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Professional Interest Group Award recipients


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7 minutes

The ADA’s 15 members-only Interest Groups provide a forum for the exchange of information in specific areas of diabetes research and care. With 15,000 members, these groups contribute to the ADA in valuable ways and offer a variety of professional development, networking, engagement, and recognition opportunities.

Five recipients of Professional Interest Groups Awards will deliver honorary lectures and remarks at the Scientific Sessions.

Richard R. Rubin Award Lecture—#DiabetesPsychologyMatters

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Saturday

S-203 (South, Level 2)

Frank J. Snoek, PhD
Frank J. Snoek, PhD

Frank J. Snoek, PhD, is the recipient of the 2019 Richard R. Rubin Award. This award recognizes a scientist who has made outstanding, innovative contributions to the study and understanding of the behavioral aspects of diabetes.

Dr. Snoek is Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Psychology at Amsterdam University Medical Centers in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Additionally, he chairs the Diabetes Psychology Research Group and is the leading clinician of the center’s specialized mental health clinic for patients with diabetes.

Dr. Snoek has received more than 30 major research and training grants, published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, co-edited two handbooks, and presented major international addresses. His research emphasizes the importance of furthering psychological needs assessment and diabetes-specific interventions in diabetes care. His research group developed internationally-used psychological measures and evidence-based therapies. He is now working on a service model for patients with diabetes that combines face-to-face and internet treatment tailored to individuals’ psychological profiles. Recently, he developed a self-help app for mental vitality for persons with diabetes.

Dr. Snoek has served on seven editorial boards of high-impact journals and has maintained board memberships in organizations including the ADA, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), and the International Diabetes Federation. He was the founding chair of the EASD Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes Study group.

Roger Pecoraro Award Lecture—Artificial Intelligence for Predicting Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcer Outcomes

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Saturday

S-208 (South, Level 2)

James Wrobel, DPM, MS
James Wrobel, DPM, MS

James Wrobel, DPM, MS, is the recipient of the 2019 Roger Pecoraro Award. This award recognizes a researcher who has made scientific contributions and demonstrates an untiring commitment to improving the understanding of the detection, treatment, and prevention of diabetic foot complications.

Dr. Wrobel is Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes at the University of Michigan. He also serves as a Staff Podiatrist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Dr. Wrobel’s research, which has focused on the pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of diabetes-related foot complications and their broader context, has significantly enhanced our understanding of diabetic foot care. His efforts include pioneering machine learning and image analysis methods that predict foot ulcerating and healing, exploring novel risk factors for Charcot neuroarthropathy, and understanding and reducing racial disparities in rates of diabetes-related amputations in the U.S.

An internationally recognized researcher and clinician, Dr. Wrobel has held volunteer leadership roles in various organizations. He has served as an active member of the ADA’s Research Grant Review Committee, as well as a reviewer of ADA’s journal, Diabetes Care, and is a current member of the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Clinical Practice Committee.

Norbert Freinkel Award Lecture—Translating Research on Diabetes and Obesity in Pregnancy into Prevention

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Sunday

S-157 (South, Upper Mezzanine Level)

Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD
Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD

Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2019 Norbert Freinkel Award, given in memory of Norbert Freinkel, a dedicated investigator and thought leader. This award honors a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of diabetes in pregnancy.

Dr. Ferrara currently serves as Associate Director of the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, leading the Women’s and Children’s Health section. She is also Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Prevention Core at the Center for Diabetes Translation Research.

The author of more than 130 publications, Dr. Ferrara is a prolific researcher in the field of diabetes and pregnancy. She was one of the first scientists to document increases in the prevalence of gestational diabetes and advocate for health systems to improve its diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Her contributions include finding that the Carpenter-Coustan thresholds were predictive of neonatal complications among women without gestational diabetes, and overseeing a large, cluster randomized trial among women with gestational diabetes demonstrating that a DPP-derived lifestyle intervention beginning during pregnancy reduced gestational weight gain, the proportion of large-for-gestational age infants, and postpartum weight retention.

Dr. Ferrara has served in various national and international leadership roles, including Chair of the ADA’s Pregnancy & Reproductive Health Interest Group and the Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee. She is also a mentor for many early career investigators in the field.

Edwin Bierman Award Lecture—Linking Kidney and Cardiovascular Complications—Impact on Prognosis and Treatment

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Monday

S-10 (South, Exhibition Level)

Peter Rossing, MD, DMSc

Peter Rossing, MD, DMSc, is the recipient of the 2019 Edwin Bierman Award. This award recognizes a leading scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of diabetes-related macrovascular complications and related risk factors.

Currently Head of Complications Research and Chief Physician at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen in Denmark, Dr. Rossing is a pioneer and renowned expert who has made lasting impacts in the areas of diabetes and macrovascular complications.

With more than 390 articles in prestigious journals, Dr. Rossing’s research addressing the renal and cardiovascular complications of diabetes has been acknowledged internationally. His work investigated key features of the pathophysiology of the diabetic kidney, as well as identified markers for the development of diabetic nephropathy. He works diligently on intervention studies that aim to improve the prognosis of patients with overt diabetic nephropathy.

Dr. Rossing’s research on macrovascular diseases was recently brought to the forefront in the ADA-EASD joint position statement, Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes. He has served in many leadership roles, including Past President of the Danish Endocrine Society and European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group, and has received two awards presented by the EASD.

Lois Jovanovic Transformative Woman in Diabetes Award

Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD
Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD

Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD, is the recipient of the 2019 Lois Jovanovic Transformative Woman in Diabetes Award. This new award in honor of Lois Jovanovic, MD, an iconic scientist who passed away in September 2018, recognizes a woman who has made a significant impact in diabetes care, research, education, or public health. Dr. Seaquist presented remarks at Friday night’s Women’s Interprofessional Network of the American Diabetes Association (WIN ADA) Reception.

Dr. Seaquist is Professor of Medicine, Director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where she holds the Pennock Family Chair in Diabetes Research. She is also Associate Director of the university’s Medical Scientist Training Program, as well as Medical Director of the Medical Subspecialty Service Line at MHealth Fairview.

An internationally recognized clinical investigator, Dr. Seaquist has conducted pioneering work on the impact of diabetes and iatrogenic hypoglycemia on cerebral metabolism, structure, and function, and directed high-profile clinical trials in these areas. Her scientific contributions focus on understanding hypoglycemia and human brain glucose metabolism from the “bedside to population” level.

Since 2000, Dr. Seaquist has served as a model investigator for women in diabetes. She has mentored female junior faculty members who are actively involved in diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance research. She has also served in mentorship and leadership positions within the ADA, including 2014 President, Medicine & Science, and the Pathway to Stop Diabetes Mentor Advisory Group. She has received the ADA’s Banting Medal for Leadership and Service and the Distinguished Clinician Scientist Award.