Francine R. Kaufman, M.D.


Francine R. Kaufman, M.D. was the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Global Regulatory, Clinical, and Medical Affairs at Medtronic Diabetes, from 2009 to the end of 2018, where she led efforts for new product development, clinical evaluation and global regulatory approval, as well as value-based health care.  She developed the strategy and executed the clinical trials that allowed for the approval of the first “artificial pancreas” for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in 2016.

Dr. Kaufman is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at the Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California.  She has been a faculty member of USC since 1980. She is an attending physician at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she served as Director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center through the 1990s, prior to becoming head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism from 2001-2009. Dr. Kaufman continues to see patients in the Comprehensive Diabetes Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  

Her research focus has been type 1 and 2 diabetes, and obesity, as well as other endocrine and metabolic disorders. She has authored over 260 peer-reviewed and invited articles, and 40 books and book chapters, including Diabesity (Bantam, 2005), The Medical Management of Type 1 Diabetes, edition 4 and 5 (American Diabetes Association, 2008), The Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring Book: For Patients, Parents and Caregivers, editions 1 and 2 (American Diabetes Association, 2017) and Rhythms (a novel) (CKI Publisher, 2015).  

Dr. Kaufman has been funded by both governmental and private foundations and organizations.  She was funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than two decades.  She chaired the multi-center NIH-sponsored TODAY and HEALTHY Studies evaluating the treatment options for type 2 diabetes in youth and the effects of instituting a healthy middle school environment on youth obesity and diabetes risk.  From 1993 through 2010, she was principal investigator in the multi-center NIH-funded trials looking to prevent and understand the natural history of type 1 diabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Trial and TrialNet. In 2009 -2012, she served on the Advisory Council of the Diabetes Branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH).  In addition, she has received research funding from the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, other major non-profit organizations and industry.

Dr. Kaufman has served in leadership positions in a variety of organizations.  She was national president of the American Diabetes Association from 2002-2003. She was President of Shaping America’s Health, Chair of the National Diabetes Education Program, and she served as Chair of the Youth Consultative Section of the International Diabetes Federation, as well as co-writing and co-developing many of the IDF’s Standards of Care.. In 2007, she was Co-Chair of the Diabetes Work Group for the Department of Health Services of the State of California to recommend diabetes treatment and prevention strategies for the Medicaid population. She served an advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver and was appointed to the LA County Task Force on Children and Youth Physical Fitness and the California Obesity Prevention Task force.  She was a Delegate to the 55th WHO Assembly, accompanying then Secretary of HHS, Tommy Thompson. She was recognized by the California State Senate for her work in banning sodas in LA Unified School District (2004).  She has been elected an honorary member of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (2018).

Dr. Kaufman has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2005, Dr. Kaufman was elected a member in the National Association of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science. She has been honored by organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Association of Diabetes Educators, International Diabetes Federation, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, National Diabetes Education Program, Partners in Care Foundation, Association of Medical Writers, California Medical Center, Barbara Davis Center of the University of Colorado, and California Center for Public Health Advocacy. She was appointed by Congress as a Local Legend with the American Woman’s Medical Association.  

She has created products and businesses which improve the health of vulnerable populations. She developed the KidsNFitness Program for youth obesity which has been offered by multiple entities over 20 years.  She developed Extend Bar and Extend Snacks to help stabilize glucose levels in people with diabetes and during exercise. She is a co-founder of Canary Health, a leading provider of digital health self-management programs that prevent the progression of chronic disease.  After becoming a grandmother, she began blogging about The Changed Paradigms of Grammahood (; The Albright Institute and Wellesley College blog The Spoke, 2018).  In 2009, she received Telly and CINE awards for starring in and authoring the Discovery Health Documentary highlighting the worldwide diabetes epidemic, Diabetes: The Global Epidemic

She has led multiple international health efforts (e.g., Mongolia, China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Haiti) and has been the medical director of diabetes camps for over 30 years in Southern California, and in Ecuador and Haiti.  She has mentored and taught a vast network of international endocrinologists.

For her formal education and training, Dr. Kaufman attended Northwestern University (BA, 1969-1972) and Chicago Medical School (MD, 1972-1976, graduated Valedictorian) and did her post-graduate training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (1976-1980, pediatric internship, residency, and endocrinology & metabolism fellowship).