USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Role Models in Science & Engineering Achievement: Abelardo Aguilar

Abelardo Aguilar — Filipino physician-scientist

Co-discoverer of Erythromycin (Ilosone®), an effective antibiotic against various respiratory tract and intestinal infections, and certain sexually-transmitted diseases

Fungi and soil bacteria are amazing ecosystems from which key medicinal products have been discovered. For example, the life-saving drug  Erythromycin (Ilosone®) is a product of the fungus Streptomycesery threus, which was first found in soil samples collected in the Philippine Islands by Filipino physician-scientist Abelardo Aguilar in 1949.  Abelardo, who was at the time a medical representative for the U.S. drug company Eli Lilly, sent his samples to the company where researchers isolated erythromycin from the metabolic products found in the samples.

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