Edmonton is punching above its weight when it comes to the battle against diabetes.
Monday is World Diabetes Day, where the International Diabetes Federation raises awareness of the chronic condition.
The University of Alberta’s Dr. James Shapiro is a leader in diabetes research. He explained the city has an important place in the history of the fight with diabetes, thanks to the development of the Edmonton Protocol, one of the current leading treatments for the disease.
“Probably 2,000 patients have received transplants in almost 30 different centres around the world, as the direct result of scientists that we’ve trained in Edmonton, and have gone off to different parts of the world to replicate, and expand, and improve on the Edmonton Protocol treatment,” said Shapiro.
The purification of extracted insulin in the 1920’s was also successful in part due to an Edmonton-based biochemist, James Collip.
“James Bertram Collip was able to alcohol extraction using his chemistry background to take the impure insulin preparations, clean them up, and allow them to really work in patients for the very first time,” Shapiro explained.
There are currently several possible cures to diabetes being vigorously researched, right here in Edmonton, and Shapiro said it’s an exciting place to be working. (scb)