October 15, 2008

Dr. Betty Diamond Selected to Receive Prestigious Evelyn V. Hess Award Recognizing a Lifetime of Achievement in Lupus Research

Betty Diamond, M.D., Head of the Autoimmune Disease Center at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Evelyn V. Hess Research Award, given annually by the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA). The recipient is selected through a peer review process, and recognizes a lifetime of achievement in lupus research.

Dr. Diamond has dedicated her professional career to patients with lupus as a researcher, educator, and physician. As a researcher, Dr. Diamond's studies in the areas 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. Her research efforts have been recognized by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the Arthritis Foundation, and the National Association of M.D./Ph.D. programs. In 2006, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine, and also serves on the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology.

Throughout her career Dr. Diamond has continued to treat and care for patients with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. She is also committed to helping economically underserved communities and patients without access to healthcare. While she served as Chief of Rheumatology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine she aggressively developed clinical care programs for the economically disadvantaged. In her current role as Head of the Autoimmune Center at The Feinstein Institute, Dr. Diamond opened rheumatology clinics in four underserved areas in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Nassau.

As an educator Dr. Diamond has mentored a long list of students, medical residents, and trainees in immunology and rheumatology. Previously, she served on the faculty of Columbia University, and for 15 years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine she headed the M.D./Ph.D. program funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The LFA established this award in 2005 to honor Evelyn V. Hess, M.D., M.A.C.P., M.A.C.R., for her outstanding contributions to lupus research over the course of her long and distinguished career. Dr. Diamond will receive her award on October 25th in San Francisco during a reception in her honor hosted by the LFA National Board of Directors.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which is the result of an unbalanced immune system that can become destructive to any major organ or tissue in the body. Lupus is unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists. Its health consequences may include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, or sudden organ failure. The LFA estimates that more than 1.5 million Americans have some form of lupus.

The Lupus Foundation of America is the nation's foremost nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its nationwide network of nearly 300 local chapters, branches and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy.

For more information on lupus, visit the LFA website at www.lupus.org or call toll-free 1-888-38-LUPUS to request a free brochure.