Interested in biochemistry since college, Dr. Diana Scott Beattie dedicated her career to advancing the field. She started her journey by earning a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College in 1956, followed by a Master of Science and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958 and 1961, respectively. Dr. Beattie remained with her graduate alma mater after graduation, serving as a research associate from 1961 to 1967. She subsequently accepted positions such as research associate in the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, faculty and biochemistry professor at the Mount School of Medicine, now known as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. Her last role before retiring in 2006 was chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
When Dr. Beattie wasn’t working, she was striving to expand her reach. She spent a year as the dean of the undergraduate campus at Oman Medical College in Muscat, Oman, as well as a year as a visiting professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, the University of Nairobi in Kenya and Shandong University in China. Dr. Beattie also served as a member of the physical biochemistry study section of the National Institutes of Health, the metabolic biology panel of the National Science Foundation, and the editorial board of the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. She remains a contributor to the Journal of Bioenergetics to this day.
As a testament to Dr. Beattie’s hard work and dedication, she was honored with the Metropolitan Award from the New York chapter of the Association for Women in Science, a Fulbright fellowship, a Fogarty International fellowship, and grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Her achievements were highlighted in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, and Who’s Who in American Education. If she could offer some advice to the younger generations, it would be to continuously read literature and materials on developments in the field. Staying up to date is important, especially in the sciences. In Dr. Beattie’s free time, she enjoys reading, hiking and skiing.
Dr. Beattie had a hard time getting a job because it was a male-dominated field. There was a gentleman she knew from graduate school, who had become chair of a new department, and he had to get people very quickly so he hired her. She moved to New York and she worked hard. Two years later, they hired another woman and they both worked harder than all the men. Dr. Beattie feels she fought the fight for women, but she did it because she was successful.