"I've lived with Type 1 diabetes for most of my life and can tell you: It is very challenging and, at times, scary. It shouldn't be as hard as it is."
Having lived with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years, Ann L. Albright, PhD, RDN, has an intimate understanding of the difficult journey people with diabetes often face. As a child, Albright learned from her mother, a registered nurse, how to manage her diabetes and live life to the fullest. "Back then, we didn't have any of the tools or technology we have now," Albright recalls. "I've lived with Type 1 diabetes for most of my life and can tell you: It is very challenging and, at times, scary. It shouldn't be as hard as it is."
As a PhD student, Albright decided to pursue exercise science and devoted her work specifically to diabetes. "I wanted to help those with diabetes feel good and lead active, healthy lives," she says. "Subsequently, I added nutrition to my field of study, since both nutrition and physical activity are critical for diabetes care and Type 2 diabetes prevention."
After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship, Albright became a registered dietitian, leading the diabetes program at the California Department of Health while working part-time in a county clinic. Albright then served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a role she chose as a way to help more people.
Fast-forward to the coalescence of Albright's experience as a researcher, clinician and public health professional: serving as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation. "In this role, I am incredibly fortunate to work with a fantastic team and partners all over the world who inspire me daily," she says. "In all the work I do, my hope is to make the journey easier and better for others with and at-risk for diabetes and their loved ones."
Diabetes patient education and tools haven't always been widely available or easy to understand, but Albright and her team at the CDC are working to change this in the United States and around the world.
Join the Academy
Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics receive exciting benefits including complimentary continuing professional education opportunities, discounts on events and products in eatrightSTORE.org, invitations to exclusive members-only events and more!