Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00241 - Charles Best Papers

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Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00241

Title

Charles Best Papers

Date(s)

  • 1928-1985 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

275 boxes and items (33 metres)

Context area

Name of creator

(1899-1978)

Biographical history

Charles Herbert Best was a Canadian physiologist and one of the co-discoverers of insulin. Born in Maine in 1899 to Canadian parents, Best moved to Toronto in 1915, where he completed a degree in physiology and biochemistry. In 1921, as a medical student at the University of Toronto, he worked as an assistant to Dr. Frederick Banting. Together they discovered the pancreatic hormone insulin, which became a treatment for diabetes. In 1923, Banting and J.J.R Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of insulin, while Best was not named in the award, Banting chose to give half of the prize money to Best. Best became a professor of physiology at the University of Toronto in 1927. During his time in the department, he co-authored the textbook The Physiological Basis of Medical Practice (1937) with Norman B. Taylor. After Banting’s death in 1941, Best also became the head of the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research at the University of Toronto. During WWII, Best developed a method of separating and drying blood plasma serum, which could be sent to the front, reconstituted and transfused into wounded soldiers. Best served as an adviser to the Medical Research Committee of the United Nations World Health Organization, and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967. He retired in 1965 and died in 1978.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of research notes and drafts for articles and lectures, correspondence, photographs, tapes, cassettes, slides, offprints of articles, biographical material. It also includes letters from J.J.R. Macleod.

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Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request.

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Language of material

  • English

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Description identifier

CAOTUTF

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