October 30, 1920 – Eureka Moment The young surgeon Dr. Frederick Banting is working as an assistant in Physiology at the University of Western Ontario. While preparing for a lecture, Banting reads an article by Moses Barron and is fascinated by Barron’s theories on the Islets of Langerhans in relation to diabetes. That evening, Banting concludes the internal secretions of the pancreas might hold the…


Paulescu develops an aqueous pancreatic extract that ‘works’ when injected in diabetic dogs but cannot be used on humans and WW1 also interrupts his work.

1870 – 1888

Searching for a substitute In the following decades, scientists speculate that the Islets of Langerhans secrete a hormone responsible for the body’s utilization of sugar. Although some come close, none have success isolating the hormone or producing an extract of the pancreas capable of treating diabetes.


Finding a basic relationship Medical student Paul Langerhans is the first to observe mysterious islands of cells in the pancreas not connected to the gland secreting digestive juice. These would later Become known as the “Islets of Langerhans”.