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(AAI President, 2009-10)
Betty A. Diamond, M.D., an AAI member since 1980, is Head of the Autoimmune Disease Center at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore—Long Island Jewish Health System. She is also a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Medicine (Rheumatology) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
As a researcher, educator, and physician, Dr. Diamond has dedicated her professional career to serving patients with lupus. Her studies of lupus in women, the role of autoantibodies in lupus, and the cognitive effects of lupus have helped define how researchers and physicians understand the disease. Specifically, Dr. Diamond's research has focused on the induction and pathogenicity of anti-DNA antibodies in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Among areas explored: the mechanisms of central and peripheral tolerance of autoreactive B cells, and the defects in these mechanisms that are present in autoimmune disease; regulation of DNA-reactive B cells and the role of hormones and antigen in inducing autoimmunity; and development of a model of SLE induced by immunization with a peptide mimetope of DNA, of interest because the model demonstrates that pathogenic autoreactivity can be induced in a nonspontaneously autoimmune host.
Beyond the lab, Dr. Diamond has demonstrated a long commitment to treatment and care for patients with lupus and other autoimmune diseases, including those from economically disadvantaged communities. She has developed clinical care programs while at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has opened rheumatology clinics in four underserved areas in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Nassau as Head of the Autoimmune Center at The Feinstein Institute.
A graduate of Radcliffe College (B.A., magna cum laude), Dr. Diamond received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed a medical residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and postdoctoral fellowship in immunology with Dr. Matthew Scharff in the Department of Cell Biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Diamond joined the Einstein faculty as assistant professor in 1979 and was appointed full professor in 1988. Her appointments there have included Chair of the Rheumatology Division and Murray and Evelyne Weinstock Chair in Immunology. From 2004-2007, Dr. Diamond served as Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Rheumatology, at Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons. She has held her current appointments at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research since 2007.
Elected to the AAI Council in 2004, Dr. Diamond is a past member of the AAI Committee on Public Affairs, AAI Finance Committee, and AAI Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology Committee. She has served as an associate editor for The Journal of Immunology.
Among her professional honors, Dr. Diamond was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2006 and was the 2008 recipient of the Lupus Foundation of America's Evelyn V. Hess Research Award for lifetime achievement in lupus research. Her research efforts have earned Dr. Diamond the NIH MERIT Award and been recognized by the American College of Rheumatology (Outstanding Investigator and Klemperer Awards), the Arthritis Foundation (Lee Howley Award), and the National Association of M.D./Ph.D. Programs (Recognition Award).
Dr. Diamond serves on the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), NIH, and the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology. Additional appointments have included: Scientific Advisory Board, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association; Scientific Councilor, Kunkel Society; NIAID Council (ad hoc member); NIAMS Board of Scientific Counselors; and Councilor, Clinical Immunology Society. Dr. Diamond has held numerous additional editorial board appointments, including with Clinical Immunology; Cellular Immunology; Journal of Immunological Methods; Lupus; and Autoimmunity.
(Posted August 2009)