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  Back to 2011 Conference Friends for Life 2011 Faculty

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Barbara J. Anderson, PhD, is a behavioral scientist and licensed clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience in diabetes research as well as in clinical work with youth with diabetes and their families. She has published extensively on the relationships between emotional and family factors with adherence and medical outcomes in youth with diabetes. Dr. Anderson is currently working with two multi-site NIH-funded trials-one with youth with type 1 and families and the other with youth with type 2 and families. Dr. Anderson is currently Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, and Senior Psychologist, Diabetes Care Center, Texas Children's Hospital.

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Barbara Araneo, PhD, serves JDRF as the Director of the Diabetes Complications Therapeutic Area. Prior to joining JDRF, Dr Araneo served on the faculty of the University of Utah's Department of Pathology as Associate Professor and has over 70 publications and 30 patents. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Araneo was Vice President of Development at StemCells Inc., where she was responsible for directing the effort to bring the company's neural cell-based product candidate from the preclinical proof of concept stage through clinical development and FDA regulatory approval process. This work embodied development of FDA recommended regulatory plans for produce manufacturing and validation, product pharmacology and toxicology to establish safety margins for administration to humans. She led the project teams to enable filing of the IND, communicate with the FDA and initiate the first clinical trial. Prior to joining StemCells, Dr. Araneo was a Scientific Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Pharmadigm, a privately held biopharmaceutical company with a number of products in various stages of clinical development for inflammatory conditions. Dr. Araneo obtained her doctorate in Cellular Immunology from the University of Rochester and completed postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine and the Department of Microbiology at UCLA. In addition to a doctorate degree, Dr. Araneo hold certification in US Regulatory Affairs through the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and is an active member.

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Natalie Bellini, RN, CDE, has had Type 1 diabetes since she was a young child. Within a year of finishing nursing school, she started to care for people with diabetes, focusing first on diabetes in pregnancy then pediatrics and insulin requiring adults. She has worked on the medical side of camps for children and teens in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She has spoken nationally and internationally as an expert in both working with teens and their parents with diabetes as well as infusion set choice, usage and maintenance. Her fundamental goal when developing the teenage curriculum for Children with Diabetes conferences is that each and every teen that attends finds a passion in life and pursues it. She is currently attending Drexel University part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to her own teen, Erin, who is now a junior in college.

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Bruce Buckingham, M.D., is a Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford Medical Center. His research interests have focused on continuous glucose monitoring in children. He is Principal Investigator at Stanford for DirecNet, an NIH sponsored multicenter study group which evaluates continuous glucose sensors in children. His current work focuses on the use of continuous glucose sensors in real-time, and the development of a closed-loop. These efforts are being funded by the JDRF and NIH and are currently focused on preventing nocturnal hypoglycemia and rapidly restoring metabolic control at the onset of diabetes.

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Bob Bulgarelli, D.O., is a cardiologist who specializes in Preventative and Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine. Bob is Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine at Main Line Health System in Suburban Philadelphia. Bob is cofounder and Chief Medical Officer of, Mind Body Spirit Inc. MBS is a habit change company that addresses lifestyle change in a holistic manner. The program is geared toward (but not limited to) risk reduction for Cardiac patients, including diet, exercise, stress management, group support and spirituality amongst others. Bob did his formal training in Integrative Medicine and Cardiology with Andrew Weil MD at the University of Arizona. Bob has a particular interest in bringing his message of healthy lifestyle change to children and adolescents, and has been doing so as part of the CWD staff for several years.

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Edward Damiano, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. His lab is engaged in basic scientific research that uses fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study blood flow in the microcirculation and to elucidate mechanisms by which the lining of blood vessels can determine vascular health and disease. In one study, his lab is investigating the effect of hyperglycemia in diabetic mice with the goal of finding ways to counteract the damage to blood vessels that leads to so many of the well-known complications of diabetes. In addition to this research, he is also committed to creating and integrating closed-loop blood-glucose control technologies. His interest in closed-loop control is quite personal, and began when his seven-year-old son, David, developed type 1 diabetes at the age of one. A goal of his is to have the control algorithm that was developed by one of his postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Firas El-Khatib, hard at work closing the loop for people with diabetes before David starts high school.

