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Michael Somogyi

Dr. Michael Somogyi (1883 - 1971) was an Austro-Hungarian- born professor of biochemistry at the Washington University and Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, who prepared the first insulin treatment given to a child with diabetes in the USA in October 1922.[1] Somogyi showed that excessive insulin makes diabetes unstable in the Chronic Somogyi rebound of which he gave his name, and first published his findings in 1938.[2]


Michael Somogyi was born on 7 March 1883 in the village Reinersdorf in what was then the Empire of Austria Hungary. He graduated in chemistry from the University of Budapest in 1905 and then went to America. At first he had trouble finding suitable work, but eventually he obtained a position as assistant of biochemistry at the Cornell University Medical College, NY where he was active until 1908. That year Somogyi returned to Budapest to become chief chemist at the municipal laboratory. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Budapest in 1914.

In 1922 his colleague, P. A. Schaffer at the Cornell University, persuaded him to return to the USA to become teacher of biochemistry at the Washington University's medical school in St. Louis. In 1926 he became first chemist at the Jewish Hospital, St. Louis. The first insulin treatment of a child with diabetes in the USA in October 1922 was done with a preparation of insulin produced by Somogyi. In 1926, his first year working as a clinical chemist in St. Louis, he introduced a method for determining reducing sugars in human blood. He took a special interest in diabetic patients and in 1938, at a meeting of the medical society in St. Louis to the theme of “unstable, severe diabetic patients”, Somogyi first presented his theory that insulin treatment in itself might cause unstable diabetes. In 1940 he developed a method for the determination of serum amylase in healthy and diabetic individuals. He is also credited with devising a test for acute pancreatitis. Somogyi was active at the Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, until his retirement in 1957.

He died from a stroke on 21 July 1971.


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  2. ^ M. Somogyi, "Insulin as a cause of extreme hyperglycemia and instability," Weekly Bulletin of the St Louis Medical Society, 1938, 32:498-510
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Michael_Somogyi". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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