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Horm Res. 2005;64 Suppl 2:98-102.

Resurrections in Toronto: the emergence of insulin.

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  • 1University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


The discovery of insulin remains the greatest and one of the most controversial events in the history of endocrinology. Hypotheses about the possible existence of an internal secretion of the pancreas date from the early 1890s and were steadily modified with the development of the concept of an endocrine system. In the spring of 1922, after many false starts and dead ends, a team of researchers at the University of Toronto provided conclusive evidence of the existence of the internal secretion of insulin. The discovery process was fraught with personal and scientific rivalries more striking than fiction. The early use of insulin on starved, dying diabetic children awed everyone involved in the process. With the discovery of insulin, endocrinology moved into the mainstream of medical science.

(c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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