Dr. Adele Diamond is the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. She is professor and head of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She received her Bachelor of Arts at Swarthmore, Doctor of Philosophy at Harvard, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale Medical School. Dr. Diamond has received numerous awards and honors and has held US Government National Institute of Health R01 research grants continuously for over 30 years. She has given over 500 invited addresses in over 40 countries. She also serves on 18 external advisory boards and eight editorial boards, including those of all three major journals in developmental psychology.
Dr. Diamond’s specialty is executive functions, which depend on the brain’s prefrontal cortex and interrelated neural regions. She studies how executive functions are affected by biological and environmental factors. Her work on the unusual properties of the dopamine system in prefrontal cortex led to her identifying the biological mechanism causing executive function deficits in children treated for phenylketonuria (PKU) and definitively documenting those deficits, resulting in the guidelines for the medical treatment of PKU changing around the globe. Further discoveries of hers have led to worldwide change in the recommended starting time for treatment of PKU, changes in the clinical perception and treatment of the inattentive type of ADHD, and early education practices worldwide.
Dr. Diamond’s work has emphasized that executive functions can be improved in the very young, very old and anywhere in-between. She offers a markedly different perspective from traditional medical practice in hypothesizing that treating physical health without also addressing social and emotional health is less efficient or efficacious. She also offers a different perspective from mainstream education in hypothesizing that focusing exclusively on training cognitive skills is less efficient, and ultimately less successful, than also addressing emotional, social, spiritual and physical needs.
News and Awards
- PloS one -
- Frontiers in psychology -
- Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) -
- PloS one -
- British journal of sports medicine -