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Dr. Sansum established Santa Barbara as the epicenter of diabetes research

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) is celebrating 100 years of insulin, one of the most important medical achievements in modern times. Dr. William Sansum, renowned diabetes specialist and SDRI’s founder, was the first U.S. physician to manufacture and administer insulin and saved millions of lives with his work in diabetes research.

Dr. Sansum’s life’s work was caring for the gravely ill diabetes patients at his Potter Clinic in Santa Barbara and was conducting diabetes research in hopes of finding a cure. Prior to the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a death sentence. In 1922, Dr. Sansum’s breakthrough with insulin became a functional cure for diabetes, and his research was on the front page of newspapers across the country. Once the news spread, patients stampeded into Santa Barbara from all over the world for Dr. Sansum’s lifegiving insulin.

Dr. Sansum’s quest to improve the lives of people with diabetes inspired SDRI to continue on the same path of excellence that he began 100 years ago.

“Dr. Sansum’s work profoundly changed the landscape for those living with diabetes,” said Ellen Goodstein, Executive Director at SDRI. “Since then, SDRI has continued to celebrate his legacy through our groundbreaking achievements in diabetes and pregnancy, and the Artificial Pancreas.”

Added Dr. Samuel Klein, SDRI’s Chief Scientific Officer, “Dr. Sansum’s clinical and research work in diabetes was absolutely remarkable. As Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) commemorates 100 years of insulin, we look back and appreciate Dr. Sansum’s legacy and his establishment of SDRI 78 years ago. SDRI continues to make important research contributions that have improved the medical management and health of people with diabetes.”

SDRI has many events planned throughout the year to honor and recognize Dr. Sansum’s legacy in diabetes research. SDRI is planning a Gratitude Gala, celebrating 100 years of insulin, on September 10, 2022. Please visit for upcoming events and details.