Frederick Banting Insulin

February 11, 2012 by staff 

Frederick Banting Insulin, Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC (November 14, 1891 – February 21, 1941) was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor and Nobel laureate noted as one of the main discoverers of insulin.

In 1923 Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Banting shared the award money with his colleague, Dr. Charles Best. As of September 2011[update], Banting, who received the Nobel Prize at age 32, remains the youngest Nobel laureate in the area of Physiology/Medicine. The Canadian government gave him a lifetime annuity to work on his research. In 1934 he was knighted by King George V. In 2004, Frederick Banting was voted 4th place on The Greatest Canadian.

Frederick Banting was born on 14 November 1891, in a farm house near Alliston, Ontario. The youngest of five children of William Thompson Banting and Margaret Grant, he attended public and high schools in Alliston. He attempted to enter the army but was refused due to poor eyesight. He then attended the University of Toronto in the faculty of divinity but soon transferred to medicine. He received his M.B degree in 1916 and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, which had a need for medics in World War I. He was wounded at the battle of Cambrai in 1918. Despite his injuries, he helped other wounded men for sixteen hours, until another doctor told him to stop. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1919, for heroism.

Banting returned to Canada after the war and briefly took up general practice in London, Ontario. Returning to Toronto, he studied orthopaedic medicine and, in 1919-1920, was Resident Surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children. From 1920-21, he continued his general practice, while teaching orthopaedics and anthropology part-time at the University of Western Ontario in London. From 1921-22 he lectured in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, receiving his M.D. degree in 1922, along with a gold medal.

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