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Kimberly M. Davis is a Director of Federal Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, representing the interests of Johnson & Johnson's Diabetes Franchise in front of the US Congress, the Executive Branch and with other external stakeholders. Kimberly has more than 15 years of political and health care public policy experience working with and for key congressional, regulatory, and executive-branch decision makers on important public policy issues areas. She participated in Friends for Life and other CWD initiatives, and she is committed to making a difference for families with type 1 diabetes. Kimberly resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and young daughter.


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Dana Dignard, RD, CDE, has had type 1 diabetes for 26 years. She has 20 years of experience as a dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. Dana worked for 16 years in paediatric and adult diabetes education at Centenary Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Four years ago, Dana had the exciting opportunity to begin working with Animas Canada as a Territory Manager in Ontario Central. She loves her role with Animas as it has afforded many new opportunities and allowed her to meet so many wonderful people, the most rewarding of which is being part of the CWD family. Dana is also a busy mom to her two children Mathieu and Cassia, who have become part of the CWD crew as well. She could not do any of this without the love and support from her husband, Dan.

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Juan Domínguez-Bendala, Ph.D., is Director of Stem Cell Development for Translational Research at the Diabetes Research Institute. Before joining the DRI faculty, he worked at the Roslin Institute (Scotland, UK), known for the cloning of Dolly the sheep. Dr. Domínguez-Bendala obtained his PhD. there and acquired considerable experience in the areas of nuclear transfer, embryonic stem cells, embryo micromanipulation and state-of-the-art genetic engineering techniques. Dr. Domínguez-Bendala is currently involved in several projects that focus on the use of embryonic and adult stem cells to obtain pancreatic islets, in the hopes that these newly developed cells could one day be transplanted into patients with type I diabetes. He is also currently working on new methods for long-term culture and regeneration of pancreatic stem cells. Dr. Domínguez-Bendala is a noted speaker on stem cell research and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, as well as the book "Pancreatic Stem Cells," published by Humana Press. In addition, he was featured among a dozen of the nation's top stem cell scientists in the first "CELLebrity" Doctors calendar to benefit research in regenerative therapies.


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A teacher with an honours degree in English Literature, Jacqui Double enjoys working with all ages of children through Theatre-in-Education; she also has worked with children as an English teacher at secondary level. She has two children, her youngest son Tom diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at aged 18 months old in 2000 and her eldest son Joe aged 8 years old in 2005. Happily her sons are now both using Medtronic pumps with CGM and she claims that her family is far more sane! Jacqui sits on several groups and working parties pertaining to National Diabetes Care. She also presents talks about pumping and about coping with diabetes, and is active in her local area promoting better care at school for children with long term medical conditions. She is married to Olly, a university lecturer, and enjoys living by the sea in Kent.

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Oliver Double is a senior lecturer in drama at the University of Kent, but in a former life he was a professional comedian. His sons Joe and Tom both have type 1 diabetes, and in 2006 this inspired him to write and perform a solo stand-up show, Saint Pancreas, which is now available on DVD ('A tender and uplifting monologue that's surprisingly funny.' Guardian. 'Funny, charming, touching.' Arthur Smith, Balance). He has just started writing a regular column for Diabetes UK's Linkup magazine, in spite of being, by comparison with his wife Jacqui, slightly rubbish at dealing with diabetes.

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Alessio Fasano, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Mucosal Biology Research Center and the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also Professor of Physiology and Professor of Medicine. Dr. Fasano is regarded as one of the foremost authorities worldwide on Celiac Disease, and his epidemiological studies in the United States have changed the preconception that Celiac Disease is a rare disorder in our county. He will be presenting two sessions on celiac disease, which is more common in children with type 1 diabetes than the general population.

