Christopher Rutty appears in episode 3 of University of Toronto Old School Stories which looks at the artistic side of Frederick Banting. Also interviewed in this video are Bob Banting, Banting family historian and host of The Life and Times of Sir Frederick Banting podcast, and Barbara Fischer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.
Alison Li has two new articles offering perspectives on the discovery of insulin during this year’s centenary celebrations.
“Rethinking the ‘discovery’ of insulin” appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 25 October 2021
“Insulin’s centenary: complexity and collaboration” appeared in The Lancet, 13 November 2021, as part of an issue on the challenging theme: “100 years of insulin: technical success but access failure.”
In this special World Diabetes Day episode, created in partnership with Defining Moments Canada, Jim and Bob Banting host multiple guests to discuss the heritage and legacy of insulin after 100 years. Featured are medical historians Dr. Alison Li and Dr. Christopher Rutty, Grant Maltman, the curator of the Banting House National Historic Site, as well as Defining Moments Canada Director Jennifer Terry.
We have dedicated this episode to the memory of historian Michael Bliss whose scholarship and insights have helped to reshape our understanding of the discovery of insulin.
Please visit the Defining Moments Canada website to listen to this podcast.
Club members Alison Li and Christopher Rutty served as keynote speakers at the day-long celebrations marking the unveiling of a new monument in honour of Dr. James Bertram Collip in his hometown of Belleville, Ontario. Collip played a pivotal role in the discovery of insulin in 1921-22, along with co-discoverers Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and J.J.R. Macleod.
Dignitaries including Mayor Mitch Panciuk and other city, provincial, and federal officials, along with descendants of Collip who journeyed from San Antonio, Texas. The “Dr James Bertram Collip Memorial Committee” Rowland Tipper, Richard Hughes, and Ian Sullivan are to be congratulated for their efforts in bringing this effort to fruition.
The Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation invites you to join them at the birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin. “Walk in the Footsteps of Banting” is a Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation celebration event in collaboration with the Banting Research Foundation, Charles H. Best Foundation and Royal Canadian Institute for Science
Friday or Saturday or Sunday, August 20 – 22, 2021
Two ‘repeat’ sessions each day: 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
See new narrated videos; new exhibits in the historic Farmhouse; and new legacy garden permanent monument, a Salute to the Discovery Team
Enjoy the free refreshments and collect your special Discovery of Insulin commemorative memorabilia.
Space is limited.
REGISTER online now at bantinglegacy.ca/discovery-celebration/
The University of Toronto Press announces the publication of a special century edition of Michael Bliss’s The Discovery of Insulin to be published September 1, 2021. With a new preface by Michael Bliss and a foreword by Alison Li, this edition honours the one hundredth anniversary of insulin’s discovery and its continued significance a century later. Pre-order now and save up to 35%.
The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921–22 was one of the most dramatic events in the history of the treatment of disease. Insulin, discovered by the Canadian research team of Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, and John Macleod, was a wonder drug with the ability to bring diabetes patients back from the very brink of death. It was no surprise that in 1923 the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for its discovery.
In this engaging and award-winning account, historian Michael Bliss draws on archival records and personal adventures to recount the fascinating story behind the discovery of insulin – a story as much filled with fiery confrontation and intense competition as medical dedication and scientific genius.
Historica Canada has unveiled its newest Heritage Minute on the discovery of insulin. Club members Chris Rutty and Alison Li served as the historical consultants on this segment, along with Grant Maltman, curator of Banting House.
See also the article in the University of Toronto News describing the making of this Heritage Minute: Heritage Minute showcases life-saving impact of U of T’s insulin discovery.
Christopher Rutty has posted a new article on “The History of the History of the Discovery of Insulin” at the Defining Moments Canada website. Chris is the lead historian for their Insulin 100 project. Please visit to explore the rich resources, including a timeline, photos and videos, and many excellent articles.
A presentation by Cyril Gryfe
Club member Cyril Gryfe has prepared a presentation on history of diabetes mellitus and insulin, illustrated with postage stamps from around the world.
On May 19, 2021, Alison Li spoke at a symposium (via Zoom) to be held by the McGill University Division of Endocrinology to commemorate the discovery of insulin. She focussed on the role of J.B. Collip in the coming of insulin and his contribution to the flourishing of endocrine research at McGill during the 1930s and 40s.
On June 16, 2021, she participated in 100 Years of Insulin, a half-day seminar held by the Alberta Diabetes Institute to celebrate the anniversary. The talk highlighted the connection of Collip’s experiences at the University of Alberta to his contributions to the insulin research. This half-day seminar included talks by several speakers including Ray Rajotte and James Shapiro of the team that developed the “Edmonton Protocol” for islet transplantation.
Her article “Success Has Many Parents: J. B. Collip’s Role in the Discovery of Insulin” appears on the Defining Moments Canada website.