DDEA Award Recipient Adam Hulman Builds Interdisciplinary Bridges and Communities

Posted on 31.01.2024

Adam Hulman receives the DDEA Research Education and Networking Award 2024

“I believe that interdisciplinary research will bring us closer to our goal of making a real impact.”

So says Adam Hulman, 36, who has just received the DDEA Research Education and Networking Award 2024. With a background in applied mathematics that shifted into researching diabetes epidemiology, Adam Hulman now focuses on his passion: Data science and machine learning for clinical prediction.

Adam has contributed his expertise to numerous Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy (DDEA) activities. For this, he is given this year’s DDEA Research Education and Networking Award.

“It is a real honour to receive this award because there are so many passionate people and educators behind all of DDEA’s activities,” Adam Hulman says.

Bridging Data Science and Clinical Research

Half a year ago, Adam Hulman established his research group, the Hulman Lab, at Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus after receiving a Data Science Emerging Investigator grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

“Our goal is to integrate different types of data in clinical decision-making, and our projects are mostly focused on predicting cardiovascular disease,” Adam Hulman explains.

The interdisciplinary aspect is especially important for Adam Hulman.

“We are bridging data science and clinical research because we want to develop applications and solutions that can make a real difference in the clinic. When we spot a new method in the data science literature that fulfils a need coming from the clinic, then we can bring new kinds of data into play to make better predictions,” says Adam Hulman.

From Community Member to Community Builder

Since 2015, Adam Hulman has been an enthusiastic member of the Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA, now DDEA) and DDEA community community, participating in numerous events. This eventually led to him taking on more and more active roles in the events, such as speaker and educator.  Soon, Adam began to see how he could draw upon his knowledge to initiate and develop activities.

“I had been part of the community as a participant for many years, and as I became more and more independent researcher and had my own ideas, I thought that there was a gap in the market: We needed more data science or AI events at the DDA,” explains Adam Hulman.

Adam Hulman became one of the driving forces behind the Data Science Spring School in 2022, an event for early-career researchers, focusing on collaboration and interdisciplinary efforts in diabetes research and data science.

“I think it is an important experience for young researchers to have – for clinicians and data scientists to realise that they do not share a common language. But then, as they work together, they get to the point where things start to make sense and they can create something meaningful,” says Adam Hulman.

Now, Adam Hulman leads his own team at the Hulman Lab. As Adam himself says, he likes doing things unconventionally, so he sought different leadership tools, which led him to the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method, a facilitation method that uses LEGO® bricks to create a safe space for discussion about complex topics.

“We use it in many ways. Every other week at a team meeting, we have an award called ‘Bricks of Team Spirit’. The one who received the award last time will build the next award, given to a person who did something good or who maybe needs an energy boost,” explains Adam Hulman.

For Adam Hulman, leadership is not a burden – it is an opportunity to build strong, interdisciplinary research communities.

“I am passionate about how data science can help diabetes research, which can ultimately help people with diabetes. And now I have formed a group working with just that. It motivates me to see the team grow, to develop the people in the group, and to build a good community,” says Adam Hulman.

DDEA’s Managing Director, Tore Christiansen, on Adam Hulman:

For all the years I have known Adam – as a postdoc, senior researcher, collaborator in organising education and networking activities, invited speaker at our activities, and PI for early career researchers – one thing has been characteristic; the desire to make an impact in society and for his colleagues through his research. The ideas that Adam has had for education and networking activities have always been forward-thinking and one step ahead – so of course he was the one bringing the AI and machine-learning perspective into play in our education programme. Adam has been a great inspiration to us in DDEA, and we are always keen to see his suggestions for new activities.

The DDEA Research Education and Networking Award

This award acknowledges outstanding achievement, success, and engagement in diabetes and/or classical endocrine research education and training of early-career researchers and in supporting networking among early-career researchers. The award is presented to a national or international researcher (at any point in their career) who, on multiple occasions, has contributed to improvements of the Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy (DDEA) and/or the Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA) activities within education, talent development, networking and/or collaboration. The winner receives 25,000 DKK. Read more about the award.

Adam Hulman was nominated for the award by Niels Jessen, Head of Research at Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus and Anders Aasted Isaksen, postdoc at the Hulman Lab.

About Adam Hulman

Hungarian-born Adam Hulman has a background in applied mathematics and epidemiology. He switched from working in finance in London to researching diabetes epidemiology in 2011. In 2015, Adam came to Denmark to do a postdoc with a grant from DDA. Adam has been an active member of the (Danish Diabetes Academy, now DDEA) community since 2015, going from participator to speaker, facilitator, and organiser to initiator of several DDA events, including the Data Science Spring School in 2022, a joint event with the Danish Data Science Academy. In 2018, Adam Hulman received the DDA-funded Scientist Award. Adam Hulman recently received a Data Science Emerging Investigator grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which made it possible for him to establish his research group in machine learning and clinical prediction, the Hulman Lab, at Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus.


Adam Hulman
Leader of the Hulman Lab, Senior Data Scientist at Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Associate Professor at Aarhus University
+ 45 23 70 74 81

Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy 
Tore S. Christiansen
Managing Director
+ 45 29 64 67 64

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