Press release

The American Diabetes Association and Partners Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Discovery of Insulin and Look to the Next 100 Years for Breakthroughs Ahead

June 26, 2021 | WASHINGTON, DC

People living with diabetes are invited to share their story of better living made possible due to insulin

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA), along with the nation’s leading diabetes organizations, unveiled Let’s Talk Insulin today, a campaign commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Throughout the year, the ADA and other organizations in the diabetes community will showcase a century of advancements and innovations in insulin therapy, as well as what’s ahead through educational events, support resources, and advocacy for research funding. To kick-off the campaign, the organizations are calling on those who rely on insulin to share their stories through video, photo, and written blog submissions at  

“The discovery of insulin in 1921 was nothing short of miraculous and we honor the hard work and innovations that followed. However, for all insulin has done for people living with diabetes, we know that it’s time to do more—to make more headway, to give more opportunities, to find what lies beyond the promise of insulin, and to find a cure,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA.

The ADA stands with the diabetes community to commemorate the discovery, advancements, and what the future holds for 400 million people living with diabetes worldwide. The organizations invite anyone living with diabetes to join this campaign by using #LetsTalkInsulin and #Insulin100 on social media.

“Insulin is a medical marvel in the world of diabetes. We mark this milestone as a testament to the importance of diabetes research. While we’ve made significant scientific strides, the burdens associated with managing diabetes continue to serve as obstacles for millions of people.” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the ADA. “Through the ADA’s investments in innovative research, we’ve seen our research grants lead to life-changing treatments. We will continue to invest in and advocate for increased scientific research funding to ensure that our vision of a life free of diabetes and all its burdens will one day become reality.” 

“Medtronic is pleased to have contributed to innovations that have made meaningful improvements to how diabetes is managed over the past three decades," said Sean Salmon, Executive Vice President and President of the Diabetes business at Medtronic. “Celebrating 100 years of insulin is not just about looking back but about looking toward the future. We are committed to continued research and innovation as we play our part in reducing the burden of living with diabetes with solutions for all the ways people want to manage their diabetes around the world.”

“Our work in Novo Nordisk researching a cure for diabetes had always been important to me but it took on a whole new meaning when my three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes,” said Jacob Sten Petersen, DMSc Professor and Corporate Vice President, Head of Stem Cell R&D, Novo Nordisk. “I think about the possibilities for her and so many others. I think about how far we have come and the discoveries ahead that will move us closer to a cure. This year, we celebrate 100 years of innovation that continues to save and improve the lives of so many across the world. We look ahead with optimism and at the same time recognize the importance of here and now and doing what we can to help people living with diabetes.”

“With 100 years of ground-breaking research and progress, we are thrilled to be commemorating this milestone with the millions of people worldwide who have been able to thrive because of insulin,” said Gustavo Pesquin, Head of U.S. General Medicines at Sanofi. “We at Sanofi know more can be done to support people living with diabetes which is why we continue to explore ways to improve care, including innovations in diabetes technology.”

Learn more about the vital and innovative work that our partners and sponsors are doing.

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 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 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).