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Riva Greenberg got type 1 diabetes at the age of 18 and today is an author, health coach, columnist for the Huffington Post and blogs on her web site Diabetes Stories. Riva's books, 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It and The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes help families manage both the medical and emotional aspects of living with diabetes and profits from the ABCs book are donated each year to an organization improving life for those with diabetes. A patient-expert, Riva gives workshops to help patients flourish with diabetes and to help medical professionals work more effectively with patients. In 2009 and 2010 Riva served as an advisor to Roche Diabetes Care and CanAm Care. In 2008 Riva won first prize in the Eli Lilly/International Diabetes Federation sponsored 'Inspired by Diabetes' competition. In 1994 Riva won the coveted Australian Children's Book of the Year award. All Riva's work is dedicated to helping others live an exceptional life, not despite having diabetes but because of it - using diabetes as a catalyst to create a healthier, happier, more meaningful life. Riva is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.


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John Griffin is a lawyer who represents families with children and workers with diabetes. He is also a volunteer and Vice Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. Mr. Griffin has helped eradicate bans against students and workers with diabetes. As Chair of the ADA's Legal Advocacy Subcommittee, he led the effort to protect California school children with diabetes by insuring that these students would never be abandoned if they need help with their insulin. Mr. Griffin has insulin treated diabetes and has a sister and a niece with type 1 diabetes.

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Michael Heile, MD, is a board certified Family Practice physician who has been practicing for over 11 years now currently with The Family Medical Group in Cincinnati Ohio. He has experience with intensive control of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes especially with the use of insulin, and has lectured on these topics extensively. He is a board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Cincinnati Ohio, and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has participated on many advisory boards for various pump and pharmaceutical companies especially related to diabetes. He wrote the forward for a book titled 28 Days To Diabetes Control by Lance Porter, Editor of Diabetes Positive Magazine, 1999. He is type 1 diabetic himself for 20 years now. He has run six marathons and is considered to be an exercise enthusiast. His passion is to help patients and diabetics to live the quality life that he feels so blessed to live.


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Jay Hewitt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1991. After being diagnosed, Jay became an elite Ironman triathlete and 3-time member of the U.S. National Team for Long Distance Triathlon. He raced for Team USA at the Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006 in Sweden, Denmark and Australia. The Ironman triathlon is the world's longest and most grueling endurance race - a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike race, then running a 26.2 mile marathon ... a total of 140 miles all in one day. Jay has competed in 14 Ironman triathlons, over 20 half Ironman triathlons and 8 individual marathons, and is a 3-time finisher of the Boston Marathon. He has been featured on the cover of Diabetes Health, Diabetes Forecast, and in numerous other national publications and television documentaries on CNBC, WGN, PBS, and Lifetime. He speaks regularly at diabetes events, including Children with Diabetes, Joslin Diabetes Center, ADA Research Foundation and JDRF. Jay is an attorney, author and dynamic motivational speaker to corporations and conventions on his message of "Finish Line Vision" (www.finishlinevision.com) and will inspire you to reach your finish line. He is the author of a powerful motivational book, Finish Line Vision, on overcoming obstacles, achieving personal and professional goals, a healthy lifestyle and work-life balance.


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Korey Hood, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Staff Psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Dr. Hood directs NIH-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families. He also serves on several national committees for the ADA and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of a recent book entitled Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes. His research, clinical care, and service are fueled by his personal experience with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed as a young adult and has spent more than a decade managing diabetes. He is passionate about helping children and teens with diabetes, and their families, make diabetes a part of their lives while not letting it run their lives.

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Crystal Crismond Jackson is Associate Director of Legal Advocacy at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)'s Home Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Her primary responsibility is managing the Association's Safe at School Campaign. Crystal is considered a national authority on the rights of students with diabetes and has spoken at conferences and forums throughout the United States and internationally on how to effectively advocate on behalf of students with diabetes, training hundreds of parent advocates, attorneys, and health care professionals. A parent of a child with diabetes, Crystal began her advocacy as a volunteer for ADA when she successfully led the effort to pass the first state diabetes school legislation in the country which provides comprehensive coverage for students with diabetes in Virginia. Simultaneously she pursued a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education resulting in a settlement that is a nationwide model for safe and effective school diabetes care. Crystal is a former litigation paralegal and a contributor to many diabetes publications including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Diabetes Education Program's school guide entitled "Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel" and the ADA's treatise on school issues: "Legal Rights of Students with Diabetes." Crystal is a member of the Virginia Diabetes Council, serves on a number of other diabetes and youth advisory boards and committees.

