SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

December 12, 2008 14:58 ET

Peter and Valerie Kompaniez Honored With American Diabetes Association's Distinguished Service Achievement Award

Peter & Valerie Kompaniez Receive Ross Hickey Award for Outstanding Service in Diabetes Research Funding

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - December 12, 2008) - The American Diabetes Association, the nation's largest and leading voluntary health organization in the fight against diabetes, announced today that Peter and Valerie Kompaniez of Huntington Beach, California received the Ross Hickey Award for Outstanding Service in Diabetes Research Funding at the Association's Community Volunteer Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting on November 23 in Tampa, Florida.

Named after Ross V. Hickey, Jr., this award is given to individuals who significantly impact the funding of diabetes research through targeted fund-raising efforts and/or direct gifts.

"The American Diabetes Association is pleased to present this esteemed award to Peter and Valerie Kompaniez," stated R. Stewart Perry, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. "Their contributions to the diabetes community directly supports Association's mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people living with diabetes."

Peter and Valerie Kompaniez have demonstrated a strong commitment to the funding of diabetes research. Valerie started participating with the American Diabetes Association eight years ago, when she signed up for Southern California's Tour de Cure. Through Tour de Cure, Valerie and Peter have contributed more than $350,000 to support Association's mission. Additionally, Valerie's involvement is not limited to Tour de Cure, as she has played an active role in the Orange County Community Leadership Board.

Earlier this year, the Kompaniezes decided that they wanted to significantly increase their support of diabetes research by pledging a gift of $1,000,000 to the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation. This generous gift will fund four researchers, Drs. Benoist, Gardner, Hutton and Sherwin, whose projects focus on complications in type 1 diabetes. Christophe Benoist, MD, PhD, of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, is the principal investigator of the American Diabetes Association Mentor-Based Postdoctoral Fellowship Award study entitled Immune mechanisms underlying Type-1 diabetes, which focuses on type 1 immunology. Pennsylvania State University researcher Thomas Gardner, MD, will study ocular complications with his American Diabetes Association Research Award study entitled Regulation of Akt activity in diabetic retinopathy. John Hutton, PhD, the principal investigator of the study Autoimmunity towards Zinc transporter 8 (SLC30A8) in human type 1 diabetes, will investigate type 1 immunology at the University of Colorado through his American Diabetes Association Mentor-Based Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. Robert Sherwin, MD, the recipient of an American Diabetes Association Research Award, will examine type 1 immunology at Yale University in his study entitled The role of RegII, a new islet-derived autoantigen in the development of T1DM.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. Diabetes is growing at an alarming rate with nearly 24 million children and adults living with this disease and another 57 million Americans at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Colleen Fogarty
    703-549-1500 ext. 2146