JDRF Chief Mission Officer and Internationally Recognized T1D Expert will Lead JDRF Research in Expanded Role

—Dedicated leader and advocate for type 1 diabetes (T1D) continues JDRF’s goal toward life-changing therapies and a cure for T1D—

NEW YORK, March 8, 2017 — JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced that Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in T1D and the organization’s Chief Mission Officer, will now also lead the Research Group.

Dr. Kowalski’s expanded role will strengthen his work guiding and championing JDRF’s programs focused on creating a world without T1D. Dr. Kowalski combines his professional experience as a molecular biologist with his personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years.

“Aaron is a highly respected leader in the diabetes scientific and clinical community. In his new role, he will lead our research program along with our advocacy program.  He will drive our fundamental mission to find a cure for T1D and, until that happens, help make the lives of people with T1D safer and easier to manage,” said Derek K. Rapp, JDRF President and CEO. “Every part of our mission needs to focus on outcomes for people with T1D. We must be outward facing and continually working to connect and support every person — including researchers, elected officials, pharmaceutical leaders and philanthropists — who can advance the needs of people with T1D.”

Dr. Kowalski was a member of the Research Department for the first decade of his career with JDRF.  He achieved international recognition for his vision and leadership of the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Research Project — a multi-million dollar initiative that began in 2005 to accelerate the progress toward automated insulin-delivery systems, including a system that last year received FDA approval. He has published numerous scientific articles and he is a co-author of the landmark JDRF Continuous Glucose Monitor trial and, most recently, the first international consensus on exercise management in type 1 diabetes.

“It’s been an honor being part of the JDRF team for more than 12 years. I am very excited about this opportunity to expand my role with an inspiring organization that I’m so proud to be a part of,” said Dr. Kowalski. “I’m eager to continue my work with an incredibly talented management team and a highly effective board, as we work together to make a difference in the lives of millions affected by type 1 diabetes.”

About T1D
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF


Media Contact:
Christopher Rucas

Kristy Evans