Joseph Lister (1827 - 1912) MP

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Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister's Geni Profile

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Death: Died
Managed by: Eira Storrar
Last Updated:

About Joseph Lister

Born to Quaker parents, father was a wine merchant and amateur sceintist.

Joseph Lister is considered by many to be the father of modern antisepsis.

Lister came to Edinburgh in 1853 after graduating in medicine in London.

He worked closely with James Syme, the celebrated Professor of Surgery in Edinburgh, becoming his assistant and marrying his daughter.

Research

In 1860 he was appointed to the Chair of Surgery in Glasgow, and it was there that he first applied Louis Pasteur’s recent discoveries about the role of airborne bacteria in fermentation to the prevention of infection in surgery.

In 1866 he introduced carbolic acid as an antiseptic, to kill airborne bacteria and prevent their transmission into wounds from the air of the operating theatre.

In 1869 he returned to Edinburgh as successor to Syme as Professor of Surgery, and continued to develop improved methods of antisepsis and asepsis, with greatly reduced infection rates.

The advent of safe surgery widened the scope of planned surgery enormously and Lord Lister achieved international recognition for his research.

Also an accomplished artist.

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Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister's Timeline

1827
April 5, 1827
1856
April 23, 1856
Age 29
Edinburgh, Scotland
1912
February 10, 1912
Age 84