Gill Diamond, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Oral Biology
1395 Center Drive, D5-33D
Box 100424Diamondphoto
Gainesville, FL 32610-0424
Phone: 352-273-8861
Email: gdiamond@dental.ufl.edu

  • Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Genetics, 1988
  • B.S., University of Pennsylvania, Biochemistry 1982

Main Interests

The research in my laboratory focuses on the role of host defense peptides in the defense against infectious diseases at mucosal surfaces.  Defensins and cathelicidins are two classes of peptides that play important roles in innate immune defenses against microbial pathogens. They exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and also modulate the innate immune system. We are studying them in two different ways: First, we are examining how their genes are regulated in the lung and in the oral cavity, by factors such as vitamin D and cytokines, to develop new ways of treating and preventing infectious diseases. This utilizes both molecular biology approaches with cultured cells as well as in vivo infection models. Second, we are working with a company to develop novel molecules based on these naturally occurring peptides, to treat and prevent oral and systemic microbial infections. This involves quantifying the in vitro activity of these compounds against microbial pathogens, as well as testing then in mouse models of infection.

Graduate Education

  • Member, IDP Admissions Committee

Extramural Professional Activities

  • Member, Editorial Board of Molecular Oral Microbiology
  • Co-chair, Zing conference on Antimicrobial Activity at the Mucosal Surface

Sponsored-research Support

  • NIH (R44 AI106270) “A Novel Therapeutic for Invasive Candidiasis” (co-PI)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (DIAMON15XX0) “Regulation of CFTR Expression by Vitamin D

Recent Publications

  • Hua, J., Yamarthy, R., Felsenstein, S., Scott, R., Markowitz, K., Diamond, G. (2010) Activity of antimicrobial peptide mimetics in the oral cavity: I. .Activity against biofilms of Candida albicans. Oral Microbiol., 25:418-25.
  • Hua, J., Scott, R., Diamond, G. (2010) Activity of antimicrobial peptide mimetics in the oral cavity: II. Activity against periopathogenic biofilms and anti-inflammatory activity.  Mol. Oral Microbiol., 25:426-32.
  • Ryan, L.K., Dai, J., Megjugorac, N., Uhlhorn, V., Yim, S., Schwartz, K., Abrahams, J., Diamond, G., Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, P. (2011) Modulation of Human ß-defensin-1 (hBD-1) in Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (PDC), Monocytes and Epithelial Cells by Influenza Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus and Sendai Virus and Its Possible Role in Innate Immunity. J. Leukocyte Biol., 90: 343–356.
  • McMahon, L., Schwartz, K., Yilmaz, O., Brown, E., Ryan, L.K., Diamond, G. (2011) Vitamin D-mediated induction of innate immunity in gingival epithelial cells. Infect. Immun., 79:2250-2256.
  • Rigo, I., McMahon, L., Dhawan, P., Christakos, S., Yim., S., Ryan, L.K., Diamond, G. (20112) nduction of Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells (TREM-1) in Airway Epithelial Cells by 1,25(OH)2 Vitamin D3.  Innate Immunity, 18:250-257.
  • Ryan, L.K., Freeman, K.B., Masso-Silva, J.A., Falkovsky, K., Aloyouny, A., Markowitz, K., Hise, A., Fatahzadeh, M., Scott, R.W., Diamond, G. (2014) Activity of Potent and Selective Host Defense Peptide Mimetics in Mouse Models of Oral Candidiasis. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 58:3820-3827.
  • Dhawan, P., Wei, R., Sun, C., Gombart, A.F., Koeffler, J. P., Diamond G., Christakos, S. (2015) Functional Cooperation Between C/EBP Alpha and the Vitamin D Receptor in the Regulation of the Human Cathelicidin Antimicrobial Peptide (CAMP) Gene in Lung Epithelial Cells. J. Cell. Physiol., 230:464-472.

Reviews and Book Chapters

  • Diamond, G., Beckloff, N., Ryan, LK. (2008) Host Defense Peptides in the Oral Cavity and the Lung: Similarities and Differences. Dent. Res., 87:915-927.
  • Diamond, G., Beckloff, N., Weinberg, A., Kisich, K. (2009) The Roles of Antimicrobial Peptides in Innate Host Defense. Current Pharm. Design, 15:2377-2392.
  • Diamond, G., Ryan, L.K. (2011) b-defensins: what are they REALLY doing in the oral cavity? Oral Diseases, 17:628-635.
  • Masso-Silva, J.A. and Diamond, G. (2014) Antimicrobial Peptides from Fish. Pharmaceuticals, 7:265-310.

Presentations

  • August 2012, “Antimicrobial Peptides in the Oral Mucosa: Roles in Host Defense and Therapeutics.” Georgia Health Sciences University Dental School, Augusta, GA.
  • February, 2013, “Localized activation of vitamin D by gingival epithelial cells leading to an induction in innate immunity.” Mark Wilson Conference on Oral Microbiology and Immunology. San Juan, PR.
  • July 2013, “Activity of Antimicrobial Peptide Mimetics Against Fungal Biofilms In Vivo.” Montana Biofilm Science and Technology Meeting, Bozeman, MT.