Throughout the course of history, many diligent scientists have contributed significantly to Canadian as well as American medical sciences. They have discovered and implemented important procedures and cures to several different diseases and conditions, while working individually or part of a group. Four influential scientists include Marie Maynard Daly, Jewel Plummer Cobb, Al-Zahrawi and Frederick Banting. Daly’s work was focused primarily on aging and the chemical mechanics of heart attacks. Cobb contributed to the field of cancer when she studied the cure for melanoma, which is a type of cancer that develops from melanocytes. Al-Zahrawi constructed the “Al-Tasrif”, which outlined medical procedures, surgical instruments and treatments of diseases. Banting’s idea of using secreting substance from pancreas led to his discovery of insulin, which is highly praised in our world today. The achievements of these scientists have motivated and inspired us to continue research, and to encourage others to work in the sciences for the benefit of our current society, steadily advancing technology and our future generations.
In 1947, Marie Maynard Daly was the first African-American woman to obtain a PhD in chemistry in the United States. She conducted important studies on cholesterol, sugars and proteins but focused primarily on hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. She also contributed to an understanding of the causes of lung disease and heart attacks. With Dr. Quentin.B, she studied how high cholesterol can block the arteries in the body, resulting in a heart attack. Later, she studied the impacts of smoke on the lungs. As a first job, Daly work as an instructor at Howard College from 1947 to 1948. Here, she taught physical science and worked on several research projects with Dr. Herman R.Benson, who studied the structure of proteins. She then received a grant from the American Cancer Society and joined Alfred E. Mirsky at the Rockefeller Institute in New York, to work on the metabolism and components of the cell nucleus and how proteins were constructed in the body. After three years of enrollment at Columbia University, she obtained her doctoral degree and continued to receive funding to further her studies of chemistry. At Columbia University, under the direction of Mary L. Caldwell, Daly studied how digestion is affected by compounds produced in the body. Daly went on to teach biochemistry at universities and became a professor until her retirement in 1986. She was well known for the programs that she developed to assist minority students in enrolling in med school and other graduate programs.
Jewel Plummer Cobb was an American biologist, cancer researcher, dean and professor. She was descended from a family of medical professionals. Throughout her life, Cobb experienced racism and sexism in the workplace but she used this as a drive to continue to do what she enjoyed. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in cell physiology from New York University and began working at the National Cancer Institute. Here, she studied cellular biology rather than molecular biology. Her diligent research at the University of Illinois has enhanced our knowledge of understanding skin cells that produce melanin and in what ways these cells can become cancerous, leading to the cause of melanoma. Cobb also researched the impacts that cancer-infected human cells will have if associated with chemotherapy. Cobb had a huge impact on society as well as ongoing research because her findings assisted other scientists to create new effective tools for fighting cancer. After completing some of her influential work, she began to use her success to encourage women and minorities to enter the science, engineering and math fields. She was also appointed the President of the California State University at Fullerton, where she gained funding to construct buildings as well as the first apartment complex at Fullerton.
Al-Zahrawi is known as the “Father of Modern Surgery”. He was an Arab Muslim physician and surgeon residing in Al-Andalus. Al-Zahrawi made several contributions to the history of medicine and is recognized today as a medical genius. When working, he treated a wide variety of patients regardless of their financial backgrounds. This assisted him in constructing a valuable medical piece of work called “Al-Tasrif”. Al-Tasrif was an encyclopedia on medicine and surgery. It was divided into 30 volumes and outlines over 300 diseases and associated treatments. It was used for over half a century in Islamic and European medicine. The 30th volume is dedicated to surgery, including surgical instruments, as it gives explanations on medical procedures of surgeries, in great detail. The removal of bladder stones, tooth and arrow extraction, midwifery and injuries to the bones and joints were some of the operations covered in his encyclopedia. Al-Zahrawi was the first surgeon to use the intestine linings of cats as thread for internal stitches. Using the linings of the intestines prevented a second removal of the internal stitches. He also practiced plastic surgery and used ink to mark incisions on his patients. Many of these surgical instruments as well as procedures are still being utilized to this day. The surgical instruments have benefitted the world’s health greatly and supports other scientists in their medical research fields.
Frederick Banting was a Canadian medical scientist and physician. He worked with Professor J.J.R.Macleod and C.H.Best to carry out experiments relating to the idea of isolating the substance found in the pancreas, trypsin, to treat diabetes. In 1923, he won the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of insulin, resulting from his experiment. This discovery changed the lives of many people living with diabetes. He was named Canada’s first Professor of Medical Research. Banting was showered in money and appreciation from diabetics all over the world. With his discovery of insulin, he constructed a foundation which is being improved, and scientists have the opportunity to continue researching because they have a solid starting point. After his success, Banting was committed to continued his research. He turned to cancer research, which was frustrating, worked on silicosis with his supervised group and later, became interested in aviation medicine. To show appreciation for his great work, several honours, lectures and awards have been named after him. Today, Banting is known to be one of the world’s most famous Canadians.
As a result of proficient research in these different fields of sciences, many companies were born to supply us with the product or service that these scientists discovered or improved. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is a Canadian charity committed to educate about heart disease and stroke as well as to earn funding for further research. This charity is similar to Marie Maynard Daly’s research and spreads a similar message. OncoSec Medical Incorporated is a biotechnology company that deals with cancer research and focuses primarily on melanoma. This company is continuing the research and findings of Jewel Plummer Cobb. Nu-Life Medical & Surgical Supplies Inc and HiTeck Medical Instruments are companies that supply surgical instruments; continuing the work of Al-Zahrawi. Diabetes research is highlighted and carried out at Sanofi-Aventis Canada Inc and medicines are produced. The company is said to be greatly inspired by Frederick Banting’s as well as other scientists’ work.
In conclusion, the importance of sustained research is beneficial to our country, society, technology and industries, as it can gradually improve health treatments and launch many more discoveries. The mentioned scientists have worked diligently to find different ways of solving some of our many medical problems. Their commitment to their different fields of studies have had a great health impact on the lives of many people, and deserves to be highly praised through the continuation of research by medical teams such as mine.