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Louis Klein Diamond

Born 1902
Died 1999

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American paediatrician, born May 11, 1902, Kishinev in the Ukraine, Russian Empire; died June 14, 1999, Los Angeles.

Biography of Louis Klein Diamond

Louis Klein Diamond was born near Kishinev in the Ukraine. He came to the U.S. with his parents at the age of two and grew up in New York City. He attended Harvard College from 1919 to 1923 and subsequently attended Harvard Medical School, graduating M. D. in 1927. Already as a student he had distinguished himself by diagnosing the first case of a child with mononucleosis recognized at the Boston Children's Hospital, and immediately after graduation he set up one of the world's first research laboratories in paediatric haematology

He interned at the Boston Children’s Hospital, where he trained in paediatrics, becoming a faculty member in 1933. Diamond rose through the academic ranks, being chief of haematology there from 1951 to 1968, and held the chair of paediatrics from 1963 to 1968, Except for the years 1948 to 1950, when he served as medical director of the American Red Cross's new National Blood Program, he remained in Boston until he resigned in 1968, receiving emeritus status.

In Boston, Diamond established the internationally renowned Blood Grouping Laboratory. His contribution in the field of transfusion and the management of blood disorders were acknowledged with several honours and awards.

Diamond helped found the field of paediatric haematology. With Sidney Farber (1903-1973) he instigated modern chemotherapeutic techniques in the treatment of childhood leukaemia and made a number of studies on Rh disorders. His department became a focal point for haematological paediatric training in the U.S.A. Many of the fellows he trained had distinguished careers, becoming professors of paediatrics and deans of medical schools. Two of them, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek (born 1923) of the U.S. and Jean Dausset (born 1916) of France, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1976 and 1980 respectively.

After retiring from the Boston Children’s Hospital, Diamond, then 66, moved to San Francisco, where he commenced a second career as adjunct professor of paediatrics at the University of California. At the age of 85 he moved to UCLA Medical School. He died in 1999, aged 97.

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