I had the chance to speak with CBC One’s Adrienne Pan on Radio Active about the role J.B. Collip played in the discovery of insulin. We talked about why he has been called “insulin’s forgotten man” despite his key contribution to the work of the insulin team.
Collip was associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. In 1921, he visited the University of Toronto on sabbatical leave and was asked by the professor of physiology, J. J. R. Macleod, to help in purifying the pancreatic extracts that Frederick Banting and Charles Best had been investigating as a possible treatment for diabetes. The work of this team led to Canada’s first Nobel Prize in 1923 for the discovery of insulin.