World first achievement in diabetes research

David Simmons portrait

Distinguished Professor David Simmons has become the first ‘diabetes in pregnancy’ researcher to receive three prestigious honours in the field: the Norbert Freinkel Award, Joseph Hoet Award and, most recently, the Jørgen Pederson Award Lecture.

Professor Simmons, from Western Sydney University’s Translational Health Research Institute and Macarthur Clinical School, said that while it was a great honour to receive global recognition of his work, the accolades were simply a reflection of his passion for trying to curb the impact of diabetes on both pregnant women and the community more generally.

“I have seen first-hand the life-changing and devastating effects that poorly managed diabetes can have during pregnancy both for women and our youngest children. This condition demands the best of our research, resources and collaborations and I am honoured to be contributing to finding solutions to reduce the impact of this disease,” said Professor Simmons.

“The impact of diabetes on our community, our ‘diabetes epidemic’, is equally devastating, yet there is hope. I have seen – during more than 30 years as an endocrinologist – community-based solutions work in programs throughout the world and will continue to promote the power of community in combatting this deadly disease.”

For the prestigious Jørgen Pedersen Award, Professor Simmons presented a lecture at the annual meeting of the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Group (DPSG) in Madrid last week. The award is presented to someone chosen by the DPSG Board in recognition of outstanding contributions (including scientific publications and presentations) to the understanding and treatment of diabetes and pregnancy.

In 2020, Professor Simmons was the recipient of American Diabetes Association Norbert Freinkel Award, where he presented the Norbert Freinkel Award Lecture. The lecture is given in memory of Professor Norbert Freinkel to honour a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the field of diabetes and pregnancy.

In addition to these two prestigious ‘diabetes in pregnancy’ awards, Professor Simmons is also the recipient of the Joseph Hoart Award, presented to a leading figure who highly contributes to the field of prevention of diabetes and its complications.

With over 350 peer review publications and research collaborations in Sweden, Europe, UK, USA, New Zealand, China and Australia, Professor Simmons is renowned for instilling in his teams a dedication to achieving results, working in collaboration and ensuring his research can be easily understood by the communities it impacts.

Professor Simmons is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Western Sydney University Macarthur Clinical School, Head of the Campbelltown Hospital Endocrinology Department, Chair of the Campbelltown Hospital Clinical Council, Director of the Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism Translation Unit (DOMTRU) and Co-Director of the Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Academic Group of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE).


20 September 2022

Media Unit