The Banting Memorial Lecture is the highest award bestowed by Diabetes UK. The lecture is awarded to a person internationally recognised for their eminence in the field of diabetes.
- The presenter of the Banting Memorial Lecture will be asked to submit an article of the lecture to Diabetic Medicine at the time of the lecture being presented, for which an additional honorarium will be paid.
Frederick Banting served, during the First World War, as a front-line medical officer with the Canadian Army. He returned to Ontario and set up practice as a family physician. He also worked part-time in the local medical school and while preparing a lecture on carbohydrate metabolism he had his "great idea" to find the active secretion of the Islets of Langerhans. He persuaded Professor JJR Macleod of Toronto that his idea was worthy of investigation, and thus gained access to a laboratory and resources.
With the assistance of Charles Herbert Best, James Bertram Collip and John James Rickard Macleod, Banting conducted research on depancreatized dogs which was central to the discovery of insulin. In 1922 the first insulin extract was injected into Leonard Thompson. Although the first injection failed, the second worked, and he lived another 13 years. Banting and MacLeod were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. Sadly, Banting's contribution to diabetes and other medical research was cut short when he died in an air crash in 1941. However, the discovery of insulin has saved the lives of many people with diabetes, and transformed the quality of life for countless more.
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