October 2019 JDRF Young Adult Conference Speakers Announced

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JDRF’s Young Adult Conference is quickly approaching and we’re excited to announce our lineup of speakers! The event will be held in Orlando, Florida from October 12-13. Registration will remain open until September 30.

In addition to networking and learning, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with our lineup of powerful speakers who are making a difference in the T1D community. Here are just a few of the speakers you can look forward to seeing at the conference!


Lauren Bongiorno

Lauren Bongiorno is a virtual Diabetic Health Coach, Entrepreneur, and Author of the Diabetic Health Journal. Lauren coaches and creates resources for people with Type 1 Diabetes  all over the world to achieve optimal diabetes management and feel strong and empowered. Lauren’s practice is rooted in her 360 degree approach, emphasizing wellness throughout the mind, body, and soul. She believes that through self reflection and mindfulness we are better able to understand our own patterns, achieve our goals, and reform our most limiting habits. Lauren continues to be a leading voice in the online community to her 30 thousand Instagram followers, is an ambassador for Lululemon, and was recently nominated by Pure Wow as one of the Top 100 entrepreneurs to watch for 2019 for her work in the diabetic space. You can learn more at www.laurenbongiorno.com and follow on Instagram @lauren_bongiorno.

Frank Martin

    Francis J. Martin, Ph.D., is an associate director of research and lead of the Beta Cell Regeneration and Survival Program at JDRF. He is responsible for all aspects of the regeneration portfolio, including identifying agents that promote beta cell survival and/or proliferation, determining therapies for preclinical and clinical research, and implementing and managing industry partnerships for type 1 diabetes (T1D). He also functions as a contributing scientist to the Prevention, Complications and Immune Therapies programs, in addition to his role in beta cell regeneration. Dr. Martin has used his unique background in drug discovery, cell biology and immunology to help the JDRF mission.

       Prior to joining JDRF, Dr. Martin worked in the ophthalmology department of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he designed proof-of-concept clinical trials for autoimmune and inflammatory eye diseases. He was previously a presidential postdoctoral fellow in the developmental and molecular pathways unit of NIBR, where he identified and validated novel regulators of immune cell function.

     Dr. Martin was granted his doctorate with high honors from the department of pharmacology at Columbia University, where he investigated immune responses to respiratory infections and focused in particular on the role of gap junctions in these processes.

Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill

 Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill is a clinical assistant professor and director of diabetes education and clinic operations in the University of Florida, College of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology. Her research on the role of technology in type 1 diabetes management and education is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Helmsley Trust, Children’s Miracle Network, and other private agencies. She is currently studying the use of mHealth (smartphone and tablet) technology to increase diabetes knowledge, reduce disease burden, and improve quality of life and glycemic outcomes for children and young adults with type 1 diabetes and their parent caregivers. She also serves as PI or Co-I on studies related to the safety and efficacy of continuous glucose monitors (CGM), glucose data algorithms, and artificial pancreas technologies. She is a nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator in pediatric diabetes clinic at UF Health, and is a certified insulin pump, CGM, and hybrid closed loop trainer.

  Her research has been published in journals including Diabetes Care, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Clinical Diabetes, The Diabetes Educator, and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Albanese-O’Neill has been an avid diabetes advocate since 2002, and in this capacity has spoken at congressional hearings and at the White House, co-authored guidelines related to diabetes management in the school setting, and currently serves as co-chair for the American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School Working Group. Prior to transitioning to a career in diabetes care and research, she was the highest-ranking executive for Southwest Airlines in southern California, where she managed a multi-million dollar market segment and oversaw the company’s local marketing, public affairs, and community and media relations. She plans to retire as soon as a cure for type 1 diabetes is discovered, but not a moment earlier.

Kimberly Driscoll

Dr. Kimberly Driscoll is an associate professor and a licensed pediatric psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics in the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine’s Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. Her patient-oriented clinical research addresses adherence to medical treatment regimens, with a focus on using technology to optimize adherence and health outcomes in type 1 diabetes.

     She has received NIH funding to support her specific interests in improving insulin pump adherence, reducing the fear of hypoglycemia, and integrating behavioral medicine intervention into the T1D medical appointment. Dr. Driscoll is also the site PI on FL3X (Flexible Lifestyle Empowering Change; PIs Mayer-Davis, Seid, Maahs) and a DP3 aimed at providing behavioral supports to parents of young children with type 1 diabetes. Additionally, Dr. Driscoll is a member of the Psychosocial Studies committee of TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) and the consulting psychologist on ASK (Autoimmunity Screening for Kids) Program. Before joining the Barbara Davis Center, she was faculty at the Florida State University College of Medicine and Associate Director of the Florida State University Psychology Clinic.

Jim Turner

Turner was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His father, George Turner, was in the Air Force and moved his family around often during Jim’s youth to several locations, including Quebec, Arizona, and Iowa. Turner married Lynn Freer in 1992 and they have a son, Otto. He is a longtime member of the comedy troupe Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre. He co-starred for seven seasons in HBO’s comedy series Arliss as Kirby Carlisle,[2] an ex-football-star-turned-agent and an old buddy of sports agent Arliss Michaels (Robert Wuhl).

    Turner has appeared in 22 feature films and shorts, 28 TV series and appearances, 18 stage plays, one-man-shows, and comedy tours. He has created characters ranging from pinheads to Pinocchio. He has worked with Joel Schumacher, Robert Wuhl, Jack Black, Paul Bartel, and Tracey Ullman. 

    From 1987 to 1990, Turner performed on MTV and Ha! as Randee of the Redwoods, a character he adapted from his days with Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre. As part of a marketing stunt, Randee became the dark horse candidate for President. Turner is a founding member of the Los Angeles-based comedy group 2 Headed Dog with comedians Mark Fite, Dave (Gruber) Allen, and Craig Anton.