Press release

Outstanding Leaders in Diabetes Research, Prevention and Treatment to be Recognized at ADA’s 80th Scientific Sessions

March 16, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) announces this year’s National Scientific and Health Care Achievement Award recipients

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 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 recipient has shown outstanding commitment to achieving the vision of the ADA: life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

“I am thrilled to recognize the eight talented recipients of ADA’s National Scientific and Health Care Achievement Awards,” said Tracey D. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the ADA. “With more than 34 million Americans living with diabetes, it is critical now more than ever that talented, dedicated professionals continue to devote their careers to ending this epidemic. Our awardees come from a variety of educational backgrounds and institutions, but 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 to them 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 80th Scientific Sessions, June 12-16, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois:

  • Ele Ferrannini, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment or prevention of diabetes. Dr. Ferrannini has made seminal contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and related comorbidities through clinical investigations.
  • Jiandie Lin, PhD, is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, which recognizes research in diabetes that demonstrates particular independence of thought and originality. Dr. Lin has contributed to our understanding of inter-organ crosstalk of emerging endocrine hormones and has performed pioneering work in chromatin control of metabolic gene programs.
  • William Polonsky, PhD, CDCES, is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award, which recognizes a distinguished health professional who has made outstanding educational efforts in the field of diabetes. Dr. Polonsky’s work has provided clinicians and educators with tools and skills to assess the impact of diabetes on behaviors and to motivate patients to adopt necessary self-management behaviors.
  • Bernard Zinman, CM, MD, FRCPC, FACP, is the recipient of the 2020 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. Dr. Zinman’s research accomplishments, including serving as lead investigator in several large international trials such as the Diabetes Control and Complications trial (DCCT), have had significant impact on the management of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  • Marian Sue Kirkman, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Physician Clinician in Diabetes Award, which is presented to an individual to reward and honor meritorious contributions to diabetes clinical practice. Dr. Kirkman cares for patients with diabetes in a multi-disciplinary practice and is consistently listed among the Best Doctors in America. Her work while employed at ADA significantly expanded the scope, reach and scientific rigor of “Standards of Care in Diabetes” practice guidelines.
  • Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 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. Seaquist, a past President of Medicine & Science for the ADA, has trained and mentored a generation of junior faculty who are now emerging leaders in the field of diabetes research.
  • Anne-Marie Felton, RN, is the recipient of the 2020 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. Ms. Felton was instrumental in setting up the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND) and has worked tirelessly to promote the well-being of people with diabetes globally.
  • Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, is the recipient of the 2020 Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology, which recognizes significant contributions to the field of diabetes epidemiology. Dr. Selvin’s research has provided pivotal information on key clinical issues in diabetes epidemiology, with significant influence on clinical guidelines in laboratory medicine, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and her work provided key data informing diagnostic criteria for diabetes and prediabetes.

The ADA’s 80th Scientific Sessions, the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care, will be held June 12-16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois at the McCormick Place Convention Center. More than 12,000 leading physicians, scientists and health care professionals from around the world are expected to convene at the 2020 Scientific Sessions to unveil cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. Attendees will receive exclusive access to more than 2,800 original research presentations and take part in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on social media using #ADA2020.

Please note: At this time, Scientific Sessions is scheduled to take place as planned. The ADA is actively evaluating developments concerning COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, and staying abreast of updates from health organizations responsible for tracking and responding to the virus, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The ADA continues to take the health and safety of all those participating in the Scientific Sessions seriously and will take all of the steps necessary to create a safe environment. Additional information will be posted on as it becomes available.

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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 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).