History of the Pancreas

We would like to develop a list of books and journal articles that cover the history of the pancreas.  Please forward your suggestions of additional material or willingness to write a commentary or book review.

Bliss, Michael.  The Discovery of Insulin.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1982,2007.  ISBN 978-0-226-05899-3

A masterful book that reads almost like a novel.  Researching and writing after the death of the protagonists and with the availability of their papers, historian Michael Bliss of the University of Toronto traces the story of the discovery of insulin, its purification, and administration to patients in the period from 1921 to 1923 by Frederick Banting, Charles Best, JJH Macleod and Bertram Collip.  Theirs was a stormy partnership but when you finish reading you will understand the role each played and why Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize.  The rapid transition to a medical product and the miracle effects on previously starved patients is also quite interesting.  This book should be read by every physician and researcher and would be understood by general readers.

Bushnardo, Antonio C, DiDio, Liberato JA, Tidrick, Robert T and Thomford, Neil R. History of the pancreas. American Journal of Surgery 146:539-550, 1983. PMID: 6356946

DiMagno, EP. A short, eclectic history of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and chronic pancreatitis. Gastroenterology. 104:1255-1262, 1993. PMID: 8482439

Gregory, RA. The gastrointestinal hormones: a historical review. In The Pursuit of Nature: Informal essays on the history of physiology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1977. ISBN: 052129617X Full Text

Henderson, John. A Life of Ernest Starling. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005. ISBN 0195177800

A very readable biography of one of the founders of modern British Physiology. Covers the relationship between Starling and William Bayliss and their discovery of Secretin, and introduction of the term "hormone." The discovery was made in January 1902 at University College London and a week latter was reported to the Royal Society. This is only a small part of the book which covers his major scientific discoveries on the heart, capillary exchange and the kidney, his role in combating the anti-vivisectionists of his day and speculates on why he never won the Nobel Prize, in part due to his pro German leanings.

Howard, John M and Hess, Walter History of the Pancreas: Mysteries of a Hidden Organ. Kluwer Academic, New York, 759 pp, 2002. ISBN 0306467429

See New Engl J Med 349:1009 for a review of this book by Steven Freedman.

Olmsted, JMD. Claude Bernard Physiologist. Cassell Ltd. London 1939, Chapter Eleven, Pancreatic Digestion, pp179-187.

This chapter provides a short review of Claude Bernard's contributions to pancreatic physiology which primarily relates to the role of pancreatic juice in digestion especially of fat.

Modlin, Irvin M, Champaneria, Manish C, Chan, Anthony KC, Kidd, Mark and Eick, Geeta N. The Pancreas: An Integrated Textbook of Basic Science, Medicine, and Survery, Second Edition. Berger, HG, Warshaw, AL, Büchler, MW, Kozarek, RA, Lerch MM, Neoptolemos, JP, Shiratori, K, Whitcomb, DC and Rau, BM (Eds.). Blackwell Publishing Limited. Carlton, 2008, Chapter 2, The History of the Pancreas, pp9-41. ISBN: 978-1-405-14664-7

Rehfeld, JF. A centenary of Gastrointestinal Endocrinology. Hormone Metabolic Research 36:735-741, 2004. PMID: 15655701

Todes, Daniel P. Pavlov's Physiology Factory: Experiment, Interpretation, Laboratory Enterprise. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2002. ISBN: 0801866901

Todes, Daniel. Ivan Pavlov: Exploring the Animal Machine. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000. ISBN: 0195105141

This book is written for young adults but gives a good overview with a wealth of pictures of this complex individual and how science was carried out in Russia a century ago. An enjoyable read.

Wong, Debra A., Stein, Anita M. Stein, Paul D. Webster, and Go, Vay Liang W. Brief History of the American Pancreatic Association. Pancreas. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc., Philadelphia, 2003. Full text