Dr. Douglas Harold Copp distinguished himself early as an astute medical researcher and a gifted teacher. After receiving top marks in medicine at the University of Toronto, he was awarded a fellowship at the University of California, where he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1943.
An expert in bone and calcium metabolism, Dr. Copp was recruited for the Manhattan Project, to study the effects of bone-seeking nuclear fission products. He worked at the University of California until 1950 then returned to Canada to head the Department of Physiology at the University of British Columbia. He pursued the rest of his career there, devoting much of his energy to establishing the reputation of the Faculty of Medicine.
Among his scientific contributions was the discovery of calcitonin, a hormone that is used in the treatment of osteoporosis and taken by cancer patients to relieve pain