Sir Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941)

Life Description
Sir Frederick Grant Banting was a Canadian physician, physiologist,
and Nobel winner in 1923 for the discovery of the hormone insulin, used in
treating diabetes.

Early Life
Banting was born November 14, 1891, on a farm near Alliston, Ontario.
The death of his friend made him having the desire to be a doctor.
However, his father was a devoutly religious man, and hoped that Frederick
would become minister. After he graduated from high school, the conflicts
with his parents begun. His parents finally persuaded him to enrol in the
liberal art course at Victoria College, Ontario. In 1910, he and his
cousin Fred Hipwell began their studies at Victoria College.

However, Banting\'s mind was still on medicine. After several
arguments with his parents, he entered the University of Toronto Medical
School in the fall of 1912. His cousin quoted, "He was a steady,
industrious student. He had no top marks or even honor standing, but there
never was any doubt that he would pass."

World War I
While he was still in school, World War I started. In the spring of
1915, his name was enlisted in the Canadian Army. However, his commanding
officer, arranged him for his education. Hours after the successful
completion of his final exams in December 1916, he was back in uniform.
Within a few months, he was serving in the Canadian Army Hospital at
Ramsgate, England. He then voluntarily transferred to the front line near
Cambrai, France because he felt he was not doing enough. He used his
intelligence to capture three fully armed Germans without any use of
weapons! This earned a rank of the Captain.

He kept working at the frontline. On the morning of September 28,
1918, a shell burst close by and a piece of shrapnel buried itself in
Banting\'s right arm. It was so bad that a doctor informed him that they
had to amputate his arm. However, he refused, He did an operation to
himself. Even though it was a long, slow process, his arm finally did

After World War I
By the time he was recovered, he went back to Toronto. He opened an
office as a surgeon. However, after 4 months, he only earned 14 dollars!
Therefore, he transferred to University of Western Ontario as a teacher.

Winning the Nobel Prize
In the year 1921, he performed a major breakthrough of modern
science--he had brought a dying victim of diabetes back to life. This
discovery led him to win the 1923 Nobel Prize.

Even though he could turn wealthy by patenting insulin, he chose to go
back to University of Toronto, and made sure that public could have insulin
injection cheap and easily.

The world continued to honor and reward him. In 1934, he was made a
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by King George V.

The Death of Sir Banting
Later in his life, he joined the army in World War II. Aviation
medicine became his favourite line of research. Shortly before his
departure on a mission to Great Britain, he was uneasy and told his cousin
Fred Hipwell that he was "a little bit afraid." On February 21, 1941, the
plane carrying Banting 50 miles out from Newfoundland airport, heading over
the Atlantic Ocean. One of the engines sputtered and failed. It crashed
while landing on the ground.

Thousands mourned Banting\'s passing. He was buried as a soldier in a
simple ceremony. The last words said over the flag- draped coffin were:
"It is not given to everyone to die for his country, for freedom and
justice, to die in the path of duty....Such was the earthly end of
Frederick Grant Banting. Tragic? Yes, but also triumphant."

Discovery and Contribution
The main discovery of Sir Banting of course was the insulin that could
cure Diabetes Mellitus.

What are Insulin and Diabetes Mellitus
Insulin is a hormone that produces by the islets of Langerhans, which
are the groups of cells in pancreas. Diabetes Mellitus would cause the
entry of glucose impaired, a result either of a deficiency in the amount of
insulin produced or of a blocking of its action. The sugar builds up in
the blood and is excreted in the urine. This would cause the body became
extremely thirsty, weight is lost and feels very tired. Since the body is
lack of glucose, it begins to break down the stored fat. The blood would
become acidic and interfere with respiration. Usual outcome of this would
be diabetic coma if it is not treated properly. During that time, in U.S.,
almost 300,000 people