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date: 26 February 2020

Best, Charles Herbertlocked

(27 February 1899–31 March 1978)
  • Michael Bliss

Extract

Best, Charles Herbert (27 February 1899–31 March 1978), physiologist, was born in West Pembroke, Maine, the son of Herbert Huestis Best, a doctor, and Luella May Fisher. Best’s parents were Canadian-born, and Best later spent his adult life in Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and biochemistry in 1921 and worked for professor of physiology J. J. R. Macleod as a summer research assistant in preparation for enrolling in a master’s program. Macleod asked Best and another student, E. C. Noble, to spend part of their time assisting physician Frederick Grant Banting, a recent alumnus who wanted to test an idea he had for isolating an antidiabetic substance thought to be secreted by the pancreas. Best won a coin toss with Noble to see who would help Banting first; Noble later found it convenient to let Best stay to do his share of the work....

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