John James Rickard Macleod

John James Rickard Macleod, physiologist, codiscoverer of INSULIN (b at Cluny, Scot 6 Sept 1876; d at Aberdeen, Scot 16 Mar 1935). Trained at the universities of Aberdeen and Leipzig and the London Hospital Medical College, J.J.R. Macleod immigrated to America in 1903 to teach at Western Reserve University, Cleveland. He gradually developed an international reputation as an expert in carbohydrate metabolism and general physiology, and in 1918 was appointed professor of physiology at the University of Toronto.

In the spring of 1921 Macleod gave F.G. BANTING laboratory space, equipment, advice and one of his student assistants (C.H. BEST) to investigate the hypothetical internal secretion of the pancreas.

Contrary to Banting's and Best's later distorted accounts, Macleod was an active, essential supervisor of a research effort that, by the spring of 1922, had resulted in the discovery of insulin. His elaboration of the early crude results, his handling of the clinical trials, and his highly professional presentations of the research particularly impressed the Swedish investigators who rightly recommended that he share the 1923 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology with Banting.

Macleod's contribution to physiology and Canadian science was not properly recognized in Toronto or Canada for many decades. He left Canada in 1928 to become regius professor of physiology at U of Aberdeen, where he died in 1935, honoured in his native country but not in his adopted one.