Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He achieved an early reputation for brilliance.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
1994 Inductee

Dr. Douglas Copp

Born: 
January 16, 1915, Toronto, Ontario
Died: 
March 17, 1998
Education: 
MD - The University of Toronto; PhD University of California
In 1961, Dr. Douglas Harold Copp's research into hormones led to the discovery of calcitonin, a hormone which regulates the level of calcium in the blood and is used in treating patients with bone disease. During World War II, he was recruited for the top secret Manhattan Project, through which the allies completed development of the atomic bomb. In support of this project, Dr. Copp's research centred on the effects of radiation on human bone marrow. With a scholar's gift and top marks in medicine at The University of Toronto, Copp was able to continue his education on a fellowship at the University of California. By 1943, he had completed another doctorate, this time in biochemistry. Following the war, he returned to teach at Berkeley, but a few years later, Canada called him home. He was invited to the University of British Columbia, where he became the first Head of Physiology at the new medical school.