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Scott K. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Currently blogging at Diabetes Daily, and contributing to many diabetes related projects, Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes. Scott works full time as a freelance writer and diabetes consultant, and says "I'm your average guy living with type 1 diabetes. I don't have it all figured out, and sharing my struggles with diabetes helps by showing people that it is Ok to still be trying to get it right, even after 30+ years." Scott lives with his family near the Minneapolis, MN area.

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Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is commonly known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad, used virtually everywhere, including his monthly column which appears at www.dLife.com/diabetesdad. He's been active since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at diabetes-related events at the United Nations and has lectured across the US about being a Diabetes Dad. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing aid to over 10,000 people with diabetes. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008 among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding, with the original Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and more as well as numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.

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Kim Kelly, Pharm. D., BCPS, FCCP, is President of Kelly Diabetes Associates, and former Director of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute-North America. Dr. Kelly has a lengthy and distinguished career involving patient care, academic medicine, and organizational involvement including President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Chairman of the ACCP Research Institute, and Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association. His research and experience have included a number of publications, participation on editorial boards and review panels of several journals, involvement in medical curriculum development, and various committees of professional organizations. Currently, his activities center around developing diabetes health management and educational programs for various health care providers and provider organizations. Delighted to work with children and teens alike, Dr. Kelly participated as a volunteer in the Orlando and Universal City Friends for Life conferences, where he became 'hooked' in working with the wonderful CWD kids and families. He joined CWD as 'regular faculty' in 2004, focusing on the Tween programming and providing presentations on various topics to parents as well.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 17, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 15 ... her CWD "sig line." Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the CWD diabetes conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Lauren now coordinates the Elementary Programming for every CWD conference. Back home in Denver, she has served on the boards of the JDRF and CWD Foundation. She and her husband Steve have chaired and coached her local JDRF Ride team for many years. Lauren has worked as an elementary school computer teacher and now works at The Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver as the IT Manager.

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Paul Madden, M.Ed., has served as Friends for Life faculty for the past 10 years. Paul is an accomplished author and speaker serving in numerous leadership roles on national and international boards, including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, the International Diabetes Federation, the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Paul developed and served in numerous new leadership roles at Joslin Diabetes Center a Harvard Medical School Affiliate including Special Assistant to the President, behavioral medicine, corporate development, advocacy, exercise, and camp administrator/director. Creating new winning solutions that create value and growth for organizations and the people being served is what Paul does best. He empowers, educates and inspires people to explore and adopt healthier lifestyles. Paul touches the soul of the people he works with enabling them to address the challenges of life more fully and positively! He currently is the Director of Advocacy and Education/Empowerment at PepsiCo Global Nutrition/R&D. Paul has had type 1 diabetes for 50 years.


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Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in October 2007. Serving as Chairman of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute, he will develop innovative programs and strategies that will help Johnson & Johnson companies and the health care community better address the delivery of diabetes care around the world. Born in Hawaii, Dr. Moritsugu achieved Admiralty status within the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, was the Federal representative to numerous national health care agencies and consulted with several international organizations and governments. Before serving as Acting Surgeon General in 2006, Dr. Moritsugu was the Deputy Surgeon General and the principal assistant and advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General for nearly ten years. Having completed residencies in internal medicine and in preventive medicine, Dr. Moritsugu is Board Certified in preventive medicine and holds Fellowships in the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Royal Society of Health, and the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr. Moritsugu has Type 1 diabetes and appreciates the many challenges facing patients -- and diabetes professionals -- today.


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Rick Philbin, MED, MBA, ATC, is the East Field Director for Animas Corporation, an athletic trainer, and an individual with Type 1 diabetes. Prior to joining Animas, he managed a comprehensive sports medicine center in the Washington, DC area. He is currently on the board of directors of the Diabetes, Exercise, and Sports Association (DESA), a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for people with diabetes through exercise and physical fitness. Rick has been working with CWD for seven years presenting to parents, coordinating the sports programming for kids, and writing articles on the CWD website called the Sports Corner. Rick's professional experience also includes working as an Athletic Trainer for a Philadelphia-based sports medicine center, where he worked with professional athletes from the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. He believes education is paramount for good diabetes management. As an avid exercise enthusiast with Type 1 diabetes, he practices tight management of his diabetes while on an insulin pump. Rick lives in the Washington, DC area.

