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 flocked to Santa Barbara from all over the world for the 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.”

“Dr. Sansum’s clinical and research work in diabetes was absolutely remarkable,” said Dr. Samuel Klein, SDRI’s chief scientific officer. “As Sansum Diabetes Research Institute 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 events planned throughout the year to honor and recognize Dr. Sansum’s legacy in diabetes research, including a Gratitude Gala, celebrating 100 years of insulin, on Sept. 10. For more on upcoming events, visit

Founded in 1944 by Dr. Sansum, SDRI is known for innovation in the field of type 1 diabetes, including the artificial pancreas system and diabetes in pregnancy. SDRI is broadening its area of expertise to address a range of issues in type 2 diabetes in an effort to address this growing epidemic. Learn more at