13 January 1858|
Aleksotas, Kovno Governorate, Russian Empire (now Lithuania)
18 July 1931 (aged 73)|
|Known for||pancreas and diabetes|
|Institutions||University of Breslau|
|Influences||Josef von Mering|
Oskar Minkowski (/
Born in Aleksotas, of Jewish origin,, but later converted to Christianity. Minkowski was the son of Rachel (née Taubmann) and Lewin Boruch Minkowski (1825–1884), a first-guild merchant, who subsidized construction of the choral synagogue in Kovno.
Minkowski worked with Josef von Mering on the study of diabetes at the University of Strasbourg. Their landmark study in 1889 in dogs induced diabetes by removing their pancreas. It was Minkowski who performed the operation and made the crucial link to recognize that the symptoms of the treated dogs were due to diabetes. Thus they were able to indicate that the pancreas contained regulators to control blood sugar; they also provided a model for the study of diabetes. Their work led other doctors and scientists to pursue further research on the relation of the pancreas to diabetes, and ultimately resulted in the discovery of insulin as a treatment for the disease.
In recognition of the discovery by Minkowski the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annually awards the Minkowski Prize for outstanding original work of a younger investigator in diabetes research.
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