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William (Bill) Polonsky, PhD, CDE, is the president and founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, the world's first organization dedicated to tackling the unmet psychological needs of people with diabetes. A licensed clinical psychologist, certified diabetes educator and associate clinical professor in psychiatry, he has studied the psychological and behavioral aspect of diabetes for over 20 years. Dr. Polonsky has served on the editorial boards of numerous professional and lay publications, including Diabetes Care, Diabetes Forecast, Clinical Diabetes, Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes Health. In addition to his many research publications, he is probably best known as the author of Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When You Can't Take It Anymore, a popular book for patients, published by the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Polonsky received his PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University and has served as senior psychologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston; faculty member at Harvard Medical School; and chairman of the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.

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Richard Rubin, Ph.D., C.D.E., Psychologist, past president of the American Diabetes Association, and Professor in Medicine and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Author of Psyching Out Diabetes and Sweet Kids, Optimal Pumping, and 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes, Dr. Rubin is Stefan Rubin's father. Stefan is also on the conference faculty and is a co-author of Optimal Pumping and 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes. Dr. Rubin is a sought after speaker for both professionals and people living with diabetes. He speaks with authority and warmth on the human side of diabetes.

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Stefan Rubin was diagnosed type 1 in 1979, at the age of seven and began insulin pump therapy three years later. He considers his experience an invaluable exercise and education that continue to prepare him for any hurdles that diabetes-and-life place in his path. Long a source of inspiration for his father, Dr. Richard R. Rubin, Stefan is co-author of two books, including 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes, published in 2003 by the American Diabetes Association. Stefan also speaks locally and nationally in an ongoing attempt to share his outlook on living well with diabetes. Stefan and his wife Christine, live, work and play with their son Brooks and daughter Maisie in Baltimore, Maryland.


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Harold Sanco is the 1998 United States National Master's Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. He is an internationally acclaimed instructor having taught in seven countries. His "Urban Funk" aerobics class has been highlighted in People, Allure and "W" magazines. At CWD conference, Harold helps kids and adults learn that exercising can be fun.

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Desmond Schatz, MD, is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the GCRC at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 80s and has published over 200 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is PI on JDRF funded studies aimed at reversing Type 1 diabetes using autologous stem cells (cord blood) and is currently PI the of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. Dr.Schatz has served in numerous capacities for the American Diabetes Association and on study sections and site visits for the JDRF and NIH. He also serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH study and the TODAY study in youth with type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies. He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award together with his colleagues, Mark Atkinson and Mike Haller as well as the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association.


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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, having had type 1 diabetes since 1985 and working as a Certified Diabetes Educator since 1993, knows the latest and best techniques for achieving optimal diabetes control. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Gary has authored a book and dozens of articles, and speaks at local and national meetings on diabetes, fitness and motivation. Gary received the 1997 William Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Patient Activities by the American Diabetes Association, as well as the 1998 Allene Van Son Award for the development of effective diabetes teaching tools by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. In 2002, he was granted the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Education Research award for the study of basal insulin levels in pump users. Gary owns and operates Integrated Diabetes Services, a private practice located just outside of Philadelphia, specializing in intensive blood glucose control and lifestyle intervention for people with diabetes.

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Khadija Shahid, OD, is the Director for New Jersey Medical School's Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation and the On-Site Medical Director of the Telemedicine Outreach Program Services of NJMS Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has presented and published in National and International Medical, Ophthalmology, and Optometry conferences on research related to Low Vision, Imaging, and Telemedicine. Since 1999, Dr. Shahid has volunteered in medical missions in remote villages of Alaska, Guatemala, Romania, and most recently Haiti where with her team was able to examine over 2,500 Haitian adults and children just prior to being evacuated by the U.S. Military after the 2010 earthquake.

