Press release

Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, Receives American Diabetes Association’s® 2019 Norbert Freinkel Award

May 28, 2019 | Arlington, Virginia

Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, has been selected to receive the American Diabetes Association’s® (ADA’s) 2019 Norbert Freinkel Award, given in memory of Norbert Freinkel, a dedicated investigator and industry thought leader. The Norbert Freinkel Award honors a researcher who has made outstanding contributions—including scientific publications and presentations—to the understanding and treatment of diabetes in pregnancy. Dr. Ferrara will be recognized with this honor during the ADA’s 79th Scientific Sessions, June 7–11, 2019, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. She will deliver the Norbert Freinkel Award Lecture, titled “Translating Research on Diabetes and Obesity in Pregnancy into Prevention,” on Sunday, June 9.

Dr. Ferrara currently serves as Associate Director of the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, leading the Women’s and Children’s Health section. She is also Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Prevention Core at the Center for Diabetes Translation Research. The author of more than 130 publications, Dr. Ferrara is one of the most prolific researchers in the field of diabetes and pregnancy.

“Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Ferrara, for your exceptional work in understanding insulin resistance in pregnancy and maternal/fetal health,” said the ADA’s 2019 President of Health Care and Education Gretchen Youssef, MS, RD, CDE. “You have served as an incredible advocate for health systems to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gestational diabetes in women around the world.”

She was one of the first scientists to document increases in the prevalence of gestational diabetes and her scientific contributions include finding that the Carpenter-Coustan thresholds were predictive of neonatal complications among women without gestational diabetes. Dr. Ferrara was also responsible for overseeing a large, cluster randomized trial among women with gestational diabetes demonstrating that a DPP-derived lifestyle intervention beginning during pregnancy reduced gestational weight gain, the proportion of large-for-gestational age infants, and postpartum weight retention.

Dr. Ferrara has served in various national and international leadership roles, including previous Chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Pregnancy & Reproductive Health Interest Group and Scientific Sessions Planning Committee. She is also a mentor for many early career investigators in the field.

The American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions, the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care, will be held June 7-11, 2019, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. Nearly 15,000 leading physicians, scientists, health care professionals and industry representatives from around the world are expected to convene at the Scientific Sessions to unveil cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. During the five-day meeting, attendees will receive exclusive access to more than 850 presentations and 2,000 original research presentations, participate in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts, and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) credits for educational sessions. The program is grouped into eight thematic areas: Acute and Chronic Complications; Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Education and Exercise; Clinical Diabetes/Therapeutics; Epidemiology/Genetics; Immunology/Transplantation; Insulin Action/Molecular Metabolism; Integrated Physiology/Obesity; and Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion. Gretchen Youssef, MS, RDN, CDE, President of Health Care and Education, will deliver her address, “It’s All about Access!,” on Saturday, June 8, and Louis H. Philipson, MD, PhD, FACP, President of Medicine and Science, will deliver his lecture, “Precision Medicine—Addressing the Many Faces of Diabetes,” on Sunday, June 9. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on social media using #ADA2019.

# # #

, About the American Diabetes Association

Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. Nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).