The discovery of insulin: the Rochester, New York, connection

Ann Intern Med. 2005 Dec 20;143(12):907-12. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-12-200512200-00009.


The discovery of insulin in Toronto by Dr. Frederick G. Banting and colleagues has been well chronicled. The story of how insulin therapy was introduced into the United States has been less detailed. The first patient to be treated with insulin in the United States resided in Rochester, New York, a city with a then newly developed medical school that had also tried to recruit Dr. Banting. A series of letters from that period provides a description of the course of a juvenile patient with diabetes before and after the use of insulin as a therapeutic agent.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Insulin / history*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • New York


  • Insulin