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Insulin@100: “Unspeakably wonderful”

26th January 2021

At 11 years old, Elizabeth Evans-Hughes weighed just 45 lb. Elizabeth had type 1 diabetes – which, for a child at the start of the 1920s, was pretty much a death sentence. Remarkably, however, she lived on to the age of 73.  

What saved Elizabeth was the discovery of insulin in 1921. In the following year, she would be only the second person ever to be treated with this miraculous “thick brown muck”. Asked long afterwards what she had thought of the new treatment, she recalled: “It was unspeakably wonderful.” 

2021 is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. To mark the occasion, throughout the year the EASD’s e-Learning platform will be hosting ‘Insulin@100’ – a series of 100 insulin-related features, covering everything from the history of insulin to the insulin-replacement therapies of the future.  

The first of these, which launches today, is Professor Geoff Gill’s fascinating account of the story behind one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine. Click here to view.