Advisory Board of the Diabetes Action Online
Professor Jean Phillipe Assal
Following initial training in intermediary metabolism Dr. Assal studied clinical diabetology and endocrinology as research fellow in Boston for almost four years. In 1975 he opened the Diabetes Treatment & Teaching Unit in the Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Geneva, giving great attention to the prevention of long-term complications such as amputations.
Dr Assal was appointed Professor of Medicine by the University of Geneva Medical School, responsible for the educational approach in therapy of patients with chronic diseases. In 1995 his Unit became the Division of Therapeutic Education for Chronic Diseases.
At the European level Dr. Assal played an important role in instigating the awareness of therapeutic patient education and in the global integrated approach in not only diabetes care but in other long-standing illnesses such as asthma, back pain, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, etc. Dr. Assal works on the implementation of an educational approach by HCPs in the field of therapeutic patient education. He was one of the co-founders of the Diabetes Education Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Dr. Assal continues to work in close collaboration with the World Health Organisation. In 1983 his division became a WHO Collaborating Centre for ‘Reference & Research in the field of Education & Long-Term Follow-Up Strategies for Chronic Diseases.’ This allowed him to gain great experience of the various health care systems and approaches to chronic patients in many different countries.
Over the years, Dr Assal has also organized various expert consultations like the international congress entitled "Patient Education 2000" and produced expert reports for WHO in the area of patient education and the long term follow up of chronic disease.
Dr Assal retired as Chief of the Division of Therapeutic Education for Chronic Diseases in September 2003, but remains the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre.
He is also a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross.