Prize Fight: Canada’s First Nobel Prize

Banquet in the Great Hall of Hart House, University of Toronto, 26 November 1923 in honour of FG Banting and JJR Macleod jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

Ivan Semeniuk has an excellent article in today’s Globe & Mail titled “Prize Fight: One century later, experts revisit the hidden feud behind Canada’s First Nobel,” describing the complex history behind the award to Banting and Macleod for the discovery of insulin. Semeniuk attended the symposium hosted by the Toronto Medical Historical Club last month and describes the hidden tensions among the key figures as well as the evolution of the story of the discovery over the past 100 years. Several speakers at the symposium, John Dirks, James Wright, and Ken McHardy, are interviewed in the article.


Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Nobel Prize for the Discovery of Insulin to Banting and Macleod: Impact and Legacy

Nobel Laureate Dr Arthur Mcdonald; Professor Erling Norrby of Stockholm; Her Excellency Signe Burgstaller, Ambassador of Sweden to Canada; Nobel Laureate John Polanyi; Dr John Dirks

On November 27, 2023, the Toronto Medical Historical Club hosted a successful symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Frederick Banting and JJR Macleod for the discovery of insulin. The event brought together a distinguished panel of speakers to reflect on the impact and legacy of the insulin discovery and to inspire future research advancement.

Insulin 100 News

First Canadian Nobel Prize is 100 years old

Christopher Rutty is interviewed in this article “L’insuline, découverte vitale et bisbille créatrice : le 1er Nobel canadien a 100 ans” at CBC/Radio-Canada. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Frederick Banting and JJR Macleod for the discovery of insulin.

Chris is also featured in the television story on the centenary that is available here.

Insulin 100 News

“It Works! Now What?” by Christopher Rutty

Photograph of the Connaught Laboratories ca. 1923 [UToronto, Insulin collection]

Congratulations to Christopher Rutty whose new article ““It Works! Now What?” Insulin Development, Production, and Distribution at Connaught Laboratories, University of Toronto, 1922–24″ appears in the Canadian Journal of Health History.

Chris’ article focuses on Connaught’s intimate involvement in the history of insulin from January 1922 through the summer of 1924, tracing the challenges and innovations of developing larger-scale production methods, the establishment and expansion of Canadian insulin production capacity, and the key role the labs played in spearheading the global distribution of insulin.

Past events

Banting, Bliss, and Beyond – Symposium

The Lab (1925) by Frederick Banting image courtesy of Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Video recordings of Symposium | Video recordings of the Macleod Workshop

The Toronto Medical Historical Club (TMHC) marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin with a historical symposium, Banting, Bliss, and Beyond: Insulin 100, A Century of Science and Care, on May 3, 2022 followed by a half-day historical workshop on J.J.R. Macleod on May 4, 2022.

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