Frederick Grant Banting (1891 - 1941)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
Death: Died in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Occupation: Physiologist
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Frederick Grant Banting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Banting

Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, 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. 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.

Early yearsFrederick Banting was born on 14 November 1891, in the downstairs front bedroom of a farm house near Alliston, Ontario. He was the youngest of five children of William Thompson Banting and Margaret (née Grant). Educated at the Public and High Schools at Alliston. He attempted to enter the army but was refused due to poor eyesight. He later went to the University of Toronto to study divinity, but soon transferred to the study of medicine.

In 1916 he took his M.B. degree and at once joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps, since the outbreak of World War I created a need for greater numbers of medics. In 1918 he was wounded at the battle of Cambrai. He helped other wounded men for a total of 16 hours, even with his wound, before another doctor made him stop. In 1919 he was awarded the Military Cross for heroism under fire.

At war's end, Banting returned to Canada and was for a short time a medical practitioner in London, Ontario. He studied orthopaedic medicine; during the year 1919-1920 he was Resident Surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. From 1920 until 1921, while he kept his general practice, he taught orthopaedics and anthropology part-time at the University of Western Ontario at London, Canada. From 1921 until 1922 he was Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. In 1922 he was awarded an M.D. degree, together with a gold medal.

Scientific work

Banting became deeply interested in diabetes after reading an article in a medical paper on the pancreas. The work of Naunyn, Minkowski, Opie, Schafer, and others had indicated that diabetes was caused by lack of a protein hormone secreted by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. To this hormone Schafer had given the name insulin. It was supposed that insulin controls the metabolism of sugar, so that lack of it results in the accumulation of sugar in the blood and the excretion of excess of sugar in urine. Attempts to supply the missing insulin by feeding patients with fresh pancreas or extracts of it had failed, presumably because the protein insulin had been destroyed by the proteolytic enzyme of the pancreas. The problem, therefore, was how to extract insulin from the pancreas before it had been thus destroyed.

While he was considering this problem Banting read an article by Moses Barron. Barron pointed out that when the pancreatic duct was experimentally closed by ligatures, the cells of the pancreas which secrete trypsin degenerate, but the Islets of Langerhans remain intact. This suggested to Banting that ligation of the pancreatic duct would destroy the cells which secrete trypsin but avoid the destruction of insulin. Then, after sufficient time had been allowed for the degeneration of the trypsin-secreting cells, insulin might be extracted from the intact Islets of Langerhans.

Determined to investigate this possibility, Banting discussed it with various people. Among them was J. J. R. Macleod, Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto. Macleod gave him experimental facilities. Dr. Charles Best, then a medical student, was appointed Banting's assistant. Together Banting and Best started the work which led to the discovery of insulin.

In 1922 Banting was appointed Senior Demonstrator in Medicine at the University of Toronto. In 1923 he was elected to the Banting and Best Chair of Medical Research, which had been endowed by the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. He was also appointed Honorary Consulting Physician to the Toronto General Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Toronto Western Hospital. In the Banting and Best Institute, Banting researched such problems as silicosis, cancer, and the mechanism of drowning and how to counteract it. During the Second World War he became greatly interested in the problems of aviators, such as 'blackout' (syncope).

Besides his M.D., Banting earned the LL.D. degree (Queen's) and the D.Sc. degree (Toronto) in 1923. Prior to the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1923 – which he shared with Macleod –he received the Reeve Prize of the University of Toronto (1922). In 1923, the Canadian Parliament granted him a Life Annuity of $7,500. In 1928 Banting gave the Cameron Lecture in Edinburgh. He was a member of numerous medical academies and societies in Canada and abroad, including the British and American Physiological Societies, and the American Pharmacological Society. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1934. In May, 1935 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

As a keen painter, Banting once took part in a painting expedition above the Arctic Circle sponsored by the Government.

Banting married Marion Robertson in 1924; they had one child, William (b. 1928). This marriage ended in a divorce in 1932, and in 1937 Banting married Henrietta Ball.

