University of Toronto is home to titans of diabetes research – and Mladen Vranic was among them.
Vranic died at the age of 89 on June 18 and is remembered in the Globe and Mail for his many scientific accomplishments and his tenacity in the face of hardship.
In the early 1960s, Vranic came to U of T from the University of Zagreb, where he was a graduate student in physiology.
He was the last postdoctoral researcher to work with Charles Best, who discovered insulin alongside Frederick Banting 40 years prior.
Vranic’s research on measuring glucose in the liver and on how exercise affects diabetes earned him international accolades, an Order of Canada and honorary degrees from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden in 1992 and U of T in 2011.
But it was his determination and never-ending curiosity that inspired generations of his colleagues and students.
“He could be relentless in sticking with an issue that he was interested in and wanted to accomplish,” John Dirks, former dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine, told the Globe and Mail.