James Bertram Collip

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Biography

James Bertram Collip (November 20, 1892 - June 19th, 1965) was born in Belleville, Ontario.  He earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1916 and went on to have a successful and productive career as a medical researcher and professor at the University of Alberta.  While on sabbatical and with a temporary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, Collip was invited by John J.R. Macleod to join Frederick Banting and Charles Best in their research on diabetes.  Up until this point, Banting and Best had been successful in creating a crude pancreatic extract that had successfully lowered blood sugar levels, however the solution was not yet fit for human trials.  Collip was asked to join the research team, as an experienced researcher, to assist in the purification of the extract, making it fit for human use.  In 1922, the purification formula was perfected by Collip and was mass produced at Connaught Laboratories. 

Frederick Banting and John J.R. Macleod were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of Insulin in 1923.  Banting shared his prize earnings with Charles Best and Macleod shared his reward with Collip.

References

Li, Alison. 2003. J.B. Collip and the development of medical research in Canada: extracts and enterprise. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

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