Betty Diamond was born in Hartford, CT and grew up in New York City. She attended Radcliff College where she majored in Art History. She attended Harvard Medical School, and performed a residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (now Columbia University Medical Center). She then joined the laboratory of Matthew Scharff at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she used monoclonal antibodies to study Fc receptor specificity and function. She joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and began studies of B cell selection, focused on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She briefly joined the faculty at Columbia University Medical Center and then moved to the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, where she currently works. She is a past president of AAI, an elected fellow of the AAAS, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Research Interests

Dr. Diamond's laboratory focuses on the origin and pathogenicity of autoantibodies. She has demonstrated that autoreactivity can develop by somatic hypermutation of protective ani-microbial antibodies. These can arise in non-autoimmune hosts but are censored from contributing to the serum antibody response. Her laboratory has shown that a subset of anti-DNA antibodies in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) cross-reacts with subunits of the N methyl D aspartate receptor and functions as a positive allosteric modulator of the receptor. These antibodies can mediate cognitive impairment, when they penetrate through the blood brain barrier to the hippocampus. The laboratory demonstrated microglial activation in this model that can be reversed by ACE inhibitors. This had led to a clinical trial for cognitive impairment in SLE. More recently, her laboratory has been exploring the mechanisms by which C1q helps maintain immune homeostasis.

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Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation