Announcing Speakers and Panelists for 2020 Bay Area Diabetes Summit

The 2020 Bay Area Diabetes Summit promises to be better than ever! With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping throughout the world, this year’s summit will look somewhat different from past years’ summits. Due to current Shelter-in-Place regulations, this year’s Summit will be held virtually on April 26, 2020. What won’t change is the excellence of our speakers, the relevance of our program offerings, the opportunities for education, and the sense of community and togetherness of the diabetes community.

We are pleased to announce our lineup of speakers and panelists. They include some of the diabetes world’s most prominent researchers, caregivers, educators, and advocates:


Melissa Lee

Melissa Lee is a long-time blogger, patient advocate, and diabetes thought leader. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10 in 1990, she is known for her extensive firsthand knowledge of diabetes technology and for her role as a community leader in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). She currently works at diabetes data nonprofit Tidepool, has served on two diabetes nonprofit boards and led Diabetes Hands Foundation as its Executive Director throughout 2015 after the departure of its founder. Melissa’s technology reviews as former Tech Editor of ASweetLife online magazine, as well as on her personal blog Sweetly Voiced, have helped thousands of people with diabetes consider how to integrate devices into their treatment plans.

Dr. Heather Walker

Heather Walker, PhD, works as a social scientist at University of Utah Heath where she uses SenseMaker and other research tools to answer healthcare and health system related inquiries. She holds a PhD in Disability Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research areas include narrative and metanarratives, online health communities, politicization of diabetes and illness, diabetes communities, peer support in diabetes, and health systems. Walker has extensive experiencing using qualitative methods and frameworks like netnography, participatory action research, focus groups, and interviewing, and some experience with quantitative methods as well.

Dr. Matthias Hebrok

is the Hurlbut-Johnson Distinguished Professor in Diabetes Research and Director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). His laboratory has made seminal contributions to our understanding of how embryonic signals control the fetal development of the pancreas and its insulin-producing beta cells. His recent work has implemented the information gained from these studies to generate functional beta cells from human stem cell populations for cell therapy purposes. In collaboration with colleagues at UCSF, he has also developed differentiation conditions that allow for the generation of functional thymic epithelial cells from human stem cells with the intent of regulating immune responses in autoimmune diseases, including T1D.

Dr. Everett Meyer

Everett Meyer, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and practicing physician scientist in blood and marrow transplantation with a research focus in immune tolerance and cellular immunotherapy. He is a recipient of the JDRF Career Development Award and co-director of the Stanford Diabetes Research Center Diabetes Immune Monitoring Core and Immunology Affinity Group.

Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone

Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, is the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor in Metabolism and Endocrinology and the former director of the UCSF Diabetes Center. He is currently the director of the Immune Tolerance Network. Dr. Bluestone is renowned as a world leader in autoimmunity and transplantation immunology. He is committed to the development of novel clinical applications in immune tolerance and has been an important catalyst for recent progress in islet cell transplantation for treating type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Diana Naranjo

Diana Naranjo, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University. As a trained pediatric and adult psychologist working in behavioral medicine, Dr. Naranjo focuses on the psychosocial needs of patients and families with diabetes. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a part of both the diabetes care team and cystic fibrosis care team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Together with the team, she aims to understand barriers and facilitators to care, work toward an integrative mental health screening program, understand what developmental demands are important as adolescents transition to adulthood, and how to best provide services that engage youth and their families.

Leela Hunter, MFT

Leela Hunter, MFT, is an experienced psychotherapist with a specialty in treating Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Mood disorders. Skilled in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Psychodynamic Therapy and Humanistic Psychology. In addition to her private practice, she is also the Director of Clinical Psychology Services at The Advanced Physical Medicine and Rehab Group in Oakland where she conducts Chronic Pain Group Therapy and meet with clients individually.

Dr. Rayhan Lal

Rayhan Lal, MD, is an adult and pediatric endocrinologist at Stanford. He has had type 1 diabetes for several decades. His two sisters were enrolled in DPT-1, and were found to be antibody positive. While studying engineering and computer science at U.C. Berkeley, his two younger sisters developed type 1 diabetes. To help all his brothers and sisters with diabetes, he decided to pursue clinical medicine at the University of California, Davis. As an engineer and physician-scientist with diabetes, his primary research interest is the design, development and testing of new diabetes technology and therapies. To that end, Rayhan has been working with Dr. Bruce Buckingham at Stanford on a number of projects. He is a fervent supporter of #wearenotwaiting.

Joseph Moran

Joe Moran is a retired engineer and a DIY techie. Diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic as a late teen, he had to learn to inject insulin while living on his own attending college. He survived the ordeal and went on to earn degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin. He held lead engineering positions at IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Sun Microsystems before co-founding Legato Systems. He retired early to homeschool his three sons and work with multiple charitable organizations & angel investments. Joe has been using a wide variety insulin pumps over the past two decades and CGMs before they were even viable. He has been using Loop since the very day when he learned of its existence and the DIY Omnipod effort in late 2016. Since then he has been working mostly behind the scenes to make Loop support for Omnipod a reality.

Karen Jordan

The 11:00 am panel discussion will be moderated by Karen Jordan. Karen is a founding board member of Carb DM and serves on JDRF’s International Board and the T1D Fund Board. She also serves as President of JDRF’s Greater Bay Area Chapter Board. She is a member of JDRF’s Research and Finance committees and research speakers program. Most importantly, she is mom to Ali who was diagnosed in 2008 at age 13.


We are excited to welcome all of our speakers and panelists on April 26. Register for the 2020 Bay Area Diabetes Summit today!

One response to “Announcing Speakers and Panelists for 2020 Bay Area Diabetes Summit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *