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Diana S. Beardsley, M.D., Ph.D., 62

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In Memoriam: Diana S. Beardsley, M.D., Ph.D.

Dec. 8, 1947 - March 30, 2010.

Diana S. Beardsley, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Yale Medical School, died Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

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She had been a member of the Yale faculty since 1986, and was an internationally known pioneer in the study of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and a leading figure in the treatment of childhood hemophilia and cancer. At Yale, Dr. Beardsley built a nationally recognized program in coagulopathies and platelet disorders. For patients with hemophilia, she was a beloved physician, and she continued, with colleagues in internal medicine, to follow her patients into adulthood. Dr. Beardsley's commitment to her patients was featured in the book The Gift of Experience - Conversations about Hemophilia, written by Laura Gray and Christine Chamberlain in 2008.

In addition to her work with her patients, Dr. Beardsley served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Hematology, and as a member of the ITP Foundation Medical Advisory Board. From 1990-1994, Dr. Beardsley served on the NIH Blood Diseases and Resources Advisory Committee and has maintained prominent positions on numerous NIH Ad Hoc Study Sections. Her further commitment to research and patients was shown through her service on the Counsel on Thrombosis of the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hematology, the Canadian Red Cross - Research and Development Review Committee, the Executive Committee of the New England Hemophilia Centers, the Subcommittee on Neonatal Hemostasis of the International Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis, and was chairman from 2007-2009 of the Region I Hemophilia Treatment Centers Executive Committee.

In her laboratory, Dr. Beardsley was one of the first to apply modern techniques of immunobiology and molecular biology toward furthering the understanding of a variety of immune mediated platelet destructive syndromes. She became an internationally known leader in this area and received a patent for her work in specific nucleic acid interference.

Dr. Beardsley earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1969, her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Princeton in 1976, working with Professor Walter Kauzman, and her M.D. from Duke, also in 1976. She was a hematology research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Frederic M. Richards in M.B. & B. at Yale in 1975-1976, before interning in medicine the following year at Children's Hospital in Boston, where she completed her residency. Dr. Beardsley's residency was followed by a three-year fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Harvard Medical School/Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Children's Hospital from 1978-1981. She was an instructor at Harvard from 1981-1986, during which time she held clinical positions at Children's Hospital and Dana Farber.

Dr. Beardsley grew up in Curtiss, Wis., attending a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade. Her family's emphasis on academics built the foundation for her success in the medical and academic fields. After completing her bachelor's degree, Dr. Beardsley put herself through Princeton and Duke with her marvelous skills as a couture seamstress and cake decorator. She was a remarkably talented amateur photographer whose work fills Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, Conn., where she was a dedicated member of the church vestry. Dr. Beardsley's spirit of giving and commitment and love for her friends and family will be remembered as much as her professional accomplishments.

She is survived by her son Christopher, an architect in New York City, who graduated from Yale College and the Yale School of Architecture; her mother, Elsie Schultz, of River Falls, Wis.; her brothers, David Schultz of Annapolis, Md., and Dr. Brian Schultz of River Falls, Wis.; her stepdaughter, Anne Bosworth, and granddaughter, Allison Bosworth, both of Boca Raton, Fla.

Every day she radiated the fulfillment that comes from a life of caring for patients. Family, friends, patients and colleagues mourn her loss.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, at Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven. Visitation will be at the church from 6-9 p.m. Monday, April 5. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Trinity Church on the Green, the New England Hemophilia Association, the ITP Foundation or The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer in memory of Dr. Diana Beardsley and her work.

Arrangements are with the Hawley Lincoln Memorial.

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