The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum is often overlooked, but it is a must for anyone interested in the history of medicine.
Fleming is most famous for his discovery of penicillin in 1928 and the museum gives a remarkable insight in to the life of the man behind the science.
The museum is located in a Grade II listed building within St Mary’s Hospital and has been used as a film location for a number of productions.
Visitors are able to take a tour of a reconstructed laboratory and learn about the impact the development of the lifesaving drug at on the future of medicine. Volunteers are available to give guided tours and there
Fleming, who was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist, was carrying out research into influenza in 1928, when he discovered mould had developed on culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. He realized the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself to protect against the virus – thus leading to the development of one of the most commonplace drugs.
In 1945, Fleming alongside Austrian scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Chain shared the Nobel Prize in medicine.
The museum is open Monday through to Thursday from 10am to 1pm, although you can make an appointment if you wish to visit it outside of those hours. It is closed on public holidays.
Admission costs £4 for adults and £2 for children and concessions. Any staff and students of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College School of Medicine are allowed to enter for free if they bring along prove of identification.
In 1999, the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum was designated an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The museum is around three minutes’ walk from Paddington mainline rail station and London Underground station, while bus routes 7, 15, 27, 36 also pass by the attraction on a regular basis.