Oct 7, 2021

Drs. Banting, Best, Macleod, and Collip Inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame

Photo of Drs. Banting, Best, Macleod, and Collip
Drs. Banting, Best, Macleod, and Collip

Drs. Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod and James Collip — who famously discovered insulin in our department 100 years ago — are the first research scientists to be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame

Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO, Jeffrey Latimer, explained that in the beginning the Walk — established in 1988 by the late Peter Soumalias and several partners — honoured mainly stars from the music, film, television and sports worlds, as well as a few humanitarians.

“With our growth, we felt that people might not even know about some of the superstars that are in this country. Some of the greatest doctors in the world are on University Avenue and in Calgary and out west...some of the greatest research has been done here in Canada. During the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin it almost would be shameful of us not to acknowledge Banting, Best, Macleod, and Collip,” Latimer said.

“What we hope is that when you induct someone like, for example, Ryan Reynolds, and on the same stage is a great doctor that no one's ever heard of, sometimes that induction will get even more attention. And the coolest thing we all learned in the six months that we’ve been doing this research is about these gentlemen Collip and Macleod. Many people don’t even know about them. So that’s what really excites us.

“We believe that this induction is going to put the category of Science, Technology, and Innovation way up there at the same level as athletes and entertainers because of the importance of this discovery. We talk a lot about the rock stars...well, the rock stars of science, the rock stars of medicine, they truly are that.”

Physiology’s Department Chair, Dr. Scott Heximer is thrilled to see this piece of our history honoured in this way. “We celebrate the department’s role in facilitating the collaboration between four great scientists that led to the discovery of insulin in 1921,” he said. “We build on this legacy by continuing to support and resource collaborative, innovative, interdisciplinary work. It would not surprise me to see more of our researchers attain stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame in the future.”

This year the esteemed scientists are joined by the likes of movie star Keanu Reeves, humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, singer Jully Black, wrestler Bret Hart, and actor Graham Greene to name but a few. Check out the official Inductee Reel below.