Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin

TORONTO, October 27, 2021 – This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, which happened right here in Canada at the University of Toronto. Since its discovery, insulin has saved millions of lives, moving diabetes from a death sentence to a manageable condition.

To acknowledge this pivotal moment in medical history, a consortium of Canadian not-for-profit organizations is working together to mark the occasion with a series of programs and activities. The Insulin to Innovation project is being led by RCIScience, Banting Research Foundation, the Charles H. Best Foundation and the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation, who have come together to raise awareness of the role insulin continues to play in our collective history.

Since its discovery, insulin has changed the lives of millions of people around the globe. For many, it is the therapy that keeps them, or someone they love, alive. For others, it improves the lives of their patients, or illustrates the reasons why research into treatments and cures is critical.

Insulin continues to have an indelible impact on our world. Over the course of the year, the consortium is curating the 100 Lives of Insulin project, which profiles 100 people who have been part of the landscape of insulin research, therapies and more. Every month, new profiles are added and the project already includes features on those such as the discoverers of insulin and many of the researchers who have followed in their footsteps.

In April, the consortium presented a virtual screening of the Canadian movie, Miracle, Baby, about NHL star Cory Conacher, who lives with type 1 diabetes. Conacher joined a virtual panel including diabetes researchers and the film’s director, Calvin Hudson Huang, after the screening. In May, the group hosted a virtual panel discussion with some of Canada’s top diabetes researchers discussing their current projects. In August, the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation hosted “Walk in the Footsteps of Banting,” a live event held at the original Banting Homestead in Alliston, which included a tour of the grounds and exhibits, as well as the unveiling of their new monument in honour of the 100th anniversary of insulin.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Insulin to Innovation project events continue with a number of virtual activities to mark this important anniversary. These include short chats with leading diabetes researchers and health care providers on unique areas of interest, as well as an event featuring four of Canada’s up-and-coming diabetes research stars. These discussions will be moderated by Krista Lamb, author of the new book, Beyond Banting, and the host of the Diabetes Canada Podcast.

Everyone is invited to join the November events and registration is open now. In addition, many of the year’s previous events are available for online browsing.

Upcoming Events:
November 3 – 7 p.m. ET – Small Talk – Diabetes and Women with Dr. Alice Cheng
November 10 – 7 p.m. ET – Diabetes and Homelessness with Dr. David Campbell
November 24 – 7:30 p.m. ET – Diabetes and Exercise with Dr. Dessi Zaharieva
November 28 – Diabetes Research: The Next Generation with Drs. Anne-Sophie Brazeau, Calvin Ke, Erin Mulvihill and Peter Thompson.

For more information or to register, visit: insulintoinnovation.ca.