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Professor Roman Hovorka wins prestigious award at Europe’s largest diabetes conference

Professor Roman Hovorka, who JDRF has funded since 2006 to develop hybrid closed loop (HCL) technology, has won this year’s EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence.
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Kate Lawton 4 October 2023
Aaron Kowalski (JDRF International CEO), Karen Addington (JDRF UK CEO) and Professor Roman Hovorka at EASD conference

Aaron Kowalski (JDRF International CEO), Karen Addington (JDRF UK CEO) and Professor Roman Hovorka

The EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence is awarded each year to a world-leading diabetes researcher from any country. This year’s winner is Professor Roman Hovorka from the University of Cambridge.

Why did Professor Hovorka win the award?

Roman was awarded this year’s prize at Europe’s largest diabetes conference, EASD, for his influential contributions to diabetes technology. With JDRF funding, he developed the world’s first licensed, downloadable HCL app for people with type 1 diabetes. Launched in 2020, the CamAPS FX app, allows the user’s insulin pump to deliver insulin in response to blood glucose readings from their continuous glucose monitor. Roman’s revolutionary approach to type 1 diabetes management continues to improve the lives of many people with type 1.

Continued funding for HCL

The award comes with prize money to fund Roman’s HCL research for up to five years. This will allow him to advance HCL technology and explore the potential for fully closed loop systems, which wouldn’t require any input or adjustments from the user.

Professor Hovorka’s JDRF-funded research

Thanks to JDRF and our supporters, Roman developed a complex algorithm to automatically deliver insulin to people with type 1. With our ongoing funding, he led several trials of his HCL model, gathering evidence that people with type 1 as young as one year old benefit from HCL technology under a wide range of conditions.

Learn more about JDRF-funded hybrid closed loop research.

Award ceremony

Karen Addington (CEO of JDRF UK) and Rachel Connor (Director of Research Partnerships) attended the ceremony where Professor Hovorka was awarded the esteemed prize.

Karen said: “I am absolutely delighted that Roman has won this award. I remember the excitement of the early days when JDRF first funded Roman’s work in 2006 as part of our first international closed loop consortium. The idea of a closed loop system seemed like science fiction at the time, but Roman and his team have exceeded all our expectations in creating a brilliantly effective closed loop system and making it available for people with type 1 diabetes. Congratulations Roman.”

Find out more about the NICE Technology Appraisal of hybrid closed loop technology.

Previous JDRF-funded award winner

Professor Hovorka isn’t the first UK-based JDRF-funded researcher to win the Prize for Excellence, demonstrating the strength of UK type 1 diabetes research. In 2021, Professor John Todd from the University of Oxford won the prestigious award for his research into the genetics and disease mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes. Thanks to our dedicated supporters, we are able to fund the very best internationally recognised diabetes researchers.

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