2018 Program

2018 Featured Presenters

Stacey Simms, Host of Diabetes Connections
Stacey Simms is the host of Diabetes Connections, an award-winning podcast that aims to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Forecast Magazine has named Stacey as one of their 12 “People to Know: 2017.” She is the first podcaster to make the annual list. Diabetes Connections was also named a Top Ten Health Podcast in the 2017 & 2016 People’s Choice Podcast Awards and is currently nominated for a WEGO Health Leader award. Stacey’s son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006, one month before he turned two and she’s blogged since 2007 about her family’s experience. In 2015 she created Diabetes Connections, a weekly show with more than 115 episodes to date. She is also the creator of Diabetes Podcast Week, bringing together other hosts to help the diabetes community.


Zhen Gu, Ph.D., Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC-CH & NCSU, UNC Eshelman Pharmacy School

Prof. Zhen Gu obtained his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2010, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Eningeering and Prof. Yong Chen in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010-2012. He also holds BS degree in Chemistry and MS degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from Nanjing University in China. He is the recipient of the Young Investigator Award of the Controlled Release Society (2017), Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award of the American Diabetes Association (2015) and Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering of BMES (2015). MIT Technology Review listed him as one of top innovators under 35 (TR35) in 2015. His invention, “Smart Insulin Patch” was selected as one of the top 10 images in 2015 by Science.


Jason Gaglia, MD, MMSc, Vice President, Clinical Sciences at Semma Therapeutics

Jason started in the field of islet transplantation over 15 years ago as a member of the clinical islet transplant team at the National Institutes of Health. At Harvard, he led a team demonstrating noninvasive imaging of inflammation in the pancreas with the development of type 1 diabetes. More recently he has served as Director of the Hood Center for Prevention of Childhood Diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center and the principal investigator for numerous type 1 diabetes clinical trials. He maintains an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School. Jason holds four undergraduate degrees from Rutgers College and received both his medical degree and Master of Science in clinical research from Harvard Medical School.


Laura Whitton, Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy at JDRF

Laura is responsible for JDRF’s legislative and grassroots programs, which leverage JDRF’s volunteer network to influence Congress and other institutions to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs for people with T1D. Since joining JDRF in 2002, Laura has played a leading role in seven legislative renewals of the Special Diabetes Program, which has resulted in more than $2 billion for T1D research. She has also played a leading role in enlisting Congress to advance Medicare coverage of continuous glucose monitors and FDA artificial pancreas guidance, among other high priority issues.

TimeSession NameSpeaker/Description
8:30AMCheck In Opens
Youth and Teen Program Opens
Vendor Fair (open all day)
Newly Diagnosed Welcome Center (open all day)
9:00AMMorning Breakout SessionsSession 1: Toddlers and T1D
Session 2: Taking T1D to School
Session 3: Tackling the Tween Years
Session 4: T1D and the Teenage Years: The Ups and Downs
Session 5: Adults with T1D: Home, Work, and Play
TrialNet Screenings (ongoing)
10:10AMWelcome RemarksEVENT MODERATOR: STACEY SIMMS, Host of Diabetes Connections
10:15AMKeynote PresentationJDRF Mission Message: Turning Type One into Type None
11:00AMResearch Presentation
11:45AMJDRF Advocacy UpdateLAURA WHITTON, Vice President, Advocacy & Policy, JDRF
12:00PMBuffet Lunch & Networking
12:45PM-2:00PMResearch Presentations
2:00PMPanel DiscussionQuestion and answer session with presenters
2:30PMEvent Concludes
Youth and Teen Program Ends