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Discovery of insulin 100 years on
  1. David Russell-Jones1,2,
  2. Zosanglura Bawlchhim1
  1. 1CEDAR, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, UK
  2. 2Diabetes & Endocrinology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
  1. Correspondence to David Russell-Jones, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford GU2 7XX, UK; davidrussell-jones{at}


The discovery of insulin 100 years ago ranks among the greatest medical achievements ever. This sparked a revolution of scientific discovery and therapeutic intervention to treat people suffering with diabetes. A light was shone for other areas of medicine to illuminate what was possible with detailed scientific endeavour. There followed a range of firsts leading to the current time in which we now know more about this peptide hormone than almost any other protein in existence. This has allowed therapeutic advancement from a positon of knowledge leading to stunning innovation. This innovation is likely to lead to more physiological insulin replacement reducing the disease burden to individuals and society as whole.

  • General diabetes

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  • Contributors DR-J and ZB contributed to the conception, writing and review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests DR-J has received research funding, speaker or Advisory board fee from Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Takeda, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Dexcom and Pfizer.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.