|Description||Macleod was born on September 6, 1876 at Cluny, near Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland. When later the family moved to Aberdeen, Macleod went to the Grammar School there and later entered Marischal College of the University of Aberdeen to study medicine.|
In 1898 he took his medical degree with honours and was awarded the Anderson Travelling Fellowship, which enabled him to work for a year at the Institute for Physiology at the University of Leipzig. In 1899 he was appointed Demonstrator of Physiology at the London Hospital Medical School under Professor Leonard Hill and in 1902 he was appointed Lecturer in Biochemistry at the same College. In that year he was awarded the McKinnon Research Studentship of the Royal Society, which he held until 1903, when he was appointed Professor of Physiology at the Western Reserve University at Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
During his tenure of this post he was occupied by various war duties and acted, for part of the winter session of 1916, as Professor of Physiology at McGill University, Montreal. In 1918 he was elected Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto, Canada. Here he was Director of the Physiological Laboratory and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
In 1928 he was appointed Regius Professor of Physiology at the University of Aberdeen, a post which he held, together with that of Consultant Physiologist to the Rowett Institute for Animal Nutrition, in spite of failing health, until his early death.
Macleod's name will always be associated with his work on carbohydrate metabolism and especially with his collaboration with Frederick Banting and Charles Best in the discovery of insulin. For this work on the discovery of insulin, in 1921, Banting and Macleod were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for 1923.
Macleod also did much work in fields other than carbohydrate metabolism. His first paper, published in 1899, when he was working at the London Hospital, had been on the phosphorus content of muscle and he also worked on air sickness, electric shock, purine bases, the chemistry of the tubercle bacillus and the carbamates. In addition he wrote 11 books and monographs, among which were his Recent Advances in Physiology (with Sir Leonard Hill) (1905); Physiology and Biochemistry of Modern Medicine, which had reached its 9th edition in 1941; Diabetes: its Pathological Physiology (1925); Carbohydrate Metabolism and Insulin (1926); and his Vanuxem lectures, published in 1928 as the Fuel of Life.
He died on March 16, 1935.
Contents: Photographs, 1903-c1928; History of the Researches Leading to the Discovery of Insulin, 1923; watercolour painting, 1900s; facsimile of Nobel prize certificate, 1923