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Pacific to Host Diabetes Symposium: Keynote Speaker to Discuss the History of Insulin

Mar 17, 2010

The cover to Caroline Cox's book about the history of insulinCaroline Cox, author of the book "The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin" will be the keynote speaker at the annual Operation Diabetes Symposium hosted by the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, one of nine schools that make up University of the Pacific. There also will be student pharmacists available to answer questions about diabetes.

The event is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 24 in the Raymond Great Room on Pacific's Stockton Campus. It is free and open to the public.

"It's estimated that approximately 8 percent of the population in the United States has a form of diabetes, and that number is increasing every year," said Kevin Leahy, one of the students organizing the symposium. "We hope that this symposium will get people started on the road to properly managing their diabetes or learn how to avoid it altogether."

While many people today survive diabetes with diet change and medications, that wasn't always the case. According to Cox's book, diabetes used to be a "death sentence." Until the discovery of insulin, the only known treatment for the disease was to severely limit caloric intake of patients, which essentially starved the patient to death over a long period. Cox, a history professor at Pacific, wrote her book after reading the letters of Elizabeth Hughes, the first person to receive insulin as a treatment for the deadly disease.

The symposium will start at 5:30 p.m. with a reception that will include free diabetes screenings, information session with student pharmacists, and a book signing by Cox. Cox's lecture about Hughes will start at 6 p.m. and will include a question-and-answer session. After her lecture, guests will have a chance to meet Cox as well as receive information about diabetes.

For more information about Cox's book, visit http://www.pacific.edu/x31068.xml. For more information about the symposium, visit http://web.pacific.edu/x34514.xml.