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Barbara Singer is Director of Special Projects for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. She and her husband Shelly are original founders of the organization, which was established in 1971. This was soon after their daughter Debbie was diagnosed at the age of two. At that time there was very little research going on to cure diabetes, and their mission was to change that. The Singers were also involved in the early development of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation when it was only two chapters. Barbara was the first editor of their newsletter. Her son Jonathan was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 25. Despite the loss of her daughter Debbie at the age of 33 due to complications of diabetes, her dedication to a cure remains steadfast.

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Jay S. Skyler, MD, MACP, is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College. He did his postgraduate training at Duke University Medical Center and the National Heart and Lung Institute. He joined the University of Miami in 1976, where he is currently Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, & Psychology, in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He served as Director of that Division from 2000 to 2004. He is Associate Director for Academic Programs, and Area Leader for Immunomodulation and Tolerance, at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado at Denver. He is Chairman of the NIH (NIDDK)-sponsored Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international network conducting clinical trials to prevent type 1diabetes or interdict the type 1 diabetes disease process. His research interests are in clinical aspects of diabetes, particularly improving the care of type 1 diabetes through meticulous glycemic control, psychosocial and behavioral support, and immune intervention. He is widely acclaimed for developing "algorithms" for patient adjustment of insulin doses. He is a past President of the American Diabetes Association, the International Diabetes Immunotherapy Group, and the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, and was a Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation. He served as a member of the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Subspecialty Examining Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine, as Chairman of the Council of Subspecialty Societies of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and a member of the ACP Board of Regents. He was founding Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Care, and currently is Senior Editor of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE,, was President of InBalance Healthcare, a counseling and education service for health care professionals and adults and children with diabetes, for over 10 years. He currently works for LifeScan, as Manager of Diabetes Counseling & Training and is a faculty member of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute. Joe is healthcare professional who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 50 years, Mr. Solowiejczyk has been able to translate his personal experience into patient care. As a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist, he specializes in assessing how family dynamics impact management of diabetes and designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.


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Kerri Sparling was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in September of 1986 and lives by the mantra "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me." Creator and editor of the diabetes blog, SixUntilMe.com, she has contributed to many diabetes-related websites and publications, and is a passionate advocate for diabetes awareness. An expert in social media and its influence on patients, Kerri presents regularly at new media conferences and currently works full-time as a freelance writer and social media consultant. Kerri lives in Rhode Island with her husband Chris, their daughter, and a small army of cats.

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Ben Szirth, PhD, is the Director of Applied Vision Research Laboratory at the New Jersey Medical School and the Program Director of the Ophthalmic Telemedicine Program; a community base outreach service addressing the homeless and low income families of New Jersey. His main research interest is in advanced imaging devices that can detect early signs of diabetes, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. He holds three patents in the field of ophthalmology and has published over 50 peer review papers in the area of ocular imaging in English, Japanese, Spanish and French. Dr. Szirth has lectured in over 25 Countries in Hungarian (native language), English, French, Italian and Japanese.

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Lee Ann Thill, MA, ATR-BC, is a registered board-certified art therapist, and Adjunct Professor of Art Therapy at Holy Family University, Philadelphia, PA. She provides art therapy and psychotherapy to people with diabetes to address issues like depression, food and body image concerns, and family conflict. She also facilitates workshops for patient and professional groups about art therapy and diabetes-specific psychosocial issues, drawing from her professional expertise as well as her personal experience living with type 1 diabetes since 1978. Lee Ann is author of the diabetes blog, The Butter Compartment, organizer and facilitator of the web-based initiative, Diabetes Art Day, an advocate for arts-based programming in health care and improved mental health services for people with diabetes, and a practicing artist who believes creative expression is a path to embracing life with diabetes. Lee Ann lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, Jason, and her "children," Maddie, the dog, and Darwin and Dexter, the lizards.

