The concept for the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center originated in 1988 when the Aaron Diamond Foundation was asked to bring a group of funders together to discuss the development of a high level research effort concentrated on the basic science of HIV/AIDS. It was felt that such an effort was necessary to bring the city closer to its level of responsibility as the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Realizing the urgency of the situation, Irene Diamond, president of the Foundation, decided to establish the Diamond Center as a joint venture of the Foundation and the Department of Health of the City of New York, soon joined by the Public Health Research Institute and New York University School of Medicine. In mid-1989, Dr. David D. Ho, an internationally recognized microbiologist from the University of California, Los Angeles, was named Center Director. Dr. Ho played a key role in the design of the laboratory, which was coordinated by the Atlanta-based firm of Lord, Aeck & Sargent. Construction began in July, 1990, the first laboratory and office were ready late that fall, and the Center was officially opened and dedicated in April, 1991.
Quickly reaching its full complement of scientists, the Diamond Center outgrew its space and, in the fall of 1996, expanded to an additional floor. In July 1996, Dr. Ho was appointed to a professorship at The Rockefeller University, now the site of the Center's main academic affiliation. The Rockefeller University provides important administrative and infrastructure support for the Center's clinical studies at the university's hospital.
ADARC has played an important role in breakthroughs that have helped redefine our understanding of HIV and changed the course of clinical care for AIDS patients. A few of the ADARC accomplishments that have altered the AIDS landscape can be found here.