November 06, 2017

From November 1 – 4, 2017 Diabetes Canada and the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (CSEM) hosted their 20th annual Professional Conference and Annual Meetings in Edmonton at the Shaw Centre. At the event, they honoured health-care professionals whose work has made a significant impact in the areas of diabetes research, management or care.

“Diabetes Canada is proud to honour the work of our outstanding health-care providers,” says Jovita Sundaramoorthy, vice president, research and education at Diabetes Canada. “Each of our honourees has made a significant impact on the lives of people living with diabetes in our country and those who love and support them.”

Among the top awards presented were:


The Lifetime Achievement Award – Jean-Louis Chiasson, MD (Montreal)

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Canadian achievement for a lifetime commitment to research excellence.  Dr. Chiasson is full professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.  He is Head of the Research Group on Diabetes and Metabolic Regulation at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM).  He also was Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism from 2003 to 2010.  He is being recognized for his contribution to our understanding of the hormonal regulation of glucose turnover in health and diabetes and his involvement in clinical trials on the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its vascular complications.  He was the principal investigator of the STOP-NIDDM trial.  His scientific contribution puts him in the prestigious club of the top 100 most cited authors in the world in the field of diabetes.

"I suggested Dr J-L Chiasson for this prestigious award because his contributions to a better understanding of diabetes pathophysiology, type 2 diabetes prevention as well as cardiovascular complications of type 2 is outstanding. In each of these fields he was able to bring very significant contributions which impact our understanding of the disease and treatment decisions. Dr. Chiasson also trained a large pool of clinical scientists, further contributing to the understanding of diabetes. Finally, Dr. Chiasson took care of a large pool of patients with diabetes all along his career, I wish some of them could come and testify how much he was able to use his scientific knowledge to provide high level patient care. Diabetes Canada prize will thus highlight an exceptional carrier." Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) Université de Montréal


Diabetes Educator of the Year – Sherri Pockett, RN, CDE (Winnipeg)

The Diabetes Educator of the Year recognizes a Diabetes Canada Professional Member who has made special contributions to diabetes education through dedication, sensitivity and innovation in the daily practice of patient education and care. Sherri Pockett is an endocrinology nurse clinician and Certified Diabetes Educator at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg. She is being honoured for her ongoing commitment to working with people living with diabetes over more than 20 years. Pockett herself lives with type 1 diabetes and feels especially passionate about her work in supporting those who are affected by the disease. In her role as insulin pump trainer she regularly travels to remote areas of Manitoba to work with pump patients to ensure they understand how to effectively manage their diabetes with this technology. She is an active member of the local Diabetes Education Section and a dedicated professional volunteer for Diabetes Canada.

 “It has been incredible to watch Sherri embrace the opportunity to better the lives of people living with diabetes, to provide guidance, care, education and knowledge, as well as compassion and understanding for those affected by the disease.Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Winnipeg 


Young Scientist Award – Gregory Steinberg, PhD (Hamilton)

The Diabetes Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Nutrition Metabolism and Diabetes Young Scientist Award recognizes outstanding research conducted in Canada by young scientists in the field of diabetes. At McMaster University Dr. Gregory Steinberg is a professor of medicine, Canada Research Chair in Metabolism, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and holds the J. Bruce Duncan Chair in Metabolic Diseases. As well, he is the co-director of the Metabolism and Childhood (MAC) Obesity research program. He is being honoured for his research contributions to the understanding of how lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity and energy sensing are linked and contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

"Dr. Steinberg’s relatively short but incredibly productive research career indicate that he is one of the pre-eminent diabetes researchers in the world and his outstanding aptitude for scientific discovery and innovation is likely to have a tremendous impact on the health of all Canadians and in particular those with diabetes.  He is most deserving of this award." - Dr. Jason Dyck, University of Alberta


Gerald S. Wong Service Award – I. George Fantus, MD (Toronto)

The Gerald S. Wong Service Award is given to a physician in recognition of a significant contribution to the diabetes community. Dr. Fantus is a professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Toronto and Endocrinologist at the Sinai Health System/University Health Network. He is a Senior Scientist at Toronto General Research Institute and Associate Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai and is Director of the Core Laboratory of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto. His research interests are focused on the Complications of Diabetes, such as kidney disease and the mechanisms of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. He has served as Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism as well as Associate Dean of Research at the University of Toronto.

"Dr. George Fantus has made an exceptional contribution to the Canadian diabetes community through his impactful research and leadership roles at Diabetes Canada over the years." - Dr. Alice Cheng, Trillium Health Partners and St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. 

To learn more about the Diabetes Canada/CSEM Professional Conference, please visit

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:

  • Educational programs and support services;
  • 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).


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Krista Lamb
Communication Manager
Diabetes Canada
Office: 416-408-7088
Mobile: 416-432-1266

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