You may have caught the Google banner on November 14th, celebrating Fred Banting’s 125th birthday. Banting and Best in Professor Macleod’s lab at the University of Toronto in 1921made the seminal discovery of insulin by first ligating the pancreatic duct to eliminate acinar tissue from the pancreas which was probably inhibiting the isolation of the hormone because the enzymes were digesting it!
November 14th was also World Diabetes Day! If you are like me, you missed this primarily because we spend most of our working lives immersed in trying to care for patients with diabetes in the clinic and/or cure diabetes in the lab.
Finally, Dec 17, 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the first successful pancreas transplantation in humans performed by Walter Kelly and Richard Lillehei in 1966 at the University of Minnesota. So, as our diabetic patients are enjoying holiday treats this season, they can be thankful for the work of these pioneers, many years ago, who forged a new frontier in the treatment of diabetes.