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Diane Becker, MPH, ScD


Founding Director, The GeneSTAR Research Program (Emerita)
Professor Emerita
Faculty Scholar

Departments / Divisions

Contact Information

1830 East Monument Street, Suite 8028
Baltimore, Maryland 21287
(410) 955-7781



ScD The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health , 1984
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1979
BS, The Johns Hopkins University, 1978
RN The Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing, 1964


Dr. Becker is currently Professor Emerita, Medicine with adjunct appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Nursing. Prior to her retirement in 2017, she was the Director of the GeneSTAR Research Program (Genetic Studies of Atherosclerosis Risk), a 37-year ongoing longitudinal study of genetic, biological, social and behavioral mechanisms of atherosclerotic vascular disease in initially health relatives of individuals with documented early-onset coronary artery disease. The long-term mission of the study is to provide an integrative framework of the causal cascade in incident coronary disease and stroke in high risk families. We have conducted extensive studies of lipids and lipoproteins, biomarkers and preclinical atherosclerosis using coronary CTA, cardiac perfusion imaging CT for coronary artery calcification, and cranial MRI. We have a longstanding interest in declines in cognitive function and white matter disease in the brain. More recently GeneSTAR has performed extensive studies of platelet function and thrombosis susceptibility. Participants have undergone whole genome sequencing. Under Dr. Becker’s direction, GeneSTAR has also performed behavioral and pharmacologic prevention trials concentrating on fitness and weight control, lipid and blood pressure control, and the use of antiplatelet agents, primarily aspirin. Incident cardiovascular disease and diabetes has been evaluated every 5 years. Dr. Becker also remains actively involved in policy-making related to multiple cardiovascular risk factors, serving on NIH and American Heart Association Guidelines Committees. She has been a federal health policy fellow working in the U.S. Senate and subsequently implemented a federal health policy placement for medical students. Importantly, Dr. Becker was the founder of Heart, Body, and Soul, Inc., a partnership with 257 African American churches, implementing many prevention and health promotion efforts via NIH, CDC, and Foundation grants. Dr. Becker particularly enjoys clinical and population research study design and working with the East Baltimore community to improve health and the quality of life. She has a continuing interest and is active in evaluating academic compensation and leadership.
As a member of the Academy at Johns Hopkins which provides ongoing intellectual and scientific activities for retired faculty wishing to remain engaged, and as a Scholar of the Academy, she continues to commit time and effort to offering consultation to fellows, students and faculty in all three health schools on the East Baltimore campus. She has skills and interest in website development and integrating the arts with science. Dr. Becker particularly enjoys helping to jump start new collaborative ideas and research.


Pubmed database