Meeting Highlights from ADA: American Diabetes Association 80th Scientific Sessions

June 12-16, 2020

The 80th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), like many medical and scientific conferences this year, was as an entirely virtual experience. The ADA, which is based in Arlington, VA, was able to host over 12,500 virtual participants during the event held on June 12-16. This was a decrease from last year’s attendance of over 15,000 which was held live at the Moscone Center, San Franscico, CA.

While the sessions are over, members and registrants can still access the presentations through September 10, 2020 and continuing education credits can be obtained through October 1, 2020 by using the email link.

This year’s meeting had 190 video presentations across nine session themes:

Acute and Chronic Complications (34 sessions)

Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Education, and Exercise (29 sessions)

Clinical Diabetes/Therapeutics (50 sessions)

Epidemiology/Genetics (17 sessions)

Immunology/Transplantation (14 sessions)

Insulin Action/Molecular Metabolism (11 sessions)

Integrated Physiology/Obesity (18 sessions)

Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion (13 sessions)

Special Lectures and Addresses (3 presentations)

Special lectures included opening remarks from the ADA CEO, Tracey Brown, the ADA President of Healthcare and Education, Dr. Mary de Groot, and the ADA President of Medicine and Science, Dr. Robert H. Eckel, as well as presentations by three special award recipients.  These presentations can be found here, under the “Special Lectures and Addresses” tab or by date. (Please note, each sessions is preceded by 15 minutes of housekeeping slides, which are the same for all sessions. Fast forward as needed.)

June 13, 2020: ADA Chief Executive Officer Remarks/President, Health Care & Education Address/Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award Lecture

“50 Years of Behavioral Research in Diabetes- A 2020 vision of the future”

Tracey D. Brown, Chief Executive Officer at American Diabetes Association (opening remarks)

Mary de Groot, PhD. Acting Director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at Indiana University (presidential address)

William H. Polonsky, PhD. president and cofounder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, University of California, San Diego (Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award)

This session addressed the long history of diabetes from the view point of behavioral science. Dr. de Groot commented that “Behavior is fundamental in everything we do; however variable and imperfect, behavior has been our first and best strategy for keeping safe” -with regards to diabetes as well as in light of evolving biological threats, like COVID.  Dr. Polonsky then expanded on the psycho-social landscape of diabetes by addressing diabetes burnout, education, and self-management. 

June 14, 2020: President, Medicine & Science Address and Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement

 “Living Lifelong with Diabetes- So much to accomplished, yet so much still to be done”

Robert H. Eckel, MD., Interim Vice Chancellor of Research, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus (presidential address)

Ele Ferrannini, MD., National Research Council (CNR) Institute of Clinical Physiology and University of Pisa (Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement)

Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Dr. Ferrannini discussed the history of insulin as it paralleled his own diabetic journey, and discussed the insights he’s glean through his research in insulin resistance.

June 15, 2020: Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award Lecture

“Emerging Endocrine and Paracrine Hormones in Health and Disease”

Jiandie Lin, PhD., Bradley M Patten Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School

The translational science presented by Dr. Lin spoke to the involvement of peripheral metabolic tissues and their involvement in endocrine function. Using obesity as a model, Dr. Lin and his colleagues explored the endocrine communication between the liver and adipose tissues, an example of inter-tissue communication via endocrine hormones.

For nonmembers, WebsEdge, a conference TV production team, put together 16 highlights videos from the ADA 2020 conference, called ADATV  available on YouTube. Of special interests are interviews provided by the award recipients- Drs. Polonsky, Ferrannini, and Lin. Each video is a short 4-6 minutes as they discuss their diabetes research.

If you missed this year’s sessions, next year promises to be just as exciting, when the ADA celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin at the 2021 conference, June 25-29, in Washington, D.C.

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