The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin

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About the Discovery of Insulin

The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to Frederick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod in 1923 formally recognized the tremendous achievement of the Toronto team in discovering and developing insulin, a substance that continues to alleviate the suffering and prevent the death of many millions of diabetics throughout the world.

This section of the site provides additional approaches to the core material by providing an overview and context for the individual historical documents and artifacts which are displayed and described. The 'Interactive Timeline' offers a chronological summary of some of the most significant steps in the discovery and refinement of the pancreatic extract up until the time of its worldwide standardization and dissemination. The 'Biographies' section presents the story of insulin as part of the life story of each of the four co-discoverers - Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod. 'From a Patient's Point of View' draws together the dramatic accounts of some of the earliest patients successfully treated with insulin in Toronto, through their eyes and the eyes of their doctors. Each of these sections presents a different angle on one of the most dramatic and moving events in the history of modern medicine.

About the discovery of insulin - selected images