In 1938 Banting developed an interest in aviation medicine that resulted in his participation with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in research concerning the physiological problems encountered by pilots operating high-altitude combat aircraft. Banting headed the RCAF's Number 1 Clinical Investigation Unit (CIU), which was housed in a secret facility on the grounds of the former Eglinton Hunt Club in Toronto.

In February 1941, Banting was killed in an airplane crash in Newfoundland. He was en route to England to conduct operational tests on the Franks flying suit developed by his colleague Wilbur Franks.

Legacy

Banting's name is immortalised in the yearly Banting Lectures, given by an expert in diabetes, and by the creation of the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research of the University of Toronto; Banting Memorial High School in Alliston, ON; Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, ON; Sir Frederick Banting Alternative Program Site in Ottawa, ON; and École Banting Middle School in Coquitlam, BC. Banting House, his house in London, Ontario, was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997. The Banting Interpretation Centre in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador is a museum named after him which focuses on the circumstances surrounding the 1941 plane crash which claimed his life. The crater Banting on the Moon is also named after his brother.

In 1994 Banting was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was nominated as one of the top 10 "Greatest Canadians" by viewers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. When the final votes were counted, Banting finished fourth behind Tommy Douglas, Terry Fox and Pierre Trudeau.

During the voting for "Greatest Canadians" in late 2003, controversy rose over the future use of the Banting family farm in New Tecumseth which had been left to the Ontario Historical Society by Banting's late nephew, Edward, in 1998. The dispute centred around the future use of the 40 ha (100 acre) property and its buildings. In a year-long negotiation, assisted by a provincially-appointed facilitator, the Town of New Tecumseth offered $1 million to the OHS. The town intended to turn the property over to the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation for preservation of the property and buildings, and the Legacy Foundation planned to erect a Camp for Diabetic Youths. The day after the November 22, 2006 deadline for the OHS to sign the agreement, the OHS announced that it had sold the property for housing development to Solmar Development for more than 2 million. Solmar reported in the press that their deal with the OHS had been arranged five months earlier. The Town of New Tecumseth announced it would designate the property under the Ontario Heritage Act. This would prevent its commercial development and obligate the owner to maintain it properly. OHS objected. The Ontario Conservation Review Board heard arguments for and against designation in September, 2007 and recommended designation of the entire 100-acre (0.40 km2) property in October. The Town officially passed the designation by-law on November 12, 2007.

In January, 2007, insulin was named first in a cross-Canada survey by the CBC to identify the 10 Greatest Canadian Inventions.

A painting of his called "St. Tîte des Cap" sold for CDN$30,000 including buyer's premium at a Canadian Art auction in Toronto.

Banting was a relative of William Banting, the discoverer of the first effective low-carbohydrate diet used in weight control.

The 1988 television movie Glory Enough for All depicted the search for insulin by Banting and Best, with R. H. Thomson starring as Banting. Portrayed by Jason Priestley, he also appears in the 2006 historical drama film Above and Beyond before going on board his fatal flight.

Honorary degrees

Sir Frederick Banting received honorary degrees from several Universities:

University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario (LL.D) on 30 May 1924 University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario (D.Sc.) in 1924 Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (LL.D) in 1924 University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (LL.D) in 1924 Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut (Sc.D.) in 1924 University of the State of New York (D.Sc.) in 1931 McGill University in Montreal, Quebec (D.Sc.) in 1939

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

Banting was born in Alliston, Ontario. After studying medicine at the University of Joseph and graduating in 1916, he served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War I. After the war, he returned to Canada and between 1919 and 1920 completed his training as an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. From 1920 until 1921 he did part-time teaching in orthopaedics at the University of Western Ontario at London, Ontario, Canada, besides his general practice. Dissatisfied with his practice and fascinated by the idea of alleviating diabetes, Banting left London and moved to Toronto. There, on 17 May 1921 he began his research at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Professor John Macleod. He was assigned a single assistant to help him, the young graduate student Charles Best.

