Tag Archives: Insulin

Maligning Macleod and “Bettering” Best: the discovery of insulin as depicted in film before Michael Bliss

James R. Wright Jr. Calgary, Alberta, Canada   JJR Macleod circa 1928. Credit: University of Toronto. Via Wikimedia. In 1921, Fred Banting and Charley Best, working under the supervision of JJR Macleod, made crude pancreatic extracts from duct-ligated dog, fetal bovine, or whole adult bovine pancreata and used these to treat diabetes in depancreatized dogs. […]

Erik Jorpes: from Kökar to Helsingfors, Moscow, and Stockholm

Frank A. Wollheim Lund, Sweden   Fig. 1 Jorpesgården (Jorpes farm) on Kökar where Jorpe was born. (reference 9) Johan Erik Johansson was born in 1894 in Jorpesgården in the village of Overbroad on the small, barren island of Kökar in the archipelago of Åland, a Swedish-speaking part of Finland. His father, Johan Eriksson, was […]

A look back at insulin

Shrestha Saraf Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom Sanjay Saraf Sudarshan Ramachandran Birmingham, United Kingdom   Sir Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best co-discoverers of Insulin. Library and Archives Canada. Via Wikimedia. As we approach the centenary of the isolation, purification, and clinical use of insulin, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on the impact of […]

Research opportunities for medical students and residents

Edward Tabor Washington, DC, United States   Portrait of W. T. O Forssmann from an unknown French newspaper. Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Medical residents who engage in scientific research obtain numerous advantages that may enhance their careers. They acquire analytical skills, refine their critical thinking, and may develop better future training opportunities. Unfortunately, scientific […]

The Steno Memorial Hospital of Copenhagen

Anabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   Where science and human nature meet Figure 1. Niels Stenseens Hospital including apple orchard In November 2017 the Niels Steensens Hospital or Steno Memorial Hospital of Copenhagen, celebrated its 85th anniversary (Figure 1). It was named after the distinguished Danish scientist Nicolaus Steno(nis) (1638-1688), a modern-day Renaissance man, autodidact […]

Part I: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

Sarah Riedlinger Dean Giustini Brenden Hursh Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   Introduction The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, 1929. Photo credit: Toronto Public Library, Accession # tspa_0113248f Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world.1 In 2009 Canada alone had 2.35 million people with diabetes.2 Some 10% of sufferers […]

Part II: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

Sarah Riedlinger Dean Giustini Brenden Hursh Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   Progress in diabetes care between 1922 and 1929 Figure 2. Mortality of Diabetic Coma in the Hospital for Sick Children.7 In 1923 Banting joined the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children and was placed in charge of diabetes care. He and physician Gladys […]

The history of diabetes and insulin

Anabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   Figure 1. The Toronto Daily, the Nobel Laureates on track of diabetes cure The discovery of insulin in 1921 by Banting, Best, Collip, and McLeod was heralded as the cure of diabetes (Figure 1). Press reports consigned earlier research to oblivion, suggesting that previous investigators had merely been groping […]

A difficult conversation

Ajanta Naidu Irvine, California, United States   Fifteen years old, Jane sat in the exam room innocently denying that large doses of insulin were causing her severely low blood sugars. Living with type 1 diabetes, she had been prescribed daily insulin injections, which she herself administered at meals. Though she denied injecting more than the […]