James Bertram Collip
– June 19
) was part of the Toronto
group which isolated insulin
. Born in Belleville, Ontario
, he served as the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University
from 1928-1941 and Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario
from 1947-1961, where he was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Society
He enrolled at Trinity College at the University of Toronto at the age of 15, and studied physiology and biochemistry. He obtained a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1916.
In 1915, at the age of 22, Collip accepted a lecturing position in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine, shortly before completing his doctorate studies. He fulfilled the role for 13 years, rising to the position of Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry in 1920. His research at the time was mainly focused on blood chemistry of vertebrates and invertebrates.
He took a sabbatical leave beginning in April 1921, and travelled to Toronto on a Rockefeller Travelling Scholarship for a six month position with Professor J. J. R. MacLeod of the University of Toronto's Department of Physiology. There his research program (on the effect of pH on the concentration of sugar in the blood) would take him to marine biological stations in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and St. Andrews, New Brunswick before he returned to Toronto late in the year.
MacLeod was overseeing the work of Frederick Banting and Charles Best in their search for a treatment for diabetes which they had begun in May 1921. In December, when Banting and Best were having difficulties in refining the pancreatic extract, MacLeod freed Collip from his other research to enable him to join the research team. Collip's task was to prepare insulin in a more pure, usable form than Banting and Best had been able to achieve to date. Within a month, Collip achieved the goal of preparing a pancreatic extract pure enough to use in clinical trials.
Successful trials were soon completed and the future of insulin was assured. Banting, Best and Collip subsequently shared the patent for insulin, which they sold to the University of Toronto for one dollar.
Regrettably, due to disagreements between Banting and MacLeod, there was ill-will generated within the team. The Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Banting and MacLeod in 1923. Feeling that Best had been overlooked in the award, Banting shared his portion with his Best. In response, MacLeod shared his portion with Collip. Nonetheless, Collip (and MacLeod) have been largely forgotten as co-discoverers of insulin.
Following this early success, Collip returned to Edmonton to resume his position with the University, and to pursue his own studies on hormone research. In 1928 he was recruited to McGill University in Montreal by his former graduate advisor, Archibald Macallum. Collip served as Chair of McGill's Department of Biochemistry from 1928-1941. He is regarded as a pioneer of endocrine research. He did pioneering work with the hormone ACTH.
He died at the age of 72.
Honours (Partial list)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1925
- Fellow of the Royal Society, 1933
- D.Sc., Harvard University, 1936
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1943
- D.Sc., Oxford University, 1946
- Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm (US), 1947
- Banting Medal of the American Diabetes Association , 1960
- Honorary Doctorate from the University of Western Ontario, 1964
- Michael Bliss, The Discovery of Insulin, 1982, McLellan & Stewart
- M. L. Barr and R. J Rossiter, James Bertram Collip 1892-1965, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Volume 19, December 1973
- Kinch, R A (2008). "Dr J. B. Collip and the development of Premarin". Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstétrique et gynécologie du Canada : JOGC 30 (3): 244–7.
- Bliss, Michael (2005). "Resurrections in Toronto: the emergence of insulin". Horm. Res. 64 Suppl 2 98–102.
- Rosenfeld, Louis (2002). "Insulin: discovery and controversy". Clin. Chem. 48 (12): 2270–88.
- Dominguez, L J; Licata G "[The discovery of insulin: what really happened 80 years ago]". Ann. Ital. Med. Int. 16 (3): 155–62.
- Collip, J B "The William Henry Welch Lectures: Some recent advances in the physiology of the anterior pituitary. 1934". Mt. Sinai J. Med. 66 (5-6): 343–64; discussion 342.
- Li, A (1992). "J. B. Collip, A. M. Hanson and the isolation of the parathyroid hormone, or endocrines and enterprise". Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences 47 (4): 405–38.
- Schwartz, T B (1991). "Giants with tunnel vision: the Albright-Collip controversy". Perspect. Biol. Med. 34 (3): 327–46.
- Bliss, M (1982). "Banting's, Best's, and Collip's accounts of the discovery of insulin". Bulletin of the history of medicine 56 (4): 554–68.
- Barr, M L; Rossiter R J (1973). "James Bertram Collip, 1892-1965". Biographical memoirs of fellows of the Royal Society. Royal Society (Great Britain) 19 235–67.
- Browne, J S; Denstedt O F (1966). "James Bertram Collip (1892-1965)". Endocrinology 79 (2): 225–8.
- Noble, R L (1966). "J. B. Collip, 1893-1965". J. Reprod. Fertil. 11 (2): 167–70.
- Foglia, V G "[James Bertram Collip (20 November 1892- 19 June 1964)]". Revista de la Sociedad Argentina de Biología 42 (1): 4–6.
- Noble, R L (1965). "Memories of James Bertram Collip". Canadian Medical Association journal 93 (26): 1356–64.
- Keys, D A (1965). "James Bertram Collip, an appreciation". Canadian Medical Association journal 93 (14): 774–5.
- WARWICK, O H (1965). "James Bertram Collip--1892-1965". Canadian Medical Association journal 93 425–6.
- THOMSON, D L (1957). "Dr. James Bertram Collip". Canadian journal of biochemistry and physiology 35 (11): suppl 3–7.