DR. DIANE HUGHES worked with Dr. Gage for three years, developing the nanite technology for the NSA. When Gage tried to sell the technology, he was killed, and tech support staff member Jake Foley was caught in the crossfire. Jake was "infected" by the prototype nanites during the incident, and Diane has taken over the project and become Jake's personal guardian angel.
While Diane has been shaken by going from strictly R&D to suddenly being part of a special task force, she genuinely likes and cares for Jake. Diane monitors Jake's vitals via a PDA, and is instantly alerted whenever there is any kind of spike in nanite activity. She came onto the project early in Gage's post-doc, however, she is still learning everything about how the nanites work and is working hard to ensure that nothing happens to Jake, as a side effect of being infected with the tiny, tiny robots.
Diane really, really, really wants a Nobel Prize. She wants the fame, she wants the money, and she really wants the medal. But she also seems to want Jakeat the very least, his companionship. Although she lives on the opposite side of Capital Hill from Jake's new apartment, she made an effort to drop by with a housewarming gift (The Desk Lamp of True Love™) anyway to try and cheer Jake up after it became apparent that despite his life-long dream of becoming an agent, he is having a rough time adjusting to field work. She's easily the person he has connected with the fastest at the NSA, and to date the two have hung out in Jake's apartment to watch movies, ride-shared, and even attended a wedding together in Seattle.