worked as a research assistant at top universities of that time. This work suited him well and he went on to get nominated for ‘Nobel Prize in Medicine’ on several occasions. It was also in America that Noguchi discovered the cause of progressive paralytic disease, which would go on to make his name immortal. In 1918, he traveled to South America to pursue his research in finding a cure for yellow fever. And, it was while working in modern-day Ghana that Noguchi ironically died from yellow fever, the last words he uttered being ‘I don’t understand’.
To mark the 135th birthday of this celebrated physician and medical saint, whose achievements continue to inspire people to this day, Google paid tribute to him by creating a ‘Doodle’ of him what he loves best – ‘working in a lab.’