For more than 3,000 years, diabetes was considered a mystery in the medical field. While the symptoms were well recognized, there was no clear path to treatment outside of changing diet which produced inconsistent results.
Frederick Banting, a scientist at the University of Toronto changed all that in the early 1920’s when he and partner Charles Best discovered how to isolate and extract insulin for use on humans to treat diabetes —a naturally produced hormone still used in diabetic treatment today.
In 1923, Banting was awarded a share of the Nobel Prize in medicine for his work in insulin treatment, which had quickly become the standard. This was thanks in part to him releasing the rights for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture insulin royalty-free. In fact, Banting was offered $1 million and royalties for his formula—but turned it down and chose to never profit from his research.
In observance of what would be his 125th birthday, we celebrate Frederick Banting and his contribution to saving countless lives across the world.