Newsmakers

Dr. Aaron Kowalski Appointed President and CEO of JDRF

Dr. Aaron Kowalski newsmaker headshot; man in glasses and suit

JDRF

Dr. Aaron J. Kowalski

JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) recently appointed Dr. Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D. as its president and CEO.

Dr. Kowalski has been with JDRF for 15 years, first hired in 2004 as a scientific program manager after earning his doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Rutgers University. By early 2006, he gained promotion and began work as director of strategic research projects.

Dr. Kowalski would continue to his climb through the ranks of JDRF and be appointed chief mission officer by 2014, responsible for the organization’s entire research portfolio.

He was instrumental in JDRF’s recent transformation from a more passive research-funder to an organization that is actively involved in both research and development of new products and policy. Now he sees himself leading the organization he has spent his entire career working to expand and improve.

As someone diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) at the age of 13, Dr. Kowalski’s passion for helping others with the disease is informed by his personal experience as well as his educational and professional expertise.

An internationally-recognized expert in the field, Dr. Kowalski is known for the creation of the “artificial pancreas roadmap” that has since been adopted by the diabetes industry to greatly accelerate commercial treatment systems. He has also authored dozens of widely-cited research articles, including the groundbreaking New England Journal of Medicine study establishing the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitors in T1D, cementing him as a global leader in diabetes treatment research.

“Many of us know Aaron as a highly respected leader in the scientific community, a passionate advocate with government officials, and a trusted partner and counselor to leading diabetes organizations around the world,” stated Ellen Leake, chair of the JDRF International Board of Directors in a press release about the appointment. “Aaron is uniquely fit to step into the job of CEO with a combination of management, leadership and people skills. He understands like almost no one else the needs and potential of T1D research. On top of that, he connects personally with the entire JDRF community.”

Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D. succeeds Derek Rapp, who announced his decision to step down last October after almost five years at the helm of JDRF.

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