UofT has many alumni and accomplishments to be proud of, but generally at the top of the list, one will find insulin, and Frederick Banting. Here is a “Cliffnotes” version of his time here.
Frederick Banting was born in 1891. His life’s ambition as a young man was to enter the army, but he was rejected because of his poor eyesight, and thank goodness he was, because he then enrolled in the University of Toronto.
While he may have started out in the Faculty of Divinity, he soon transferred to medicine, which, for him and for diabetics, turned out to be a great life choice.
Off to WWI he went, and when he returned in 1919 he set up a general practice in London, ON. Fast forward to 1922, where Banting returns to University of Toronto, this time as Senior Demonstrator in Medicine. It was at the University that he conducted his groundbreaking research in the extraction of insulin from the pancreas.
With the help of then student Charles Best, the two went about harvesting insulin and administering it to patients, leading to a viable solution of insulin injections for sufferers of diabetes, which at the time was a life threatening ailment, particularly Type 1 or juvenile diabetes.
On a list of distinguished alumni, Banting is very high at the top in terms of honorary degrees and awards. For this, they were awarded, with Dr. Macleod, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1923. Not to mention his knighthood in 1934.
To learn more about Banting, Best, and their discovery and accomplishment, you can either research it properly, or watch the TVOKids version here: http://www.tvokids.com/shows/timetrackers (Banting and Best are on page 2.) You know your university is celebratory when there is a cartoon about alumni.