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Rochelle (Shelley) Diamond

Rochelle (Shelley) Diamond

Facility Director: Rochelle (Shelley) Diamond


Research Areas

Cellular, Developmental and Systems Biology;  Microbiology and Immunology


Rochelle Diamond is a Member of the Professional Staff at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Since 1984 she has been the applications specialist and facility manager of Caltech's Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting Facility, servicing biology, chemistry, and chemical engineering division labs. She is also a specialist in cell separation and analysis employing many techniques besides cytometry such as magnetic bead separation, centrifugation, antibody panning, lectin binding, and sieve filtration. Ms. Diamond provides information to the Caltech community in general on the use of flow cytometry and cell sorting in biology and chemistry, consulting for grant proposals, negotiating quotations for instruments and reagents, and troubleshooting the performance of other labs' analyzers and sorters. She also consults occasionally for outside universities and companies. She has consulted and provided beta-testing for many new commercial products in the cell separation field.

She has participated on Special Emphasis Panels to review grant applications for flow cytometers, cell sorters, and laser scanners under NCRR's Shared Instrumentation Grant Program for the National Institute of Health. She has been a reviewer and served on review boards for scientific publishers (Wiley and Sons, RG Landes). She is co-editor of the professional text In Living Color: Protocols in Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting (Springer, 2000). She is a member of the International Society for Analytical Cytology and an active participant in the Purdue Cytometry On-Line forum.

Typically the Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting Facility services over 30 laboratories and 50 research projects per year that range in source material and protocols conducted. This technology is complex and multi-faceted such that every client is seen first by Ms Diamond to evaluate the compatibility of the project to the instrumentation and to consult on the design of the experiment in order to answer the scientific question in the best way possible. She provides information and guidance in planning and trouble-shooting specific flow cytometric projects including controls, needed pilot studies and reagents, besides operating the fluorescence-activated cell sorters. She also trains Caltech researchers to use the facility's analytical flow cytometer independently. She and her staff have repeatedly helped to suggest novel applications of flow cytometric technology for users, and have designed and installed custom modifications to the facility instruments on occasion to optimize a user's application.

Simultaneously, Rochelle has also been a researcher as well as the lab manager for Caltech Professor Ellen Rothenberg's developmental immunology group since 1982. Rochelle's primary research focus since coming to Caltech has been on early murine T-cell differentiation. Using flow cytometry and cell sorting to investigate developmental states and lineages in these T-cell populations, she has authored over 25 publications in scientific journals. She offers guidance to all lab members, troubleshoots experimental protocols, and oversees instrumentation. She is the safety officer for the Rothenberg Group. She also manages the day-to-day budgets and ordering and conducts all lab business pertaining to the institute and outside vendors and consultants.

Ms. Diamond participates in the Caltech community on a number of levels which include membership on the LGBTQ working group committee, establishing the Caltech Mentoring Day with the Caltech Career and Development Center, working Career Fairs on behalf of the Caltech Academic Partnership with MentorNet, volunteer SURF reviewer, safety floor warden for Kerckhoff Biology building, past member of the Caltech Women's Center Advisory Board, past member of the Caltech Grievance Committee, past member of a Caltech Investigative Committee, consulting for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Spectrum Group, member and volunteer of Caltech Prism Group.

Prior to her arrival at Caltech, Rochelle was a researcher at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, City of Hope Research Institute, and UCLA. Instrumentation, molecular biology, and protein chemistry have been no strangers to Rochelle as she has owned and operated a prototype scientific instrumentation company and helped to build and operate protein sequenators for the City of Hope Research Institute. She was a member of the City of Hope/Genentech research team that cloned the human gene for insulin in 1978.

Ms. Diamond is a member of the American Chemical Society serving on local section committees, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Thought Leader with DiscoverE, and chairperson of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). She has organized 5 symposia on various topics in conjunction the AAAS section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering and the NOGLSTP. She has organized 3 workshops for the Annual Out and Equal Workplace Summit and 3 workshops for the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists National Conference.

She has been awarded the Lesbians and bisexual women Active in Community Empowerment (L.A.C.E.) Awards by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and the Walt Westman Volunteer of the Year Award by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. She is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who of American Women, and Who's Who in the West.