Eugene L. Opie (July 5, 1873-March 12, 1971)
Alan D. Rogol, MD, PH.D
Eugene Opie graduated from Johns Hopkins University and was in the Medical School’s first graduating class (1897). He worked with William Welch in the Department of Pathology, especially on pancreatic anatomy. As a medical student he noted morphological alterations in the islets of Langerhans.
The connection of disordered pancreatic anatomy to diabetes mellitus was secured by Opie as he noted clinical diabetes mellitus in those with pancreatitis and islet cell infiltration or destruction, but not in those with acinar destruction, but relatively intact islets. Perhaps the most important finding was that of hyaline degeneration of the islets with mostly intact acinar cells in a 17 yo adolescent with rapidly fatal diabetes (J Exp Med 1900; 5:419 and 527)