The year 2022 marks 100 years since the first patient, Leonard Thompson, was treated with insulin for his diabetes. Once a death sentence, diabetes became a treatable disease, and the many developments in insulin over the last century have resulted in dramatic improvements in patient outcomes and quality-of-life.

In 1921, researchers Banting and Best began removing the pancreas and extracting pancreatic tissue from dogs. Over the course of a year, they worked with a third researcher, Dr Collip to purify their extract before eventually testing it on themselves for safety, and a fellow physician with diabetes to assess glucose response. Bovine insulin was the first protein to be sequenced in 1953. Subsequently, Dr Dorothy Hodgkins solved the crystal structure of insulin in 1969. Together, these discoveries paved the way for mass-produced insulin and insulin analogues. Now, over a century later, people with diabetes have far more treatment options available to them.



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