|Sir Edward Abraham|
10 June 1913|
|Died||8 May 1999
He became part of a research team led by Professor Howard Florey responsible for the development of penicillin and its medical applications. Sir Edward was specifically involved in the purification process and determination of its chemical structure. Florey formally recognised Abraham’s work in 1948 by nominating him to be one of the first three “penicillin” research Fellows at Lincoln College, Oxford. He was a Fellow of Lincoln until his retirement in 1980.
He died in May 1999, in Oxford, following a stroke. He was survived by his wife, Asbjörg.
He was a noted biochemist, his work on antibiotics producing great clinical advances. His principal work was concerned with the development of penicillin, and also later cephalosporin, an antibiotic capable of destroying penicillin-resistant bacteria. These vital drugs are now used extensively in the treatment of various infections, including pneumonia, bronchitis, septicaemia and infected surgical wounds.
Through the registration of the patent on cephalosporin, he was able to generate a regular income, which he devoted almost entirely to the establishment of two charitable trusts for the support of biomedical research, the Edward Penley Abraham Research Fund and the E P A Cephalosporin Fund. By the end of the twentieth century, the charitable funds had donated more than £30m to the University of Oxford, mainly to the Dunn School of Pathology and to Lincoln College, along with other grants to The Royal Society and King Edward VI School, Southampton. Three recent Oxford buildings — the Edward Abraham research building (on South Parks Road), the Lincoln EPA Science Centre (on Museum Road), and Linacre College's Edward & Asbjörg Abraham Building (on St Cross Road) — are named after him.
Abraham was the recipient of many awards over his lifetime, including a CBE in 1973 and a knighthood in 1980. He was given the Scheele Award in 1975 and was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1983. He was elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society in 1958.
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- Edward Penley Abraham Research Fund, Registered Charity no. 309659 at the Charity Commission
- The E P A Cephalosporin Fund, Registered Charity no. 309698 at the Charity Commission
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- "Named areas of college". Linacre College.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 20 March 2011.