Dr. Diane Griffin: Using Microbiology to Create Macro Impact on Lifelong Health
Chair in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Alfred and Jill Sommer Professor at Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Diane Griffin is the Alfred and Jill Sommer Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds joint appointments in the departments of Neurology and Medicine. In 2004, Dr. Griffin was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the discipline of microbial biology.
Innovating in Field of Work:
• Dr. Griffin is a virologist recognized for her work on the pathogenesis of viral infections. She is known particularly for her studies on measles and alphavirus encephalomyelitis that have delineated the role of the immune response in virus clearance, vaccine-induced protection from infection, tissue damage and immune suppression.
• She is the principal investigator on a variety of grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dana Foundation.
• Her remarkable career and accomplishments warranted her selection to numerous committees, prestigious scientific societies, and awards. Griffin has nobly dedicated her life to helping rid the world of disease through her work with viruses, including fighting childhood mortality in developing countries
• Recently Diane became the Vice President of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington.
• Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame
Her vast responsibilities include teaching, research, chairing a department, guest lecturing, editing and writing scholarly books, articles, and papers and contributing to the public good by sharing her expertise through the media and volunteer work.
Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:
• The daughter of a geologist, Griffin learned about the world from every hike or drive she shared with her father. But in the end, it wasn’t rocks that won her heart—it was viruses. This has become a lifelong passion that she continues to pass on.
• Her work has shed light on how viruses impact the nervous system and the immune system, and on the surprising ways they can continue to affect health long after patients recover.
• At age 74, Dr. Diane Edmund Griffin, continues to make extremely valuable contributions to the scientific world, specifically within the study of virology.
“There is no better career if science is where your interests lie. It’s constantly fascinating, you are discovering new things that nobody knew before, finding new puzzles to see where they lead and seeing answers. It’s so rewarding and challenging.”