Dr. Hideyo Noguchi was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who in 1911 discovered the microorganism Treponema pallidum as the causative agent of the progressive paralytic disease syphilis. Born in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture in 1876, he fell into a fireplace and suffered a burn injury on his left hand when he was 18 months old. Following surgery, he regained functionality in his hand, and he decided to become a doctor to help those in need. He apprenticed under Dr. Kanae Watanabe, the same doctor who had performed his childhood surgery. After moving to the U.S. and working as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he became a researcher at New York’s Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research. He was engaged primarily in bacteriology research and is known for his work on yellow fever and syphilis. He published numerous treatises and was named as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine three times. In 1928, while researching yellow fever on the Gold Coast of Africa, Noguchi became ill and died at the age of 51 in Accra (currently the Republic of Ghana).