Dr. Dana Dabelea is the Conrad M. Riley Endowed Professor of epidemiology, professor of pediatrics, and director of the Lifecurse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Dabelea has focused on the rising rate of type 2 diabetes in youth, and is the author of one of the first papers to highlight this trend. Originally from Romania, she trained as a physician diabetologist, completed a clinical science PhD, and then went on to spend two years of postdoctoral studies at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) where she focused on diabetes research among the Pima Indians. It was there that she became interested in the rising rates of type 2 diabetes, particularly in youth. Dr. Dabelea's research looking at diabetes during pregnancy led her to believe that a life course approach to diabetes with a specific focus on pediatric diabetes, could increase the likelihood of identifying early risk factors for the disease, as well as its progression, before chronic complications can develop.