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The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) presented awards to more than 20 researchers and health-care professionals at their 19th annual Professional Conference and Annual Meetings in Ottawa. The awards honour those in the health-care field whose work has made a significant impact in the areas of diabetes research, management or care.

“The CDA congratulates all of our professional award winners,” says Jovita Sundaramoorthy, vice president, research and education. “We are proud to honour all of our recipients for their outstanding contributions, which help support improved treatment and care for people living with diabetes across Canada.”

This year’s award recipients span across several different professional expertise including those who have been working in the area of diabetes for more than 30 years to those who are in the earlier stages of their diabetes career.

Among the top awards presented were:

The Lifetime Achievement Award – Lawrence A. Leiter, MD (Toronto)

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Canadian achievement for a lifetime commitment to research excellence. Dr. Leiter is director of the Lipid Clinic; associate director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factors Modification Centre; and associate scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, where he was also the head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 2000-2010. He is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is being honoured for his long-standing work as an endocrinologist and researcher, including his work on many landmark diabetes trials. He is also a past chair of the CDA’s Clinical and Scientific Section.

Diabetes Educator of the Year – Sondra Sherman, CDE (Montreal)

The Diabetes Educator of the Year recognizes a CDA Professional Section member who has made special contributions to diabetes education through dedication, sensitivity and innovation in the daily practice of patient education and care.  Sondra Sherman has worked at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal for 37 years and is a long-time certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian. Sondra is a tireless champion for diabetes education and awareness in Canada who has lectured locally and nationally and contributed to publications and books. She is known for her positive and motivating education style and for her belief that each person living with diabetes has a unique story and situation that must be considered. She has volunteered with the CDA since 1989 and has run with Team Diabetes since 2008, walking full marathons in Rome, Barcelona and New York, and returns yearly to walk to the Ottawa Marathon with her now 81-year-old patient.

Young Scientist Award – James (Jim) Johnson, PhD (Vancouver)

The Young Scientist Award recognizes outstanding research conducted in Canada by young scientists in the field of diabetes.  Jim Johnson is currently professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences and the Department of Surgery at UBC, and Leader of the Life Sciences Institute Diabetes Research Group. An expert in the fundamental biology of diabetes and related conditions, he is the author of more than 110 peer-reviewed articles since 2000. His research focuses on multiple themes, including: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, neuroscience, pancreatic cancer, and longevity.

Gerald S. Wong Service Award – Irene Hramiak, MD (London)

The Gerald S. Wong Service Award is given to a physician in recognition of a significant contribution to the diabetes community. Dr. Hramiak is a professor of medicine at Western University in London, Ontario. She is the chair/chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Western University. She is the current Department of Medicine site chief at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She has been involved in many significant diabetes research studies, focused on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

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Region: National

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