Leadership in Support of Science
The UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) is privileged to be supported by a Visiting Advocacy Committee (VAC). Each member shares a passionate commitment for diabetes care, research and ultimately the cure. VAC members have demonstrated their effective leadership by reaching the top of their respective professions. They donate their time to help advance the DCOE mission, and lead by example through their generous philanthropy.
Co-Founder & CEO of Stability Health, whose mission is to improve health outcomes for individuals with diabetes. They use a proprietary clinically-based technology platform that enhances physician effectiveness and helps individuals better manage their own care. Mike's motivation stems from wanting to help people like his dad, who lived with T1D for 60 years. His father was the first person in Massachusetts to ever use an insulin pump.
Ronny lives with type 1 diabetes and is excited to engage and help with groups working to better the lives of those living with the disease. She is a member of the Center for Nutrition and Metabolism Advisory Committee at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and also serves on the Board of Overseers at BIDMC.
John has type 1 diabetes and is inspired by his mother who has lived with T1D for over 55 years. He is a lifelong entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in all aspects of real estate, including finance, investment, management, and leasing for the transportation and logistics industry. John serves on the finance committee for JDRF and lends his business expertise and financial support to new therapies and technologies.
Living with type 1 diabetes himself, Mark has been active in the diabetes education community for over 25 years. He is Chairman & Treasurer of the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, which funds term chairs for two of the principal investigators in the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence research laboratories. He is also Past Chairman and the current Treasurer of the Barton Center for Diabetes Education.
Judy has advocated for a T1D cure for 35 years since her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two. She serves on JDRF’s Canada Board of Directors, International Board of Chancellors, and nPOD Ambassadors. Judy served on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Council and JDRF International Board. She chaired JDRF’s Lay Review Committee (LRC) and the Canadian Clinical Trial Network LRC. She served on the Texas Diabetes Council, Pennsylvania Diabetes Academy, and was the first public Board member of the AADE and NCBDE.
Nicole Johnson, PhD
Nicole won the Miss America title in 1999. She became the first Miss America with diabetes and the first contestant to publicize the use of an insulin pump. Today Nicole is a nationally recognized advocate for diabetes research and education, as well as National Director of JDRF Mission. She has published seven books related to diabetes, including several cookbooks.
Margery Perry has been a diabetes advocate for 30 years, ever since her daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 7. She has been involved with JDRF on the Research Committee, Executive Committee, the International Board, served as Chair of the LRC, and currently serves as Chair of the Research Committee. Margery has also been a member of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. She sits on several diabetes foundation boards, including Taking Control of Your Diabetes and Insulin for Life.
Charles Queenan is a biotech entrepreneur who has been dedicated to research and innovation in the diabetes field for over twenty years. He is Founder and CEO of Forkhead BioTherapeutics Inc., an early stage company developing a breakthrough oral therapy to treat insulin-dependent diabetes. Previously, he was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Puretech Health, SVP New Ventures at JDRF, and Executive Vice President of Amaranth Bio. Charlie served as Chair of Research on the International Board of the JDRF. His daughter, Jenna, was diagnosed with T1D at age 3.
CEO of HealthSlate, which provides digital diabetes prevention and management programs. In partnership with the American Association of Diabetes Educators they created a tablet with diabetes education videos, which is in use at healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. Dan is also a Board Member on the Council for Diabetes Prevention.
Joe’s grandson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 2. He understands how patients and families work together as they adjust their lives to deal with the many challenges presented by diabetes. As a Global Vice Chair (Retired) with Ernst & Young, Joe has experience developing and leading the implementation of solutions to complex challenges faced by various types of organizations ranging in size from emerging businesses to large global companies. He looks forward to leveraging his experiences in ways that will advance the mission of the DCOE.