Giuseppe Brotzu was born in Ghilarza, a town of the Province of Oristano, Sardinia. He graduated from the University of Cagliari, Sardinia in (1919) and later completed the specialization in Hygiene at University of Siena in 1922. He graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Bologna in 1925.
Brotzu is recognized as the discoverer of the Cephalosporin based antibiotics, that were first isolated from cultures of Cephalosporium (now known as Acremonium) in 1948. He noticed that these cultures produced substances that were effective against Salmonella typhi, the cause of typhoid fever, which had beta-lactamase. He was awarded the Laurea ad honorem at the University of Oxford in 1971, and was a candidate also for the Nobel Prize.
Giuseppe Brotzu was elected President of Sardinia in 1955, and Mayor of Cagliari in 1960.
- G. Bo, «BROTZU, Giuseppe». In: Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol. XXXIV, Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1987 (on-line)
- Roberto Paracchini (2002). Il signore delle Cefalosporine (Demos). ISBN 88-8467-082-9.
- Bo G (2000). Giuseppe Brotzu and the discovery of cephalosporins. Clin Microbiol Infect 6 (Suppl 3): 6-9. PMID 11449655.
- Bo G (Jan-Feb 1999). Un ricordo del prof. Giuseppe Brotzu. Ann Ig 11 (1): 3-9. PMID 10208039.