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Alice Tomei, Ph.D., is an assistant scientist in tissue engineering at the Diabetes Research Institute. Before joining the DRI, she worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Lausanne, CH), where she obtained her Ph.D. For two years, Dr. Tomei was as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of DRI collaborator Prof. Jeffrey A. Hubbell, who is world-renowned for his work with biomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery. There, she designed a novel technology to conformally coat islets to immuno-protect them from rejection. During this period, she also translated her findings of CCL21, a protein that triggers immune tolerance when expressed by tumor cells. It also promotes tumor survival and tolerance to unmatched transplants in an embryonic stem cell model in mice. The results were recently published in the journal, Science. Prior to that, Dr. Tomei acquired considerable experience in the areas of tissue and biomaterials engineering, and tumor immunology in the laboratory of Prof. Melody A. Swartz. Currently, Dr. Tomei is working in close collaboration with the DRI's Dr. Cherie Stabler in developing and testing a new process to create protective conformal coatings of islets. The technique to immuno-protect the insulin-producing cells is being conducted in pre-clinical models. She is also working alongside the DRI's Dr. Luca Inverardi in testing the use of the CCL21 protein to trigger immune tolerance to transplanted islets. These two approaches hold promise for eliminating the need for systemic immunosuppression after islet transplantation.

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John Walsh, PA is a Physician Assistant and Diabetes Clinical Specialist who has provided clinical care for patients with diabetes for more than 30 years. He specializes in diabetes care for people on pumps and has started and followed thousands of pump users. He is co-author of Pumping Insulin, now in its 4th edition, Using Insulin, STOP the Rollercoaster, and The Pocket Pancreas. President of the Diabetes Mall, he is also webmaster of diabetesnet.com, a highly trafficked source of diabetes information and technology visited by 6,000 people a day. John is a consultant and advisory board member for pharmaceutical and device corporations and a frequent speaker on pump therapy, diabetes therapy, glucose management, and the future of smart pumps, meters and continuous monitors. His recent research, published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, explores how the most successful people use pumps, based on over a 1,000 anonymous pump downloads. John has worn nearly every insulin pump and CGM available over the last 27 years. He is a sub-investigator on numerous research studies on diabetes drugs and devices and guest editor for a diabetes issue of the Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Lori Weintraub, APR, is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. She became a part of the DRI family in 1993 and has been responsible for the overall development and management of its national marketing and communications programs. Since joining the organization, she has met thousands of families affected by diabetes who have been an inspiration. She is committed to using her knowledge and talents to help find a cure for this disease. An accredited public relations professional with more than 20 years' experience in marketing, public relations and advertising, Lori has received numerous awards and honors for her work. Prior to joining the DRI Foundation, she worked with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses in New York City and South Florida, serving on both the client and agency side.

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Stuart Weinzimer, MD, FAAP, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned his bachelor's degree in molecular biochemistry and biochemistry at Yale University, and his medical degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency and pediatric endocrinology training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Weinzimer has focused his clinical and research on the application of continuous glucose sensors and insulin pumps in children with type 1 diabetes and the development of an artificial pancreas. He is the Principal Investigator of a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation-funded study of an artificial pancreas for children with diabetes, and Principal Investigator at the Yale site for two multi-center studies of continuous glucose sensors. He and his wife, Jodie Ambrosino, PhD, who is a pediatric health psychologist studying stress and coping in families of children with diabetes, have two girls, Rebecca and Eliana.


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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., C.D.E., Pediatric Psychologist, Associate professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 20 years and is an author of numerous research articles, and a co-author of a book on transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell works with children, teenagers and their families to facilitate adaptation and coping with diabetes and other chronic conditions.


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Charles E. Wiedmeyer DVM, PhD, DACVP is an associate professor of veterinary clinical pathology at the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. He earned his veterinary degree and PhD in veterinary pathology from the University of Illinois. In addition, he is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist. Dr. Wiedmeyer's specialty is applying technology to better monitor diabetic veterinary patients. His emphasis in this field is working with dogs and cats but has experience with horse, cows and pigs. Dr. Wiedmeyer has published several articles and given many presentations regarding the use of continuous glucose monitoring in veterinary patients and is considered the authority on this subject as it relates to veterinary medicine.

  Friends for Life 2011 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Childcare Form - FAQs - Sponsors - Exhibitors - Venue Map  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - CWD Staff - Grandparents Faculty - Sports Central Staff  
  Teen Driving Clinic - Diabetes Scholars Foundation Golf Fundraiser  
  Schedule: Parents & Adults - Youth - Focus Groups  
  FFL Reports from 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  



                 
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Last Updated: Monday March 24, 2014 20:23:28
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