Contact Information



Don 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.

Professional Experience

Professional Experience

  • 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)


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


  • 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,





Grant Support

Current Grant Support
02/10 - 01/16
5R01 AI063356-09 (Barry & Diamond)
NIAID Evaluation of Protective CMV Vaccines in Rhesus Macaques The major goal of this project is to construct and evaluate MVA-based vaccines that target the endocytic pathway of infection using a validated RhCMV challenge model that exhibits shedding and systemic infection.
Role: PD/Principal Investigator
06/15 - 05/19
Fortress (Coronado) Biosciences SRA
Accelerating clinical development of CMVPepVax, CMV-MVA Triplex and CMVConVAX
Role: Principal Investigator
10/14 – 08/19
1R01HL122216 (Miller)
Inducing NK cells to remember and fight cancer
Provide regular consults and provide insight into the natural history of CMV infection in transplant recipients and the role of adaptive and innate immunity to control the infection. Pending Review.
Role: Co-Investigator
10/14 – 07/19
CMVPepVax to Protect HCT Recipients from Cytomegalovirus Infection
CMVPepVax will be comprehensively evaluated in HLA-A2 hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to discover the optimal formula for immunizing both donors and recipients to prevent CMV viremia
Role: Principal Investigator
05/12 - 12/17
Control of CMV infection post-HCT using attenuated MVA-based CMV subunit vaccine The major goal of this continuation project is to evaluate a multi-subunit CMV vaccine in human subjects including a safety study in healthy adults and a therapeutic trial in HCT recipients.
Role: Principal Investigator
05/13 – 04/17
R01 AI103960-02A1 (Diamond & Barry)
HCMV Vaccine produced from BAC-MVA that Blocks Epithelial and Fibroblast Entry The major goals are to construct an MVA expressing Human-UL128 pentamer using BAC-MVA technology, immunization of RhCMV-negative monkeys, and characterize humoral responses that inhibit CMV infection of fibroblasts and epithelial cells, with and without pp65-gB-MVA.
Role: PD/Principal Investigator (Contact)
04/12 – 08/15
Nesvig Foundation Optimizing shRNA Approaches for Control of Experimental Murine Lymphoma using Salmonella Delivery Systems The major goal of this project is to develop a gene-targeting silencing approach to attenuate B-cell lymphoma applicable to future clinical adaptation.
Role: Principal Investigator
07/13 – 06/16
IDO-silencing Salmonella therapy for the treatment of primary and metastatic PDAC The major goal of the R21 is to evaluate and optimize an IDO-silencing Salmonella-based therapy (shIDO-ST) for the treatment of advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
Role: Principal Investigator
01/14 – 09/16
p53MVA Pipeline Project Award
Phase 1 study combining a p53MVA vaccine with ipilimumab and nivolumab
The p53-MVA vaccine will be given concurrently with other immunomodulatory agents, such as checkpoint inhibitor monoclonal antibodies (e.g. Ipilimumab and/or Nivolumab or Pembrolizumab), with the aim of extending disease progression-free survival.
Role: Principal Investigator