Press release

Exceptional Leaders in Diabetes Research, Prevention and Treatment to be Recognized at ADA’s 81st Scientific Sessions

March 8, 2021 | Arlington, Virginia

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) is honored to announce the recipients of the 2021 National Scientific and Health Care Achievement Awards. The awards recognize academics, health care providers and educators who have contributed to tangible advances in the field of diabetes care and research. Each of these leaders have unwavering dedication to achieving the mission of the ADA: life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

“I am thrilled to recognize the eight remarkable individuals receiving the ADA’s National Scientific and Health Care Achievement Awards,” said Tracey D. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the ADA. “With more than 122 million Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes, it is critical that innovative and dedicated professionals continue to devote their careers to ending this epidemic. Although our awardees come from a variety of educational backgrounds and institutions, they have one very important thing in common: they are helping us move the needle and create real change in the lives of millions. We are grateful for their continued commitment to helping those living with diabetes thrive.”

The following award recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony to take place at the ADA’s 81st Virtual Scientific Sessions on June 25-29, 2021:

  • Jens J. Holst, MD, is the recipient of the 2021 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment, or prevention of diabetes. Dr. Holst played a central role in identifying the existence and importance of a number of gut hormones, work that has led to the introduction of new medications that are highly effective in helping manage diabetes and reducing the risk for vascular diseases.
  • Kristen J. Nadeau, MD, MSPH, is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, which recognizes research in diabetes that demonstrates particular independence of thought and originality. Dr. Nadeau work focuses on understanding mechanisms underlying insulin resistance in youth and how that knowledge guides strategies for treatment of diabetes in youth.
  • Denise Charron-Prochownik, PhD, RN, CPNP, is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award, which recognizes a distinguished health professional who has made outstanding educational efforts in the field of diabetes. Dr. Prochownik is a leader in preconception education and care in women with diabetes, with a special focus on sexual health in teens with diabetes.
  • Hans-Henrik Parving, MD, DMSc, is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Diabetes Research Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions in patient-oriented clinical outcomes research that have had a significant impact on diabetes prevention and treatment. Professor Parving has concentrated on studies of late diabetic complications with a special focus on early detection, prevention, and treatment of diabetic renal, retinal, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Silvio E. Inzucchi, MD, is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Physician Clinician in Diabetes Award, which is presented to an individual to reward and honor meritorious contributions to diabetes clinical practice. Dr. Inzucchi was instrumental in developing the now widely accepted concept of individualizing glucose-lowering therapy based on risks and benefits of therapy in the context of underlying patient characteristics.
  • Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, is the recipient of the 2021 Albert Renold Award, which is presented to an individual whose career is distinguished by outstanding achievements in the training and mentorship of diabetes research scientists and in the development of communities of scientists to enhance diabetes research. Dr. Spiegelman’s research is focused on molecular basis of adipose tissue development and function including systematic metabolism and mitochondrial-dependent energy balance. His work has had translational impact in how obesity and diabetes are treated.
  • Juleen R. Zierath, PhD, is the recipient of the 2021 Harold Rifkin Award for Distinguished International Service in the Cause of Diabetes, which honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding research, evaluation and care in diabetes performed from an international perspective with an international impact. Professor Zierath is a leader in translational studies delineating the molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as advanced work on the effects of exercise on metabolism. 
  • Nicholas J. Wareham, MD, MPH, is the recipient of the 2021 Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology, which recognizes significant contributions to the field of diabetes epidemiology. Professor Wareham focuses on the etiology of diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders, and in translating epidemiological knowledge into policy.

The ADA’s 81st Scientific Sessions, the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care, will be held virtually June 25-29, 2021. More than 12,000 leading physicians, scientists, and health care professionals from around the world are expected to convene virtually at the 2021 Scientific Sessions to unveil cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. Attendees will receive exclusive access to thousands of original research presentations and take part in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on social media using #ADA2021.


# # #


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).