Press release

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

March 24, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) announces this year’s Professional Interest Group and Women’s Interprofessional Network Award recipients

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Professional Interest Group and Women’s Interprofessional Network Awards. These awards, presented by various membership groups, recognize academics, health care providers and educators who have contributed to advances in specialized areas 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.

“As the ADA’s President of Medicine and Science, it is truly my honor to recognize the medical and scientific accomplishments of Drs. Natarajan, Simmons, Fradkin, Streisand and Sanders,” said Robert H. Eckel, MD, President of Medicine & Science for the ADA. “Their accomplishments in diabetes research and clinical care have been numerous and remind all of us that discovery leads to advances in diabetes etiology, mechanisms of disease, clinical trials, education and changes in behavior that lead to implementation to improve the lives of people living with or at risk of diabetes. These awards represent a longstanding commitment by these awardees to diabetes science and applied medicine that is exceptional with lasting outcomes to follow. Thank you, Rama, David, Judy, Randi and Lee for all you have accomplished and continue to exemplify in your respective fields of diabetes research, education and clinical care.”

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:

  • Rama Natarajan, PhD, FAHA, FASN, is the recipient of the 2020 Edwin Bierman Award, which is presented by ADA’s Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Interest Group in recognition of a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the study and treatment of diabetes and macrovascular complications. Dr. Natarajan’s research at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope has advanced the understanding of the role of epigenetics and non-coding RNA regulatory mechanisms in diabetic complications, specifically diabetic vasculopathy.
  • David Simmons, MA, MB, BS, FRACP, FRCP, MD (Cantab), is the recipient of the 2020 Norbert Freinkel Award, which is presented by ADA’s Pregnancy and Reproductive Health Interest Group to a researcher who has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of diabetes and pregnancy. For more than 30 years, Dr. Simmons has led epidemiological research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes, the prevention of diabetes, its complications and family impacts in Pacific communities, and the usage of different therapies in pregnant women with diabetes.
  • Judith Fradkin, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 Lois Jovanovic Transformative Woman in Diabetes Award, presented by the Women’s Interprofessional Network of the American Diabetes Association (WIN ADA) in recognition of a woman who has made significant contributions to diabetes research, care, and/or education. During her 35-year career at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. Fradkin led a diverse array of high-impact clinical and basic research programs, including multi-centered clinical trials to evaluate new approaches to prevent and treat diabetes and its complications, scientific consortia to define the genetic and environmental triggers of diabetes and diabetes research centers.
  • Lee J. Sanders, DPM, is the recipient of the 2020 Roger Pecoraro Award, which is presented by ADA’s Foot Care Interest Group in recognition of a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding, prevention, and management of diabetic foot complications. Dr. Sanders is internationally recognized for his research and advocacy efforts addressing diabetes-related foot amputation, surgical approaches, ulcer prevention and Charcot neuroarthrophy, and he was ADA’s President of Health Care and Education from 2000 to 2001.
  • Randi Streisand, PhD, CDE, is the recipient of the 2020 Richard R. Rubin Award, which is presented by ADA’s Behavioral Medicine and Psychology Interest Group in recognition of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of the behavioral aspects of diabetes. Dr. Streisand leads research focused on parent-child adjustment to chronic disease, with an emphasis on type 1 diabetes in young children and behavioral interventions to prevent and manage illness and treatment complications, as well as adherence to pediatric medical regimens.

For more information about ADA’s Interest Groups and WIN ADA, please visit and

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).