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World’s first achievement in diabetes research


Distinguished Professor David Simmons has become the first ‘diabetes in pregnancy’ researcher to receive three prestigious accolades in the field: the Norbert Freinkel Prize, the Joseph Hoet Prize and, most recently, the Jørgen Pederson Prize Lecture.

Professor Simmons, from the Translation Health Research Institute and Macarthur Clinical School at Western Sydney University, said that while it was a great honor to receive worldwide recognition for his work, the accolades simply reflected his passion for trying to reduce the impact of diabetes on pregnant women and the community in general.

“I have witnessed the life-changing and devastating effects that poorly managed diabetes can have during pregnancy, both for women and for our youngest children. This condition demands the best of our research, resources and collaborations and I am honored to help find solutions to reduce the impact of this disease,” said Professor Simmons.

“The impact of diabetes on our community, our ‘diabetes epidemic’, is equally devastating, but there is hope. I have seen – for over 30 years as an endocrinologist – community solutions work in programs around the world and will continue to promote the power of community

in the fight against this deadly disease.

For the prestigious Jørgen Pedersen Award, Professor Simmons presented a talk at the annual meeting of the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Group (DPSG) in Madrid last week. The award is given to an individual selected by the DPSG Board of Directors in recognition of outstanding contributions (including scientific publications and presentations) to the understanding and treatment of diabetes and pregnancy.

In 2020 Professor Simmons received the Norbert Freinkel Award from the American Diabetes Association, where he presented the Norbert Freinkel Award Lecture. The lecture is given in memory of Professor Norbert Freinkel in order to honor a researcher who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of diabetes and pregnancy.

In addition to these two prestigious “Diabetes in Pregnancy” awards, Professor Simmons is also the recipient of the Joseph Hoart Award, given to a personality who contributes greatly to the field of the prevention of diabetes and its complications.

With over 350 peer-reviewed publications and research collaborations in Sweden, Europe, UK, USA, New Zealand, China and Australia, Professor Simmons is renowned for instilling in his teams a dedication to delivering results, working collaboratively, and ensuring that its research can be easily understood by the communities it impacts.

Professor Simmons is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Western Sydney University Macarthur Clinical School, Head of the Department of Endocrinology at Campbelltown Hospital, Chair of the Clinical Council at Campbelltown Hospital, Director of the Diabetes Translation Unit , Obesity and Metabolism (DOMTRU) and co-director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Academic Group of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE).

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