JDRF Awards World-Renowned T1D Researchers

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JDRF is honored to recognize five leading international researchers whose work has and is transforming type 1 diabetes (T1D) science. We also are proud that our funding has helped drive their work forward toward both curing T1D and improving the lives of those living with the disease today.

  • The recipient of the David Rumbough Award is Chantal Mathieu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium, whose work has advanced both the understanding of the development of T1D and the creation of strategies to prevent or cure the disease, including the use of devices and drugs to improve metabolic outcomes. Her leadership of the INNODIA consortium is driving work on disease modifying therapies to cure and prevent T1D. This award was established in 1974 by actress Dina Merrill in honor of her late son, David, and recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of T1D that has significantly accelerated the JDRF mission.
  • Michael A. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., distinguished professor, Indiana University, is the recipient of The Gerold and Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award, which honors Dr. Gerold Grodsky’s diabetes research for over four decades at UCSF. Established in 1993, the award recognizes a basic research scientist who has made outstanding pioneering contributions to T1D, and it acknowledges the dedication that Dr. Michael Weiss has had to understanding insulin structure and signaling. His laboratory decoded the structures of insulin, proinsulin and rapid-acting analogs, and, in 2009, he founded Thermalin Diabetes, Inc., to re-engineer the insulin molecule to be more stable and to act more selectively.
  • Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine, M.D., Excellence in Clinical Research Award is named in honor of JDRF’s International Chairman, Mary Tyler Moore and her husband, S. Robert Levine, M.D., for their extraordinary commitment to JDRF’s mission, and recognizes outstanding clinical and translational T1D research. The recipient this year is Kevan Herold, M.D., professor of immunology and medicine, Yale University, who has significantly advanced the use of immune therapies to slow and stop T1D progression. He has driven the completion of multiple clinical trials in T1D over the past three decades and was the lead investigator on the TrialNet Teplizumab Study—the first clinical trial to show a meaningful delay in the onset of T1D in a high-risk population. Dr. Herold’s early work led to the discovery of the role of CD3 in T1D and the development of antibodies, including teplizumab, that target CD3.
  • Åke Lernmark, Ph.D., senior professor, Lund University, Sweden, is the recipient of The George Eisenbarth Award for Type 1 Diabetes Prevention, for having devoted decades of work to developing tools to predict and prevent T1D. His laboratory cloned an autoantibody strongly associated with T1D and developed a novel assay now used worldwide to detect this protein. Established in 2013, this award is named for diabetes researcher George S. Eisenbarth, M.D., Ph.D., who provided the foundation for predicting T1D and identifying novel approaches toward prevention and cures.
  • The Dr. Robert Goldstein Award is presented to a promising T1D investigator, and it goes to Teresa Rodriguez-Calvo D.V.M., Ph.D., junior group leader, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany, who is an emerging leader and expert in T1D research. Her focus is on understanding if beta cells are dysfunctional before clinical onset. Ultimately, her work could help develop novel biomarkers and therapeutic approaches targeting beta cell dysfunction. This award was established in 2018 to honor the late Dr. Robert Goldstein, who played a key role in developing JDRF’s Research Department and serving as chief scientific officer for JDRF International and JDRF Canada for over two decades.

JDRF humbly thanks them for their work and celebrates their impact in T1D research.

By Alexandra Mulvey