This date in science: Co-discoverer of insulin is born

Charles Herbert Best, along with Frederick Banting, discovered a way to manage diabetes and help millions.

February 27, 1899. In a small county in Maine, Charles Herbert Best was born on this date in 1899. He moved to Toronto at the age of 16 to become a student at the University of Toronto, a decision that changed his life. At age 22, Best accepted an assignment to be Frederick Banting’s assistant. Banting, fired up by an idea of how to manage diabetes – a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar – left his medical career to do pure research on the topic. With the help of Best and other collaborators, Banting found and extracted insulin – a hormone produced in the pancreas that absorbs blood sugar. The discovery was announced in February 1922. Today, millions take insulin to control this disease.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Best did not receive credit, however, when Banting won the 1923 Nobel Prize along with J.R.R. Macleod. As a consolation, Banting shared half of his prize money with Best.

Bottom line: February 27, 1899 is the birthday of Charles Herbert Best, co-discoverer of insulin.

Elizabeth Howell