The Banting Research Foundation was established in 1925 to commemorate the discovery of insulin and to support further health and biomedical research across Canada.
Frederick G Banting and Charles H Best discovered insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921, with very little financial support. At the time, there were no granting agencies or foundations to support biomedical research in Canada.
After Banting and John JR Macleod won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, a group of prominent citizens and supporters of Frederick Banting, led by Sir William Mulock, then Chancellor of the University of Toronto, set up the Banting Research Foundation to support the ongoing research of Banting and other Canadian scientists. The first fundraising campaign raised nearly half a million dollars, a considerable sum at the time, from individual and corporate donations.
In 1948, the Foundation received a bequest of approximately $1 million from the estate of Kate E Taylor of Toronto. Together with the original endowment, these funds continue to support a program of annual grants.
Since the first grants were made in 1926, the Foundation has funded over 1300 research projects in all fields of health and biomedical research in universities and research institutes across Canada.