Francine R. Kaufman, MD

One of America’s foremost pediatric endocrinologists, Francine R. Kaufman, MD, is a director, volunteer faculty member and former head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. In May 2009, Dr. Kaufman became chief medical officer and vice president of Global Diabetes for Medtronic, Inc. Dr. Kaufman is also distinguished emerita professor of Pediatrics and Communications at the Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School of Communications of the University of Southern California. Dr. Kaufman continues to see patients as an attending physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Kaufman was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies at its annual meeting in October 2005 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and is board-certified in pediatric endocrinology and metabolism.

Dr. Kaufman has published more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, as well as more than 90 other articles (non peer-reviewed). She is the author of more than 40 book chapters and books. In 2005, her book, Diabesity, was published by Bantam to critical acclaim. Cable News Network’s Wolf Blitzer has said of the book, “Incredibly important…Francine Kaufman will save lives.” James R. Gavin, MD, PhD, chair of the National Diabetes Education Program, has said, “A compelling combination of medical insight and Fran Kaufman’s special passion for ways to prevent this devastating epidemic.” Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, author of “Food Fight” and Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, has said, “A gem…coupling insightful analysis with creative recommendations for what might be done.”

Dr. Kaufman was Chair of the National Institutes of Health(NIH) Funded Studies to Treat (the TODAY Trial) or Prevent (the HEALTHY trial) Type 2 Diabetes in Youth (STOPP-T2). She was a principal investigator of TrialNet, a multinational consortium evaluating ways to prevent Type 1 diabetes, funded by the NIH. Her research interests include Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Type 2 diabetes, galactosemia, bone mineralization, ambiguous genitalia, patterns of growth hormone secretion and growth failure, androgen metabolism in human skin, endocrine manifestations of childhood AIDS, optic nerve hypoplasia/septo optic dysplacia, and hypopituitarism and homocysteine metabolism.

Dr. Kaufman, who has been funded by the NIH since 1980, has received more than 45 grants and contracts from the federal government, as well as from corporations and foundations.

She holds patents on numerous intellectual properties and is the inventor of Extend Bar and Extend Products (Clinical Products, Ltd.).

Dr. Kaufman has been active with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) at the local, state and national levels:

  • ADA Los Angeles Chapter, including service on the professional and patient education committee (1985-present); board of directors (1986-present; president, 1988-1990); caper committee (1986-present); and fundraising committee (1990-present).
  • ADA California Affiliate, including service on the public seminar committee (1985-present); and board of directors (1988-present; executive committee 1991-present; president, 1996-1997).
  • ADA National, including service on the scientific advisory group (1997-present; program committee (1997-present); board of directors (1993-1996; 2000); Task Force on Health Care Reform (chair, 1993-1995); Task Force on Signature Advocacy (chair, 1993-1994); Public Policy Leadership Forum (chair, 1995-1996); Professional Education Project Team (1999-present); Task Force on Schools (2002-2003); and Nominating Committee (2003-2004).
  • Dr. Kaufman was president of the American Diabetes Association in 2002-2003.

In 2002, Dr. Kaufman was appointed by Tommy Thompson as a delegate to the World Health Organization Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. She has been active on various committees of the NIH. She is chair of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young Study Trial (2003).

Dr. Kaufman has served on numerous state and federal committees, including as a delegate to the California Task Force on Childhood Obesity. She chaired the Los Angeles County Task Force on Children and Youth Physical Fitness (2002), and she was a California delegate to the Healthy School Summit in Washington, D.C. (2003). She served as co-chair of Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative Workgroup for the Department of Health Services of California and was appointed to the Legislative Task Force on Diabetes and Obesity for the California Legislature in 2007.

Dr. Kaufman has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The Woman of Valor Award (2003) from the American Diabetes Association; the Banting Medal (2003) from the American Diabetes Association; and the Albert Renold Award (2003) from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (2003). Dr. Kaufman received the 2006 Mathies Award for Vision & Excellence in Healthcare Leadership from the Partners in Care Foundation on May 3, 2006. The Mathies Award is presented each year by the Partners in Care Foundation to recognize a “…courageous and creative leader…” in healthcare administration and policy whose dedication and accomplishments are a model for others to emulate in changing the shape of healthcare.

She was recognized by the California State Senate for her work in banning soda in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a member of the Coordinated School Health Program Task Force for Los Angeles Unified School District in 2004. In 2004, she was appointed by Congress as a Local Legend with the American Woman’s Medical Association and honored by the National Diabetes Education Program for leadership in Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel, DC, 2005.

In 2006, she received the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Women You Should Know Award, after being their distinguished alumni in 2001. In 2008, she received the Starlight Starbright Foundation Humanitarian Award, and also the Medical Humanitarian Award from the California Medical Center. In 2009, after writing, editing and hosting the Discovery Health documentary, “Diabetes: The Global Epidemic,” she received a Telly Award and CINE.

She has been recognized numerous times by the Juvenile Research Foundation International: in 2009, the Los Angeles Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2010, the Vision Award from the San Antonio Chapter. In addition, in 2009, she was given the Pacesetter Award from Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, and in 2010, she received the American Association of Diabetes Educators Living Legend Award and the Josiah Kirby Lilly Distinguished Service Award from the ADA. In 2011, she delivered the 11th Julio Santiago Memorial Lecture at the Washington University School of Medicine, the McGovern American Medical Writers Award and the California Public Health Advocacy Award.

Dr. Kaufman received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in 1972 and a medical degree from Chicago Medical School in 1976. She served an internship (1976-1977) and residency (1977-1978), as well as a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism (1978-1980) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.