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Sir Frederick Grant Banting* 

Sir Frederick Banting
What many consider the outstanding achievement of Canadian medical research — the discovery of insulin — was the work of a team: Dr. Frederick Banting, physiologist Charles Best, Dr. J.J.R. Macleod, and biochemist J.B. Collip.

It was Banting's idea that the pancreas secreted a substance that could be used to treat diabetes. Exciting early experiments in 1921 by Banting and Best brought Macleod and Collip actively into the project. The four announced their discovery in 1922. The effect of insulin on diabetics was immediate and astonishing. Insulin has since helped millions around the world. In 1923, Banting and Macleod were the first Canadians to be awarded the Nobel Prize; Banting shared his prize money with Best, Macleod shared his with Collip. Best was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967.

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Updated: 19 March 2008

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