In 1921, one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine was made: the discovery of insulin by a team of Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto. One hundred years later, we pay tribute to Frederick Grant Banting, John James Richard Macleod, Charles Herbert Best, and James Bertram Collip.

For millions of people living with diabetes in 1921, the discovery of insulin changed their lives. At that time, people who received a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes had only a few years of hope to live. Unfortunately, death still occurred too quickly, in excruciating conditions.

Today, we know well how this discovery was made:

  • The context of scientific research at that time
  • The sacrifices that were made
  • The personal contributions of the four members of the research team, Banting, Macleod, Best, and Collip

The book The Discovery of Insulin by historian Michael Bliss, published in 1982, tells this story. According to sources consulted to prepare our commemoration of the 100th anniversary of insulin, this work remains the most complete account of this fascinating discovery.

As part of this commemoration, Diabète Québec offers several ways to learn about this fabulous story:

You can always write to us to make comments, suggestions, or share your discoveries at [email protected].

Photo creditsThe Discovery and Early Development of Insulin collection from the digital archives of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto.