Dr. Maud Menten
© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
© Irma Coucill and the CMHF

Born: March 20, 1879, Port Lambton, Ontario
Died: July 17, 1960
Education: M.D. - University of Toronto, 1913

In 1879, in Port Lambton, Ontario, Maud Lenora Menten was born. Graduating from the University of Toronto in 1913, Menten was one of the first Canadian women to receive a medical degree. That same year, along with Dr. Leonor Michaelis, Menten introduced a concept that forever changed the study of biological reactions and helped to shape the field of biochemistry. The Michaelis-Menten equation gave scientists a way in which they could mathematically analyze their observations and descriptions of biological reactions. Not content to rest on her remarkable discovery, Menten co-devised what is now the standard method of isolating and describing protein behavior.

An avid researcher with a keen mind, Menten went on to mark her career with more important co-discoveries relating to blood sugar, hemoglobin and kidney functions. Menten consistently published research results and was an inspiration to medical students and fellow colleagues. Her skill and passion for science was complemented by her talents for the arts. She studied languages, music and fine art. Menten was an accomplished painter and many of her canvases were hung in art exhibitions. A true pioneer on many fronts, Menten has left a tremendous legacy for all Canadians.