JDRF Research Speakers

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Derek Rapp has been a longtime member of the JDRF family who served as President and CEO of JDRF International from 2014-2019.  During his tenure, Derek led JDRF through an extended growth period, including the establishment of the very successful T1D Fund.  Prior to his appointment as CEO, Derek served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for JDRF International and was formally JDRF Research Chair.  He has been involved in research funding and oversight activities with JDRF since 2005, soon after his son Turner was diagnosed with T1D.

Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University with concentrations in Economics and German and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently a managing director at RiverVest Venture Partners in Saint Louis, MO, a leading venture capital firm building life science companies with a focus on biopharma and medical devices.

Derek is married to his wife, Emily, and they have three adult children, Helen, Turner and William.


Joshua Vieth, Ph.D., is the director of research at JDRF, responsible for Disease-Modifying Therapies, which are treatments that alter the course of type 1 diabetes, slowing down or halting its progression, preventing its development, or reversing it entirely.

With recognized expertise in immunology, organizational development, and scientific communication, he received his B.S. in biology from Baldwin Wallace University and a Ph.D. in infection, immunity, and
transplant science at the University of Toledo College of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Child Health Institute at Rutgers University.

Dr. Vieth’s research focused on rare T cell subsets and included the novel discovery of the development of adipose-resident natural killer T (NKT) cells in the thymus. Following his postdoctoral studies, he served as the managing director of the Immune Monitoring Facility of the Rutgers University Cancer Institute of New Jersey, tasked with developing the facility both administratively and establishing a robust correlative research program for clinical trials.

Joshua spends his free time focused on several causes, including serving as president of the board of directors of the Morris Animal Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He currently lives in New
Brunswick, New Jersey.