During a winter of intense work, Banting tested his idea, performing operations on dogs to tie up their pancreatic ducts, which resulted in a partial atrophy of the pancreas. The pancreas would be then removed some weeks later, with the hope that it would then contain a high concentration of uncontaminated secretion of the pancreas.

After some months of work, it appeared to Banting that his method was working, and that he could keep dogs with diabetes alive with his extract. He enthusiastically reported his findings to Macleod, who had been away on his summer holidays during this time. Some people[who?] said that Banting's experiments were crude and did not prove the validity of his thinking, which was not physiologically sound in any case. However, the results encouraged further intensive work in the fall, with direct participation by Macleod and the chemist James Collip. The efforts of the team in 1921-1922 culminated in developing the ability to obtain a useful extract, named insulin.

This was hailed as one of the most significant advances in medicine at the time. Insulin was not only discovered, but put into mass production in a matter of months. Hence, almost immediately it began to extend the lives of millions of people worldwide who suffered from the endocrine disease diabetes mellitus that could not be treated and had a very poor prognosis. People who suffered from problems with fat and protein metabolism, leading to blindness and then death only had a short time after the onset of the illness. Leonard Thompson was the first person to be administered.

In 1923 Banting and Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Banting shared the award money with Best. The Canadian government gave him a lifetime to work on his research. In 1934 King George V bestowed a knighthood on him, making him Sir Frederick Banting.

Early Years Frederick Grant Banting was born on 14 November 1891, at Alliston, Ontario. He was the youngest of five children of William Thompson Banting and Margaret Grant. Educated at the Public and High Schools at Alliston, he later went to the University of Toronto to study divinity, but soon transferred to the study of medicine. In 1916 he took his M.B. degree and at once joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and served, during the First World War, in France. In 1918 he was wounded at the battle of Cambrai and in 1919 he was awarded the Military Cross for heroism under fire.

When the war ended in 1919, Banting returned to Canada and was for a short time a medical practitioner at London, Ontario. He studied orthopaedic medicine and was, during the year 1919-1920, Resident Surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. From 1920 until 1921 he did part-time teaching in orthopaedics at the University of Western Ontario at London, Canada, besides his general practice, and from 1921 until 1922 he was Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. In 1922 he was awarded his M.D. degree, together with a gold medal.

Earlier, however, Banting had become deeply interested in diabetes. The work of Naunyn, Minkowski, Opie, Schafer, and others had indicated that diabetes was caused by lack of a protein hormone secreted by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. To this hormone Schafer had given the name insulin, and it was supposed that insulin controls the metabolism of sugar, so that lack of it results in the accumulation of sugar in the blood and the excretion of the excess of sugar in the urine. Attempts to supply the missing insulin by feeding patients with fresh pancreas, or extracts of it, had failed, presumably because the protein insulin in these had been destroyed by the proteolytic enzyme of the pancreas. The problem, therefore, was how to extract insulin from the pancreas before it had been thus destroyed.

While he was considering this problem, Banting read in a medical journal an article by Moses Baron, which pointed out that, when the pancreatic duct was experimentally closed by ligatures, the cells of the pancreas which secrete trypsin degenerate, but that the Islets of Langerhans remain intact. This suggested to Banting the idea that ligation of the pancreatic duct would, by destroying the cells which secrete trypsin, avoid the destruction of the insulin, so that, after sufficient time had been allowed for the degeneration of the trypsin-secreting cells, insulin might be extracted from the intact Islets of Langerhans.

Determined to investigate this possibility, Banting discussed it with various people, among whom was J.J.R. Macleod, Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto, and Macleod gave him facilities for experimental work upon it. Dr. Charles Best, then a medical student, was appointed as Banting's assistant, and together, Banting and Best started the work which was to lead to the discovery of insulin.

