Programme Committee

The World Diabetes Congress 2015 Vancouver Programme Committee is composed of the following members:

Programme Committee Chair

 Bernard Zinman is Director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and holds the Sam and Judy Pencer Family Chair in Diabetes Research at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada. He is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr Zinman was Director of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre (1993-2000) and is involved with diabetes care and research at both national and international levels. Dr Zinman is the Principal Investigator of the University of Toronto Centre and Vice Chair for the DCCT/EDIC (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications) study. Dr Zinman completed his medical degree at McGill University, where he also received his postgraduate training in internal medicine. He undertook further training at the University of Toronto in Endocrinology.

Dr Zinman has authored more than 400 publications in national and international journals, and over 60 book chapters and editorials. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Charles H. Best Medal for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Diabetes (awarded to the DCCT Investigators), the Alois Beringer Lecture Award, the Frederick G. Banting Award and the Gerald S. Wong Service Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). In 2006, Dr Zinman received the American Diabetes Association’s Outstanding Physician Clinician Award. In 2009, Dr Zinman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Novartis Prize in Diabetes. In 2011, Dr Zinman was appointed to the Order of Canada, in recognition of his achievements in diabetes patient care and research.

His main research interests include the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus, the development of new therapies for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetes in Aboriginal communities and studies directed at the prevention of diabetes.

Stream Lead, Basic and Clinical Science

Steven Kahn, MB, ChB, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington, Seattle. Additionally, he is Director of the Diabetes Research Centre at the University of Washington.

Dr Kahn received his medical school training at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He did fellowships in endocrinology and metabolism with the Diabetes and Endocrine Research Group in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition at the University of Washington. Dr Kahn’s research interests include the role of beta-cell function in the pathogenesis and treatment of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. He has performed physiological studies characterising beta-cell function in individuals with diabetes and those at increased risk and is an active participant in a number of large multicentre clinical trials in which interventions are being tested to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Aside from his clinical studies, he has an extensive basic research programme examining the role of islet amyloid in the loss of beta-cells in type 2 diabetes.

Among his numerous awards for his research are the Novartis Young Investigator in Diabetes Award, American Diabetes Association Distinguished Clinical Scientists Award, The Endocrine Society Clinical Investigator Award and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs John B. Barnwell Award. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians, and currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications. He has published more than 400 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and numerous reviews and book chapters related to his research.

Stream Lead, Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples

Malcolm King, a Member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, is a health researcher at Simon Fraser University, joining the Faculty of Health Sciences in September 2012. In his career in pulmonary research, beginning at McGill University and then at the University of Alberta, Dr King has developed new approaches to treat mucus clearance dysfunction in chronic lung disease, and is now working on addressing issues in airborne disease transmission, as well as research aimed at dealing with the respiratory health inequities facing Aboriginal people.

At the University of Alberta, he served as Chair of the Aboriginal Healthcare Careers Committee from 1993 to 2009. This training programme has graduated more than 70 health professionals. Dr King served as President of the Canadian Thoracic Society in 1999-2000, and from 2000-2004 was a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In his role as Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, he leads the development of a national health research agenda aimed at improving wellness and achieving health equity for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

His achievements have been recognised by the Alberta Lung Association (1999), the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (1999), and the University of Alberta, Board of Governors (2003).

Stream Lead, Education and Integrated Care

Unn-Britt Johansson is Professor in Nursing Science at Sophiahemmet University and at the Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Stockholm, Sweden. She is also Chairman of the Board of Education at Sophiahemmet University and Chairman of the Board of the National Clinical Final Examination of Bachelor’s programmes in Nursing in Sweden.


Professor Johansson has been a registered nurse since 1989, she started her research in 1997 and finished her doctoral degree in 2000 at Karolinska Institutet. Her main research interest is patient education, psychosocial support for persons living with diabetes and development and evaluation of questionnaires. She is a supervisor for several doctoral students. Currently she is also the Programme Leader for the specialist nursing programme in diabetes care (also leading to a Master’s Degree in Nursing Science) at Sophiahemmet University.

Professor Johansson is also a member in the FEND Executive Committee and, since 2013, a member of Diabetes Education Consultative Section (DECS) of the International Diabetes Federation.

Stream Lead, Global Challenges in Health

Gojka Roglic is a medical doctor who trained in clinical diabetology and epidemiology. Having worked in her native Croatia during the 1991-1995 war, she has experience in the management and public health aspects of diabetes in disasters. She joined the World Health Organization in 1999 and her main responsibilities are global numerical estimates of diabetes prevalence, complications and mortality.

Stream Lead, Living with Diabetes

Gordon Bunyan from Australia is a Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) first elected in the 2009-2012 triennium and Chair of the Governance & Membership Committee. Before that, he was the Chair of the IDF Western Pacific Region (2006-2009). Mr Bunyan has been involved in diabetes advocacy for almost as long as he has been living with type 1 diabetes – almost 40 years. He has held positions on the State and National Boards of Diabetes Australia since 1976 as a Vice-President and as honorary legal counsel of the national organisation, is a Director of the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, a delegate to the IDF Western Pacific Region (WPR) Council since 1989, and a member of the IDF Board since 2005.

Gordon's interests are diverse, but in his 25 years of involvement with the international diabetes community, he has focused his attention on management and organisational improvements, research funding as a member of the Executive Committee of the IDF BRIDGES translational research grant programme and providing advice from the perspective of those who live with diabetes every day. His key aim has always been to ensure a balance between the professional, educational, medical, and scientific arms of IDF, and the interests and needs of people with diabetes and those who love them.

As a lawyer he has been called on to work to improve management and governance structures for IDF and the IDF Western Pacific Region and its business operations. One important result has been an increased involvement and representation of people with diabetes in the activities of the Region. He was a member of the Living with Diabetes Stream for the 2006 Congress.

Playing an active role in the development of the Living with Diabetes Stream for the 2015 Vancouver Congress is a welcome return to work which will have a direct impact on the lives of people with diabetes, their loved ones and the teams of professionals dedicated to continuous improvement. 

Stream Lead, Public Health and Epidemiology

Edward Boyko, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington and Staff Physician at VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle. He received his BA degree from Columbia University in 1975 and his MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1979. He completed an internal medicine internship and residency at the University of Chicago in 1982, and fellowship training in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program in Seattle in 1984. He is the former Director of the VA-funded Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (ERIC). He has held several national positions including Associate Editor of the journals Diabetes Care and the American Journal of Epidemiology; former Chair of the NIH Kidney, Nutrition, Obesity, and Diabetes (KNOD) study section; Chair of the ADA Epidemiology and Statistics Interest Group; Member of the ADA Scientific Sessions Planning Committee; Public Health and Epidemiology Deputy Stream Lead for the 2013 World Diabetes Congress held in Melbourne, Australia; and past President of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group.

Dr Boyko’s research programme focuses on the epidemiology type 2 diabetes and its complications, associated metabolic disorders, and obesity. Dr Boyko’s best-known research was conducted in the Japanese American Community Diabetes Study, a prospective study that followed Japanese-American residents of King County, Washington State for 10 years for the development of diabetes and related conditions.

In 2013, he received the Kelly West Award from the American Diabetes Association in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of diabetes epidemiology. In addition to his research interests, he also provides care for a primary care patient panel at VA Puget Sound in Seattle. He has mentored over 50 trainees and junior faculty members over the course of his career. In 2004 he received the University of Washington Medicine Award for Outstanding Mentorship.