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81st Scientific Sessions will feature five days of cutting-edge basic, translational, and clinical science


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The implications of COVID-19 on diabetes, major trial results, and the centennial of one of the most significant advancements in medicine are just a few highlights of the educational program at the 81st Scientific Sessions. The virtual meeting will take place June 25–29.

“We’ve put together an exciting program featuring five days of cutting-edge science and the latest scientific achievements in the understanding of diabetes, as well as the management and care of the millions of people worldwide living with this disease,” said Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, Chair of the 81st Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee.

Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD,
Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD,

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped both the format and the programming of the virtual meeting. Several sessions will address the dynamics of diabetes and COVID-19, including an ADA Diabetes Care symposium on learning to minimize risks for people with diabetes during the pandemic. Speakers also will discuss public health and public trust, pregnancy, obesity, and pediatric issues as they relate to diabetes in the era of COVID-19.

Telehealth and telemedicine, also impacted by the pandemic in many ways, are also recurring topics. Sessions will explore such issues as remote monitoring, equity, and reimbursement in the context of telemedicine.

The Year in Review session, an annual highlight of the Scientific Sessions, will examine the latest accomplishments in basic, translational, and clinical science. Results from several major trials also will be reported, including:

  • Efficacy and Safety of Dapagliflozin in Patients with and without Type 2 Diabetes Hospitalized with COVID-19—Results from the DARE-19 Global Randomized Controlled Trial;
  • Results of the Glycemic Reduction Approaches in Diabetes—A Comparative Effectiveness (GRADE) Study;
  • Tirzepatide—A Novel Dual GIP/GLP-1RA—Results from the First Phase 3 SURPASS Clinical Trials;
  • Update on SCORED and SOLOIST Cardiovascular and Kidney Outcomes Trials.

The program also will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a landmark achievement in diabetes and medicine as a whole.

“A disease of young people that was fatal was transformed into a chronic condition, allowing people affected to enjoy essentially full lives,” Dr. Dabelea said. The session Insulin at Its 100th Birthday will review the major discoveries related to the synthesis, secretion, and action of endogenous insulin, as well as its pharmacological modifications and use in the clinic.

Social determinants of health is another high-interest topic this year.

“There’s so much more we could do, above and beyond clinical care, that we ought to start thinking about,” said Dr. Dabelea,  highlighting sessions about food and housing insecurity, the effects of the built environment, and the effects of structural violence and structural racism.

The 81st Scientific Sessions also will feature hundreds of oral presentations and more than 1,000 poster presentations selected from abstract submissions.

“Any health care professional working with patients with diabetes or at risk for diabetes, and any researcher investigating the etiology, prevention, or management of this disease will want to attend,” Dr. Dabelea said.

Registration should be completed via ADA’s secure online registration portal. Advance registration pricing is available through May 13, and final registration pricing is available May 14–Sept. 29. Registration includes access to all virtual content for 90 days following the June meeting, and the first 4,000 U.S. attendees to register for the 2021 virtual meeting will receive a Welcome Box in the mail.

“I encourage everyone to register as soon as possible,” Dr. Dabelea said. “You can start looking at the sessions that are most interesting and set aside time so you don’t miss the most important sessions.”