5 Women Making Strides in Diabetes Care and Advocacy in 2023

Women’s History Month may be over, but that doesn’t mean we should stop raising awareness about important women in STEM that are making a difference today and every day.

To continue honoring these achievements, we’ve gathered a list of 5 women currently shaping a new paradigm for diabetes care and advocacy.

Dr. Denise Faustman

Source: Healthline

Dr. Denise Faustman wears various hats within the healthcare industry, including Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and the Director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

She has also made a massive impact within the diabetes community through her research to find a cure to type 1 diabetes. In a study utilizing the drug CFA, she was able to cure rats of type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Faustman hopes to bring her research to a larger scale through more testing and development, with a goal of eventually finding cure for type 1 diabetes.

Tracey D. Brown


Source: LinkedIn

Tracey Brown lives with type 2 diabetes herself and served as the former CEO of the American Diabetes Association from 2018 to 2021.

She is both the first Black woman and the first person with diabetes to hold this honorable position. Originally, her career started in research and development at Proctor & Gamble.

In 2022, Tracy was recognized by Forbes in their “Next CEO” list for her admirable work in the diabetes community, along with her overall success in other roles such as the Chief Customer Officer at the Walgreens Boots Alliance. Brown serves as a key role model for women of color in STEM.

Yeaseul Park

CEO and Co-Founder of Orange Biomed, Yeaseul Park is testing OBM rapid A1c, the world’s first glycated hemoglobin analyzer through single-cell analysis of red blood cells.

Her team, based out of Duke University, developed this device with a vision of providing accurate, unbiased test results for all patient demographics, anywhere in the world.

In 2023, Yeaseul was recently listed in Forbes Korea’s 30 Under 30 for Social Impact in recognition of the potential impact the technology could have on the global diabetes epidemic.

Dana Lewis

Source: Artificial Pancreas Book

As the creator of OpenAPS, one of the first open-source homemade “artificial pancreas” systems, Dana has made a massive impact on diabetes patients. These “DIY” systems are designed to automatically adjust an insulin pump’s basal insulin delivery to keep blood glucose (BG) in a safe range overnight and between meals. According to her research, this means that “#OpenAPS and other DIY closed loop users experience fewer highs, less severe lows, and more “time in range,” creating an easy and safe way to help diabetes patients monitor their levels.

Along with this research and creation, she has spent many years writing blogs and peer-reviewed papers. As an important woman in STEM, Dana’s DIY work is so powerful, it is changing how many well-known diabetes associations create their products.

Dr. Nicole Johnson

Source: Nicole Johnson

In 1999,Nicole Johnson was crowned as Miss America. At the time she shocked the crowd by appearing on stage with an insulin pump – something that had never been done before.

Now, Nicole is known worldwide as an advocate and inspiration to the diabetes community. She co-hosted the D-Life TV show, gained her doctorate in public health, has written various diabetes-focused books, and was even VP of Science and Healthcare for the ADA.

The list above provides just a few examples of women making a difference in the diabetes community today, including a few women of color in STEM. Thank you to all of the leaders helping to define a better future for people with diabetes.