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Derek Rapp | Aaron Kowalski | Cynthia Rice
AP Images/T1D Images
JDRF Experts Share Exciting News on Artificial Pancreas
Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO – Right click here to download
Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Mission Officer – Right click here to download
Cynthia Rice, JDRF Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Policy – Right click here to download
White Board Video: Right click here to download
Closed Loop: A Day in the Life of a Clinical Trial Patient
Alecia Wesner, Board Member, JDRF New York Chapter – Right click here to download
Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO
Derek Rapp is President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. Prior to his appointment in 2014, Derek served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for JDRF International and was formally JDRF Research Chair. He has been involved in the research funding and oversight activities of JDRF since 2005.
From early 2001 until February 2011, Derek was Chief Executive Officer of Divergence, Inc., a science-based company finding solutions in the prevention and control of pest infections. He led the successful sale of the company in February 2011. As CEO of Divergence, Derek’s main responsibilities included developing and implementing the company’s strategy, ensuring suitable financing of the company, implementing relationships with licensees and collaborators, and overseeing operations.
Derek has also been an active volunteer with numerous leadership roles in different organizations, including JDRF International.
Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University with concentrations in Economics and German and a Master in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Derek is married to Emily Rapp, and they have three children (Helen, Turner, who was diagnosed with T1D in 2004, and William).
“The T1D community has been waiting for an artificial pancreas system like this to help manage their condition more precisely and safely, and with fewer interruptions,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO. “JDRF is very proud of the major role we played in achieving this goal, which we set for the T1D community more than a decade ago, and which we collectively had been dreaming of for even longer. This life-changing breakthrough is exciting and the result of a long journey.”
Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Mission Officer
Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., was appointed JDRF’s first Chief Mission officer in December 2014 and serves as a key link between JDRF and the broad diabetes community. Dr. Kowalski combines his professional experience as a scientist with his personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for over 30 years to help guide and champion JDRF’s programs focused on creating a world without T1D.
Dr. Kowalski is an internationally recognized expert in the area of diabetes technologies and has been a leader of JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Research Project, a multi-million dollar initiative that began in 2005 to accelerate the progress toward automated insulin-delivery systems. His ability to translate science into easily understandable concepts has made him a voice for diabetes research in the popular media, appearing on The Martha Stewart Show, dLife, Fox Business, and NPR, among others. He is often quoted in the print media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and People magazine.
Dr. Kowalski is a member of the JDRF PEAK Program’s expert panel and often speaks about the importance of exercise and diet in better diabetes control. While living with T1D, he has completed 17 marathons. He often shares his insights on exercise and diabetes on Twitter (@aaronjkowalski).
He earned his doctorate in molecular genetics from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
“JDRF’s ultimate goal is to find a cure for T1D. Until then, I know that the artificial pancreas will change many lives for the better. People who have participated in artificial pancreas clinical trials have not only attained better overall glucose control, but have experienced the relief of sleeping through the night and waking up in the morning with blood glucose levels within target range. That’s an improvement in quality of life that will be available to others living with T1D very soon as a result of the FDA’s decision.”
Cynthia Rice, JDRF Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Policy
Cynthia Rice is senior vice president for Advocacy and Policy for JDRF. She is responsible for JDRF’s advocacy to Congress, the executive branch, regulatory agencies and health plans to accelerate therapies to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes. Ms. Rice has extensive experience leading complex advocacy projects in both the government and nonprofit sectors.
Ms. Rice joined JDRF in 2005 and led a cross-departmental team that developed the Artificial Pancreas Project. She became vice president, Government Relations in 2009 and took on her current role in 2013.
Prior to joining JDRF, Ms. Rice served as Vice President for Policy at the New Democrat Network from 2001 to 2005, where she led efforts to promote the group’s policy agenda to elected officials and the public. In the White House from 1997 to 2000, she served as a Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, coordinating numerous high-profile policy initiatives involving experts from multiple agencies and employing various legislative, regulatory, and communications tactics. Prior to joining the White House, she served in the U.S. Senate as a Legislative Assistant to two senior members of the Finance Committee. In this role, she helped advance and amend a range of budget, health and domestic policy legislation.
Ms. Rice has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
“This advance wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Congress and the FDA, who have been great partners to JDRF, funding artificial pancreas research and ensuring a clear and reasonable regulatory pathway for the devices so they could become available to people with T1D in the United States without delay. JDRF is committed to ensuring broad access for artificial pancreas systems. Now that FDA has approved this life-changing breakthrough, JDRF will fight for health insurance coverage, just as JDRF has fought for coverage for continuous glucose monitors. We look forward to working with the entire T1D community to ensure artificial pancreas systems and other breakthroughs are widely accessible.”
Stuart Weinzimer, M.D., Pediatric Endocrinologist and Professor, Yale University:
“JDRF’s vision and leadership has been a critical catalyst to drive the field from a concept to today’s reality,” said leading Artificial Pancreas researcher Stuart Weinzimer M.D. of Yale University. “A decade ago, JDRF launched their Artificial Pancreas Project. This initiative dramatically accelerated progress by fostering collaboration among academic investigators in the field, industry, and other funding and advocacy agencies. I look forward to my patients benefitting from this very important advance.”