Mary Tyler Moore Praises Appointment of Alan J. Lewis as Pres, CEO of JDRF

Mary Tyler Moore Praises Appointment of Alan J. Lewis, PhD, as President & CEO of JDRF

William J. Ahearn, (212) 479-7531
Leslie Schwartz, (212) 479-7553

New York, NY, December 9, 2008 — Mary Tyler Moore, International Chairman of JDRF, said today that the appointment of Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., as JDRF’s President and Chief Executive Officer reinforces the organization’s unwavering commitment to taking the lead and doing all it can to keep its promise: to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications, ASAP.

“Speaking not only on behalf of the foundation, but as someone who has dealt firsthand with the challenges, the worry, and the pain that type 1 diabetes presents, I am gratified to have someone with Dr. Lewis’ experience, expertise, and commitment-to-a-cure leading JDRF,” Ms. Moore said.  “I’ve waited a very long time for a cure.  Combining the determination of JDRF families and the scientific advances created by over three decades of JDRF research leadership with Alan’s proven bio-tech entrepreneurial skills makes me more optimistic than ever that a world without diabetes is achievable — for ourselves, our loved ones and everyone personally affected.”

Ms. Moore was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 30 years old.  She has served as the International Chairman of JDRF for more than two decades. She has been an essential leader in helping JDRF set the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and raising public awareness about the burdens of diabetes and the urgent need for a cure. In her time as International Chairman, JDRF has grown to be the largest non-profit funder of diabetes research world-wide. 

JDRF announced last week that Dr. Lewis has been named President and Chief Executive Officer.  Dr. Lewis has more than 30 years of experience in biomedical research, and comes to JDRF from Novocell, a cell and drug therapy company focused on diabetes, where he is currently President and Chief Executive Officer. 

“My greatest interest has been in helping to drive JDRF’s progress in moving science from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside – translating scientific discoveries into new life-changing therapies and cures to benefit people like me and everyone with and at risk for type 1 diabetes and its complications,” Ms. Moore said.  “Dr. Lewis’s proven success in moving promising research along the path to developing new therapies that can gain FDA approval and be delivered at the point of care of people with Type 1 is what most excites me about his appointment.  I am looking forwarding to working with him.”

Dr. Lewis, who is scheduled to join JDRF in January, noted: “The passion and commitment of all JDRF’s volunteers, donors, and staff to find a cure is a constant, unique motivator for us to do all we can to accelerate the pace of innovation leading to a cure.  And Mary Tyler Moore’s leadership and support in this cause has been just remarkable, and will continue to be critical to our success.” 


About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.