Scots scientist who helped save 300m lives

THE life of the Scottish scientist who played a pivotal role in the discovery of insulin will be celebrated this week to mark the 90th anniversary of the crucial medical breakthrough.

Professor John Macleod, a graduate of Aberdeen University, was part of the small team of scientists at Toronto University who changed the lives of diabetics around the world and won the Nobel Prize.

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In 1922, he was professor of physiology and associate dean of medicine at Toronto when he was approached by Dr Frederick Banting about a theory he and student Charles Best had regarding a treatment for diabetes.

Prof Macleod provided Banting with funding, full use of his laboratories and supervised the research.

Aberdeen University, where Prof Macleod became regius professor of physiology, is hosting a lecture, Ninety Years of Insulin, on Thursday at the Suttie Centre. Speakers include Prof Mary Cotter, who said: “It is estimated more than 300 million lives have been saved as a result of the discovery of insulin.”