Robert Koch's story is a stirring example of how a lone country doctor can rise above all odds to become a true scientific revolutionary. Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1905, Koch is best known today for his discoveries of the causal agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax. His vital contributions to microbiological methodology also make him the founder of the field of bacteriology and central to the establishment of the disciplines of hygiene and public health. He was also a world traveler and made numerous important research expeditions to India (where he discovered the cause of cholera), Africa, and New Guinea.
Koch's postulates, a series of guidelines for the experimental study of infectious disease, permitted Koch and his students to identify many of the causes of the most important infectious diseases of humans and animals. Even today Koch's postulates are considered whenever a new infectious disease arises.