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JDRF names new CEO

Derek Rapp to lead diabetes research charity

The type 1 diabetes research charity JDRF has announced a change of leadership with the appointment of Derek Rapp as CEO.

The choice is a change of direction for Rapp, who was most recently mergers and acquisitions lead for the chemical firm Monsanto Company and has served as CEO of the start-up biotech Divergence.

He now finds himself at the helm of the largest research organisation trying to develop treatment options for type 1 diabetes. The move is not a complete surprise, however, as Rapp has been involved with the JDRF for some years since his son Turner was diagnosed with the condition in 2004.

“Derek has been a successful CEO of a biotechnology start-up, and recently served as a senior executive of a complicated, global biotechnology business,” said John Brady, chairman of the JDRF's board of directors.

“He combines a strong understanding of what JDRF needs at this pivotal time with the kind of managerial intellect we believe will ensure a seamless transition.”

Rapp replaces Jeffrey Brewer who announced his departure on Facebook.

Brewer's status update said: “New JDRF Board Chair notified me on Friday [July 18] that they'd like to go in a different leadership direction. So my role in the fight against T1D will necessarily change.”

“However, I'll still be committed to our shared mission. I'm proud to say I leave JDRF better positioned to pursue our mission. It's been an honour to lead JDRF, an organisation indispensable to the T1D community.”

Brady described Brewer as a “transformational CEO” whose work means the JDRF is “on the verge of life-changing breakthroughs”.

“His relentless passion to drive our artificial pancreas programme has truly earned him the moniker 'Father of the Artificial Pancreas',” added Brady, referencing the JDRF's work in researching a replacement pancreas to deliver insulin in people with type 1 diabetes.

22nd July 2014

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