The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921–2 was one of the most dramatic events in the history of the treatment of disease. Insulin, discovered by the Canadian research team of Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, and John Macleod, was a wonder drug with the ability to bring diabetes patients back from the brink of death. It was no surprise that in 1923 the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for its discovery.
In this engaging and award-winning account, historian Michael Bliss draws on archival records and personal adventures to recount the fascinating story behind the discovery of insulin – a story as much filled with fiery confrontation and intense competition as medical dedication and scientific genius.
With a new preface by Michael Bliss and a foreword by Alison Li, the special centenary edition of The Discovery of Insulin honours the one hundredth anniversary of insulin’s discovery and its continued significance a century later.
About the authors
Michael Bliss was a Canadian historian and a University Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and the History of Medicine Program at the University of Toronto. He was the author of numerous award-winning books in business and political history as well as the history of medicine, including popular biographies of Sir Frederick Banting, Sir William Osler, and Harvey Cushing. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the first historian to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Alison Li is an historian of science and medicine based in Toronto. She is the author and editor of multiple books, including J.B. Collip and the Development of Medical Research in Canada. Her current project, Wondrous Transformations: A Maverick Physician, the Science of Hormones, and the Birth of the Transgender Revolution, will be published by University of North Carolina Press.
"Scrupulously researched and compellingly readable ... I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with an interest in diabetes, medical history, or medical scandal and gossip."
<em>British Medical Journal</em>
"The Discovery of Insulin deserves a place on the bookshelf alongside such eye-openers as James Watson's The Double Helix."
"The definitive history ... well written, highly readable."
<em>London Review of Books</em>
Other titles by Michael Bliss
Right Honourable Men
The Descent of Canadian Politics from MacDonald to Chrétien
A Professor’s Life
The Making of Modern Medicine
Turning Points in the Treatment of Disease
A Life in Surgery
Right Honourable Men Updated Reissue
A Life in Medicine
Conscience and History
A Canadian Millionaire
The Life and Business Times of Sir Joseph Flavelle, Bart., 1858-1939
Social Planning for Canada
The 1935 classic of Canadian socialist thought