In 1922 Banting had been appointed Senior Demonstrator in Medicine at the University of Toronto, and in 1923 he was elected to the Banting and Best Chair of Medical Research, which had been endowed by the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. He was also appointed Honorary Consulting Physician to the Toronto General Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Toronto Western Hospital. In the Banting and Best Institute, Banting dealt with the problems of silicosis, cancer, the mechanism of drowning and how to counteract it. During the Second World War he became greatly interested in problems connected with flying (such as blackout).

In addition to his medical degree, Banting also obtained, in 1923, the LL.D. degree (Queens) and the D.Sc. degree (Toronto). Prior to the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1923, which he shared with Macleod, he received the Reeve Prize of the University of Toronto (1922). In 1923, the Canadian Parliament granted him a Life Annuity of $7,500. In 1928 Banting gave the Cameron Lecture in Edinburgh. He was appointed member of numerous medical academies and societies in his country and abroad, including the British and American Physiological Societies, and the American Pharmacological Society. He was knighted in 1934.

As a keen painter, Banting once took part of a painting expedition above the Arctic Circle, sponsored by the Government.

Banting married Marion Robertson in 1924; they had one child, William (b. 1928). This marriage ended in a divorce in 1932, and in 1937 Banting married Henrietta Ball.

When the Second World War broke out, he served as a liaison officer between the British and North American medical services and, while thus engaged, he was, in February 1941, killed in an air disaster in Newfoundland.

[edit] Legacy


An oil painting of Sir Frederick Banting in 1925 by Tibor Polya, now in the possession of the National Portrait Gallery of CanadaBanting's name is immortalised in the yearly Banting Lectures, given by an expert in diabetes and by the creation of Banting Memorial High School in Alliston, ON; Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, ON; Sir Frederick Banting Alternative Program Site in Ottawa, ON; and École Banting Middle School in Coquitlam, BC. The Banting Interpretation Centre in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador is a museum named after him which focuses on the circumstances surrounding the 1941 plane crash which claimed his life. The Banting crater on the Moon is also named after him.

In 1994 Banting was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was nominated as one of the top 10 "Greatest Canadians" by viewers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. When the final votes were counted, Banting finished fourth behind Tommy Douglas, Terry Fox and Pierre Trudeau.

Ironically, during the voting for "Greatest Canadians" in late 2003, controversy rose over the future use of the Banting family farm in New Tecumseth which had been left to the Ontario Historical Society by Banting's late nephew, Edward, in 1998. The dispute centred around the future use of the 40 ha (100 acre) property and its buildings. In a year-long negotiation, assisted by a provincially-appointed facilitator, the Town of New Tecumseth offered $1 million to the OHS. The town intended to turn the property over to the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation for preservation of the property and buildings, and the Legacy Foundation planned to erect a Camp for Diabetic Youths. The day after the November 22, 2006 deadline for the OHS to sign the agreement, the OHS announced that it had sold the property for housing development to Solmar Development for more than 2 million. Solmar reported in the press that their deal with the OHS had been arranged five months earlier. The Town of New Tecumseth announced it would designate the property under the Ontario Heritage Act. This would prevent its commercial development and obligate the owner to maintain it properly. OHS objected. The Ontario Conservation Review Board heard arguments for and against designation in September, 2007 and recommended designation of the entire 100-acre property in October. The Town officially passed the designation by-law on November 12, 2007.

In January, 2007, cross-Canada survey by the CBC to identify the 10 Greatest Canadian Inventions, Insulin topped the list in first place.

A painting of his called St. Tîte des Cap sold for $30,000 (cdn) including buyer's premium at a Canadian Art auction in Toronto[1].

Banting was a relative of William Banting, the discoverer of the first effective low-carbohydrate diet used in weight control.

He appeares in the 2006 historical drama film "Above and Beyond" before going onboard his fatal flight.

view all

Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRSC's Timeline

1891
November 14, 1891
Alliston, Ontario, Canada
1941
February 21, 1941
Age 49
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
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