I was born in Dole, France, and am known for my work in the fields of biology, microbiology and chemistry. I was an average student as a kid — more interested in fishing and sketching — and had to work really hard to overcome my academic shortcomings. As a result of my effort, though, I received my masters from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris in 1845, and my doctorate in 1847.
During my career, I disputed the doctrine of spontaneous generation and, using my famous Swan Neck Bottle experiment, proved that all cells come from pre-existing cells. This led me to invent a process in which beverages – beer, wine and milk – are heated to kill bacteria and prevent disease. This method is called pasteurization (after me!) and is still used today.
My work was also instrumental (pun intended!) in the development of surgical sterilization practices and wound care that saved many lives. Today, the Pasteur Institute carries on my legacy.