About Shibasaburo Kitasato

Dr Shibasaburo Kitasato (1853-1931) was a pioneering microbiologist whose research paved the way for numerous advances in preventive medicine, especially in the field of immunology. He was the first to successfully cultivate tetanus bacilli and develop the serum therapy to treat that disease. He also discovered the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.

1853 Born on 29 January in present-day Oguni, Kumamoto
1871 Enters Kumamoto Medical School and studies under Dr C. G. Mansvelt
1883 Graduates from the Faculty of Medicine of The University of Tokyo, and assumes a post at the Ministry of Home Affairs
1885 Departs to study in Germany by order of the Japanese government
1886 Studies bacteriology under Dr Robert Koch, the discoverer of tuberculosis bacilli, in Koch's laboratory at the University of Berlin
1889 Succeeds in producing a pure culture of tetanus bacilli
1890 Discovers antitoxic immunity against tetanus which leads to the development of serum therapy
1892 Returns from Germany and establishes the Institute for Infectious Diseases
1893 Establishes Tsukushigaoka Yojoen, the first tuberculosis hospital in Japan
1894 Is dispatched to Hong Kong, where he discovers the bubonic plague bacillus
1901 Is nominated for the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1914 Founds The Kitasato Institute for Infectious Diseases
1917 Establishes the School of Medicine of Keio University and serves as its dean
1923 Officially founds the Japan Medical Association
1931 Passes away on 13 June at his home in Azabu, Tokyo at the age of 78