What did Louis Pasteur do at work?

Louis Pasteur was a world renowned French chemist and biologist. He was born on December 27 1822 in the town of Dole in Eastern France. Pasteur's parents were peasants, his father was a tanner by trade. He spent the early days of his life in the small town of Arbois where he attended school and where it seems that Pasteur did not do very well, preferring instead to go fishing. His headmaster, however, spotted potential in Pasteur and encouraged him to go to Paris to study. So, aged fifteen Pasteur set off for Paris hoping to study for his entrance exams. Unfortunately, the young Pasteur was so homesick that his father had to travel to Paris to bring him home. He then continued to study locally at Besancon, until he decided to try again in Paris. This time he succeeded and went on to study at the Ecole Normale Superieure. Curiously, although the young Pasteur worked hard during his student days he was not considered to be exceptional in any way at chemistry.


Pasteur founded the science of microbiology and proved that most infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms. This became known as the "germ theory" of disease. He was the inventor of the process of pasteurisation and also developed vaccines for several diseases including rabies. The discovery of the vaccine for rabies led to the founding of the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1888.