James Collip was a biochemist who proved vital in producing the first insulin dose that was suitable for use on humans.
In 1921, Collip took a sabbatical from the University of Alberta and worked with Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto. He had previously received his PhD in biochemistry in 1916.
Banting and Best had discovered insulin , but the extract was raw and after being administered to Leonard Thompson, the first human to receive it, no changes were seen in his diabetic condition.
Collip purified this extract within two weeks and it was again administered to Thompson. This time, the insulin led to Thompson’s blood glucose levels stabilising, which saved his life.
Collip received a quarter of the prize money awarded to Banting as part of the Nobel Prize in 1923, and despite enduring many arguments with Banting during the discovery of insulin , the two became good friends in the 1930s.
In 1928, Collip became the Professor of Biochemistry at McGill University, while he later served as the Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario between 1947 and 1961.