Gernot Desoye, PhD, Receives American Diabetes Association’s 2017 Norbert Freinkel Award


Michelle Kirkwood

June 1, 2017

Gernot Desoye, PhD, has been selected to receive the American Diabetes Association® (Association) 2017 Norbert Freinkel Award, given in memory of Norbert Freinkel, a dedicated and insightful investigator and a gifted writer. The Norbert Freinkel Award honors a researcher who has made outstanding contributions, including scientific publications and presentations, to the understanding and treatment of diabetes in pregnancy. Dr. Desoye will be recognized with this honor during the Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions®, June 9-13, 2017, at the San Diego Convention Center, and he will deliver the Norbert Freinkel Award Lecture, “The human placenta in maternal overnutriiton: Friend or foe?,” on Saturday, June 10. 

 Dr. Desoye is Research Director and Associate Professor of Medical Biochemistry in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Medical University of Graz, Austria. Working to understand the regulation of placental glucose and lipid transport, placental metabolism and angiogenesis, his studies have enhanced our understanding of if and how the placenta contributes to fetal overgrowth in diabetes and maternal obesity. In particular the placenta’s molecular and cellular response to fetal signals, resulting in structural and functional adaptations of the placenta to the diabetic environment, was a focus of his more recent work.

 “Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Desoye, for your exceptional work in understanding, treating and preventing gestational diabetes,” said the Association’s President of Health Care and Education Brenda Montgomery, RN, MSHS, CDE ¹. “Your work has provided new understandings of diabetes in pregnancy, as well as vital tools to treat and prevent diabetes in pregnant women around the world.”

 Through clinical research efforts, Dr. Desoye has coordinated a Pan-European, multi-center project on vitamin D and lifestyle intervention (DALI project) to prevent gestational diabetes. He is currently exploring the effects of maternal lifestyle on early placental and fetal development. Dr. Desoye is working to integrate findings from basic and clinical studies to understand maternal-placental-fetal interaction in the context of maternal overnutrition.

 The American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions, to be held June 9-13, 2017, at the San Diego Convention Center, is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care. During the five-day meeting, health care professionals have exclusive access to more than 2,500 original research presentations, participate in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts, and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) credits for educational sessions. The program is grouped into eight interest areas: Acute and Chronic Complications; Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Education and Exercise; Clinical Diabetes/Therapeutics; Epidemiology/Genetics; Immunology/Transplantation; Insulin Action/Molecular Metabolism; Integrated Physiology/Obesity; and Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion. Brenda Montgomery, RN, MSHS, CDE, President of Health Care and Education, will deliver her address on Saturday, June 10, and Alvin C. Powers, MD, President of Medicine and Science, will present his address on Sunday, June 11. Eight abstracts were selected by the Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee to be presented on Tuesday, June 13, in the President’s Oral Session. These abstracts represent important research being conducted in the field of diabetes today. In total, the 2017 Scientific Sessions includes 378 abstracts in 49 oral sessions; 2,152 poster presentations including 50 moderated poster discussions; and 360 published-only abstracts. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on Twitter, #2017ADA.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)

1 Disclosures for Brenda Montgomery. Employer: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Montgomery's role as President, Health Care & Education of the American Diabetes Association (Association) is a voluntary position to which she was elected by the members of the Association in 2015. She continues to recuse herself from any and all discussions, decisions or votes that have or could be perceived as having a conflict of interest with her employer.