Banting, Frederick Grant

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Sir Frederick Grant Banting


Dr. Frederick Banting was born on November 14th, 1891 at Alliston, Ontario, Canada as the youngest child to William Thompson Banting and Margaret Grant. He pursued the study of medicine at the University of Toronto and graduated with an M.B. degree in 1916. He joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps and served until the end of World War 1. He became Pharmacology lecturer at the University of Toronto in 1922 and was awarded an M.D. degree. Banting was very interested in finding a treatment for diabetes. He began his research with the help of J.J.R. Macleod, a physiology professor at the University of Toronto who provided Banting with facilities to perform his experiments and Charles Best, Banting’s assistant in the research. In 1921, Banting co-discovered insulin with Best and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923. The discovery of insulin was one of the significant achievements of the 20th century.

In 1923, the legislature of the province of Ontario endowed a Banting and Best Chair of Medical Research to which Banting became a member. Frederick Banting, Charles Best and J.J.R. Macleod were placed in the Inventors Hall of Fame posthumously in 2003 for their discovery of insulin to treat diabetes. Dr. Fredrick Banting was killed during World War II in a Newfoundland air disaster while engaged in duty as the liaison officer of British and North American medical services. In honour of Dr. Banting, the Banting Research Foundation provides grants to Canadian researchers in all fields who pursue a career in understanding and finding treatments for human diseases. — BJ


Bliss, Michael. Banting: a biography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984