Sir Almroth Edward Wright (1861-1947) was one of the foremost British bacteriologists of his day, who was best known for his work in the field of military medicine. He was appointed professor of pathology at the Army Medical School in Netley in 1892 where he developed a vaccine against typhoid fever, which "was tested on soldiers in India ... The War Office used it on a volountary and poorly supervised basis during the Boer War, but the vaccine seemed effective; and Britain alone entered World War I with troops largely immunized against typhoid fever" (D.S.B. vol. , p. 511). Wright then went to St. Mary's Hospital in London as professor of pathology in 1902, where he stayed until his retirement in 1946 from the post of principal of the research institute (renamed the Wright-Fleming Institute in 1948). Under Wright's leadership the laboratory quickly gained a high international reputation, attracting the young Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) as a student, and Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) and Élie Metchnikoff (1845-1916) as visitors. During World War I, Wright set up a research laboratory in Boulogne where he worked on wound infections with Fleming. He received many awards for this work, including the present medal and "the Le Conte Prize of the Académie des Sciences (1915), the Buchanan medal of the Royal Society, and a special medal of the Royal Society of Medicine (1920) 'for the best medical work in connection with the war'. For his previous achievements in typhoid vaccine, he had been knighted in 1906" (D.S.B. vol. , p. 512). The D.S.B. concludes that: "Wright's place in science as one of the founders of modern immunology is probably not far behind that of Pasteur, Ehrlich, and Metchnikoff ... Although typhoid vaccine was his best-known discovery, members of the research team he trained made important contributions, and his lifetime work in immunology was considerable" (vol. , p. 512).
As might be expected of a poetry lover who had gained a B.A. in Modern Literature at Trinity College Dublin, his friendships were literary as well as medical, and included George Bernard Shaw, who modelled Sir Colenso Ridgeon, the lead character of "The Doctor's Dilemma", on Wright.