Biographies of RSI Speakers 2000

Jared M. Diamond, Ph.D.
Professor of Physiology
UCLA School of Medicine
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Diamond received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge, England. His formal training was in physiology and membrane biophysics, but his current physiological interests have shifted to evolutionary physiology: the study of the varying extents to which, through natural selection, our physiological capacities have become matched to the natural loads upon those capacities. At the same time, Diamond has also pursued a parallel career in ecology and evolutionary biology, based on an on-going series of expeditions (17 to date) to study the birds of New Guinea and other tropical Southwest Pacific islands. A further outgrowth of these studies of bird evolution has been Diamond's series of papers on the paradoxical evolution of human genetic diseases, such as Tay-Sachs disease and diabetes. Diamond has combined this academic research in population biology with practical efforts to stem the accelerating disappearance of the world's biodiversity. Since 1977, Diamond has been devoting much of his time to popular science writing. He writes bi-monthly articles for the News and Views section of Nature, and for Discover Magazine, of which he is a contributing editor. These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from conservation biology, animal behavior, and molecular evolution to linguistics, archaeology, and anthropology. He has written 549 articles, 2 monographs, and seven books including prize-winning "The Third chimpanzee" and "Guns, Germs, and Steel." Dr. Diamond is a former professor at the UCLA Medical School, a former director of the World Wildlife Fund, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences (1979), the American Philosophical Society (1988), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1973). Since 1975 he has received several science awards, and in 1999 he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

Judith Campisi, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist,
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory University of California Berkeley, CA

Judith Campisi received her doctorate in Biochemistry from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and postdoctoral training in the area of cell cycle regulation and cancer at the Harvard Medical School. As an Assistant Professor at the Boston University Medical School, she became interested the control of cellular senescence and its role in tumor suppression and aging. In 1991, she moved her research program to the Berkeley National Laboratory, where she continues to study cellular senescence and has established a broad program in various aspects of aging. She is the recipient of a MERIT award from the National Institute on Aging (1995) and the 1997 AlliedSignal Award for research on aging. She serves on several editorial boards and advisory boards, and heads the Center for Research and Education on Aging (CREA) at the Berkeley Lab.

Karen P. Alexander, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC

Dr. Alexander was born and raised in New Jersey. She went to Dartmouth College for undergraduate work, then to Duke University Medical School, and subsequently to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston Massachusetts for house staff training in internal medicine. Following her medicine residency, she returned to Duke for Cardiovascular fellowship and joined the faculty there in Cardiology in 1998. Dr. Alexander is a clinical Cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center and an outcomes researcher in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Her area of research interest is in geriatric cardiology, specifically outcomes of therapeutic interventions in the elderly and in patient decision-making.

Andrew Steptoe, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
St. George's Hospital Medical School
Cranmer Terrace, London
Andrew Steptoe is professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, and in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. He graduated in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1972, then studied for a Dphil in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. He has served as chair of the Academic Board and head of the Department of Psychology at St. George's Hospital Medical School, and was awarded a higher doctorate (DSc) by the University of London in 1995. Andrew Steptoe has worked for more than 20 years on psychological aspects of health, and has been particularly interested in the interface between psychosocial factors and biological processes relevant to disease. He has written more than 240 scientific papers, and his books include Psychological Factors in Cardiovascular Disorders (1981), Health Care and Health Behaviour (1984), Essential Psychology for Medical Practice (1988), Stress, Personal Control and Health (1989), and Psychosocial Processes and Health (1994). Andrew Steptoe was president of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine in 1994, and of the Society for Psychosomatic Research from 1983-1985. Recently, Professor Steptoe has been working on the problem of social inequalities in health in collaboration with Professor Sir Michael Marmot from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. Together, they are supervising a programme of research into the ways in which psychological and social factors influence the biological responses underlying coronary heart disease, and how these responses vary with socio-economics status.

Denis A. Evans, M.D.
The Rush Institute for Healthy Aging
Chicago, IL

Dr. Evans is the Jesmer Professor of Medicine, and Co-director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University and Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. His major research interests are in common chronic health problems of older persons as they occur in the community rather than in specialized settings. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Chicago Health and Aging Project a population study of Alzheimer's disease and other health problems of older persons among 6,158 African-American and white residents of a Chicago community. Prior to coming to Rush in 1990, he was on the faculty of the Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School and the staff of the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was the principal investigator of the East Boston Studies of Alzheimer's disease and project director of the Boston Center of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE). He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. Subsequently, he received internship and residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in infectious diseases at the Harvard Medical Service, Boston City Hospital.

Dilip V. Jeste, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA

Dr. Jeste is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, and Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry Division, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He is also the Director of NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)-funded Geriatric Psychiatry Intervention Research Center at UCSD. This is the only Intervention Research Center in the country specifically funded by NIMH to focus on psychosis in late life. Dr. Jeste joined the UCSD in 1986 and started the Geriatric Psychiatry program which has now grown into one of the largest Geriatric Psychiatry Divisions in the country. Dr. Jeste is the Principal Investigator on several research and training grants (including Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Psychiatry, a unique national research training program) from federal and non-federal sources. Dr. Jeste has published six books and over300 articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is a Board-certified Geriatric Psychiatrist. His specific research areas are schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in late life, movement disorders, dementia, and antipsychotics. Dr. Jeste is the immediate Past-President of the West Coast college of Biological Psychiatry. He is on the Editorial Boards of several journals such as the American Journal of Psychiatry and the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Jeste has been listed in "the Best Doctors in America" and has won a number of awards including: A.E. Bennett Neuropsychiatric Research Award in Clinical Sciences, given by the Society of Biological Psychiatry; MERIT Award given by the NIMH; Commendation for Dedicated Service, the American Legion, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission, California; and Senior Investigator Award, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Recently he spearheaded a multidisciplinary consensus statement on the National Agenda for Research on Mentally Ill Elderly.