Diana M. Stafforini, PhD
Research Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Diana Stafforini, PhD, is an investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), a research associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program.
She is interested in the role of inflammation in human disease. As a graduate student, Stafforini became well known for her work on an anti-inflammatory enzyme, PAF-AH, that plays important roles in physiology and disease. In subsequent years, and in association with investigators at the University of Utah and at ICOS Corporation, she conducted studies aimed at establishing the role of this enzyme in vascular and pulmonary diseases. These studies provided a foundation for clinical trials focused on discovering the suitability of PAF-AH as a treatment for diseases with inflammatory components such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), asthma, and sepsis. In addition to these studies, Stafforini discovered a human mutation that results in the lack of PAF-AH activity. She established that individuals who have this mutation have a tendency to develop severe inflammation. Her current studies at HCI are aimed at applying her expertise in the field of inflammation to the discovery of new pathways and mechanisms that lead to cancer.
Stafforini completed her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Utah. She continued her work as a research associate, and subsequently joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine before joining HCI.