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Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Cancer and Viral Vaccines
RESEARCH_TEAM :
  • Experimental Therapeutics

Don J. Diamond, Ph.D., chairs the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, which develops vaccines to combat hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and infectious pathogens such as the herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus (CMV) HIV.

The prospect of an effective CMV vaccine means significant benefits for immunocompromised patients such as those with AIDS, or stem cell and solid organ transplant recipients.  A therapeutic CMV peptide vaccine developed in the department is undergoing phase II human efficacy testing in City of Hope stem cell transplant recipients, while a second generation CMV vaccine based on the attenuated poxvirus MVA, or modified vaccinia Ankara, is currently undergoing phase I human safety testing.

A vaccine developed in the department also based on the MVA platform expressing unmutated p53 has completed phase I human testing in City of Hope gastrointestinal cancer patients.  In the laboratory, we are refining a therapeutic platform based on attenuated Salmonella bacterium to treat a range of malignancies including pancreatic, skin and brain cancers.  In collaboration with Peter Barry, Ph.D., of University of California at Davis and the National Primate Research Center, we are developing a prophylactic CMV vaccine that promises to control gestational infection that causes a wide range of birth defects that annually afflict close to 4,000 American children.

  • 2014 - Present, Chair and Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
  • 2013 - 2014, Associate Chair, Department of Virology
  • 2008 - 2014, Director, Division of Translational Vaccine Research, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1999 - 2014, Professor, Department of Virology, Beckman Research Institute
  • 1999 - 2008, Head, Laboratory of Vaccine Research, Department of Virology, Beckman Research Institute
  • 1994 - 1999, Associate Research Scientist, Hematology Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1989 - 1994, Assistant Research Scientist and Section Head, Department of Immunology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 1986 - 1989, Research Fellow and Instructor in Pathology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1985 - 1987, Leukemia Society of America Fellow with E. Reinherz, M.D., DFCI, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1984 - 1986, Postdoctoral Fellow with S. Tonegawa, Ph.D., Center for Cancer Research, MA, MIT, Cambridge, MA
  •     1984, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Ph.D., Biological Chemistry
  •     1977, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.B., Biology (Magna Cum Laude)

The Laboratory of Vaccine Research (LVR) was originally formed by  Don J. Diamond, Ph.D. in 2000 to address priorities in vaccine research that would potentially impact patient outcomes at the City of Hope (COH) and other cancer centers worldwide.  The LVR later evolved into the Division of Translational Vaccine Research (TVR) in 2008, which has, since then, focused on the clinical translation of vaccine and therapeutic strategies to combat herpes viral infections, hematologic malignancies, and solid tumors. Our comprehensive program has now developed molecular vaccines and therapies that incorporate various technologies such as peptides and viral or bacterial vectors to directly elicit, or encode antigens that elicit, viral- or cancer-specific immune responses. Currently, the TVR has produced several agents that have advanced beyond pre-clinical testing into Phase I and II trials. The mission of the TVR is to continue progress in the development and testing of treatments with clinical benefit for cancer patients.  In 2014, the TVR was transformed into the Department of Experimental Therapeutics (ET).  The mission of the ET department will encompass the work of the TVR and broaden its scope to include more basic studies in basic and tumor immunology.

Learn more.

 

Supriya Bautista
Administrative Support
Duarte
Chao Bian, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Jeremy Chen
Research Associate II
Duarte
Sona Chowdhury, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Duarte
Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Nicola Hardwick, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Benjamin Johnson
Graduate Student II
Duarte
Peter Kwon
Business Manager
Duarte
Corinna La Rosa, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Melanie Lampa
Laboratory Manager for Don Diamond, Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Edwin Manuel, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Joybelle Medina
Senior Research Associates
Duarte
Laleh Melstrom, M.D.,M.S., F.A.C.S.
Assistant Clinical Professor, Surgical Oncology
Duarte
Zhuo Meng
Research Associate II
Duarte
Donna Packer
Administrative Support
Duarte
Felix Wussow, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
Duarte
Qiao Zhou
Research Associate II
Duarte

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Other team members:
 
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
 
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Fellow
[email protected]
 
Graduate Student II
[email protected]
Senior Research Associate
[email protected]
Research Associate II
[email protected]
Research Assistant II
[email protected]
Research Associate II
[email protected]
 
Business Manager
[email protected]
Laboratory Manager
[email protected]
Administrative Support
[email protected]
 
Administrative Support
[email protected]
   

 

Vaccine Therapies for Cancer - Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.
Vaccine Therapies for Cancer - Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.

Vaccine Therapies for Cancer - Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.

August 11, 2015
  • Awards

    • 1985-1987, Fellow of the Leukemia Society of America

    Honors

    • 2013, City of Hope Leadership Academy, Center for Creative Leadership
    • 2013, 2011, Chair of OMICS Technologies for Predictive Modeling, Special Emphasis Panel, DMID, NIAID
    • 2012, 2002, Plenary Speaker, ASGCT Annual Meeting
    • 2012, 2007, Chair, IPCAVD, Special Emphasis Panel, Div. of AIDS, NIAID
    • 2010, Chair of abstract review and simultaneous session, “Tumor Immunotherapy 2000
    • Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology”
    • 2009, Appointed to two year term as chair of CSR/NIH Study Section
    • 2007, Appointed to four year term on CSR/NIH Study Section ‘”Vaccines for Microbial Diseases”
    • 2006, Chair, Partnership for HCV Vaccine Development (RFA NIH-NIAID-DMID-05-030), Washington, DC
    • 2005, International Organizing Committee, 10th CMV Workshop
    • Invited Plenary Talk, Williamsburg, VA.
    • 2004, Moderator, Simultaneous Session “Infections” Annual Meeting, American Society of Hematology, San Diego, CA
    • 2004, Chair, HIVRAD/NIAID Review Panel
    • 2004-2006, Ad hoc member, CSR/NIH Study Section, “Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy.”
    • 1977, Summa Cum Laude Thesis in Biology
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