Research Summary

The Diaz Lab is interested in developing targeted therapeutics for the treatment of glioma. We apply molecular and computational approaches to elucidate targets and pathways mediating cancer progression. To date, some of the most effective cancer therapies have been those that hone in on molecular defects associated with specific driver genes. However, in highly diverse tumors, such as gliomas, clinical trials of promising targeted therapeutics often produce mixed results. This is at least partially due to intra-tumor regional heterogeneity in response to treatment. To address this pressing challenge, we combine high-throughput single-cell sequencing with state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms, to produce quantitative models of tumor heterogeneity and micro-environment interaction. Moreover, brain tumor cells can exhibit phenotypes, and molecular signatures, of cell types found in the developing brain. We are also interested in the role of early-brain developmental programs in brain tumor growth.

Education

New York University, New York, NY, BA, 05/97, Mathematics
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, MS, 05/03, Computer Science
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, PhD, 05/03, Applied Mathematics

Honors & Awards

  • 1993New York University, Tuition Scholarship.
  • 1997
    Institute for Advanced Study, Institute for Geometry and Topology Award.
  • 1997
    Cornell University, Sage Fellowship and Engineering Scholarship.
  • 2008
    Santa Clara University, Dean's Grant: “Implementing Eigenvalue Perturbation Techniques in Parallel.”
  • 2010
    BCATS Plenary Talk Award

Selected Publications

  1. Raphael I, Kumar R, McCarl LH, Shoger K, Wang L, Sandlesh P, Sneiderman CT, Allen J, Zhai S, Campagna ML, Foster A, Bruno TC, Agnihotri S, Hu B, Castro BA, Lieberman FS, Broniscer A, Diaz AA, Amankulor NM, Rajasundaram D, Pollack IF, Kohanbash G. TIGIT and PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Pathways Are Associated With Patient Outcome and Anti-Tumor Immunity in Glioblastoma. Front Immunol. 2021; 12:637146.  View on PubMed
  2. He D, Wu D, Muller S, Wang L, Saha P, Ahanger SH, Liu SJ, Cui M, Hong SJ, Jain M, Olson HE, Akeson M, Costello JF, Diaz A, Lim DA. miRNA-independent function of long noncoding pri-miRNA loci. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 30; 118(13).  View on PubMed
  3. Chuntova P, Chow F, Watchmaker PB, Galvez M, Heimberger AB, Newell EW, Diaz A, DePinho RA, Li MO, Wherry EJ, Mitchell D, Terabe M, Wainwright DA, Berzofsky JA, Herold-Mende C, Heath JR, Lim M, Margolin KA, Chiocca EA, Kasahara N, Ellingson BM, Brown CE, Chen Y, Fecci PE, Reardon DA, Dunn GP, Liau LM, Costello JF, Wick W, Cloughesy T, Timmer WC, Wen PY, Prins RM, Platten M, Okada H. Unique challenges for glioblastoma immunotherapy-discussions across neuro-oncology and non-neuro-oncology experts in cancer immunology. Meeting Report from the 2019 SNO Immuno-Oncology Think Tank. Neuro Oncol. 2021 03 25; 23(3):356-375.  View on PubMed
  4. Wang L, Shamardani K, Babikir H, Catalan F, Nejo T, Chang S, Phillips JJ, Okada H, Diaz AA. The evolution of alternative splicing in glioblastoma under therapy. Genome Biol. 2021 01 26; 22(1):48.  View on PubMed
  5. Diaz AA. Exosomal PD-L1 induces immunosuppressive nonclassical monocytes. Neuro Oncol. 2020 07 07; 22(7):901-902.  View on PubMed
  6. Wang L, Catalan F, Shamardani K, Babikir H, Diaz A. Ensemble learning for classifying single-cell data and projection across reference atlases. Bioinformatics. 2020 06 01; 36(11):3585-3587.  View on PubMed
  7. Chandra A, Jahangiri A, Chen W, Nguyen AT, Yagnik G, Pereira MP, Jain S, Garcia JH, Shah SS, Wadhwa H, Joshi RS, Weiss J, Wolf KJ, Lin JG, Müller S, Rick JW, Diaz AA, Gilbert LA, Kumar S, Aghi MK. Clonal ZEB1-Driven Mesenchymal Transition Promotes Targetable Oncologic Antiangiogenic Therapy Resistance. Cancer Res. 2020 04 01; 80(7):1498-1511.  View on PubMed
  8. Bhaduri A, Di Lullo E, Jung D, Müller S, Crouch EE, Espinosa CS, Ozawa T, Alvarado B, Spatazza J, Cadwell CR, Wilkins G, Velmeshev D, Liu SJ, Malatesta M, Andrews MG, Mostajo-Radji MA, Huang EJ, Nowakowski TJ, Lim DA, Diaz A, Raleigh DR, Kriegstein AR. Outer Radial Glia-like Cancer Stem Cells Contribute to Heterogeneity of Glioblastoma. Cell Stem Cell. 2020 01 02; 26(1):48-63.e6.  View on PubMed
  9. Wang L, Babikir H, Müller S, Yagnik G, Shamardani K, Catalan F, Kohanbash G, Alvarado B, Di Lullo E, Kriegstein A, Shah S, Wadhwa H, Chang SM, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Diaz AA. The Phenotypes of Proliferating Glioblastoma Cells Reside on a Single Axis of Variation. Cancer Discov. 2019 12; 9(12):1708-1719.  View on PubMed
  10. Wang TA, Teo CF, Åkerblom M, Chen C, Tynan-La Fontaine M, Greiner VJ, Diaz A, McManus MT, Jan YN, Jan LY. Thermoregulation via Temperature-Dependent PGD2 Production in Mouse Preoptic Area. Neuron. 2019 Jul 17; 103(2):349.  View on PubMed
  11. Wang TA, Teo CF, Åkerblom M, Chen C, Tynan-La Fontaine M, Greiner VJ, Diaz A, McManus MT, Jan YN, Jan LY. Thermoregulation via Temperature-Dependent PGD2 Production in Mouse Preoptic Area. Neuron. 2019 07 17; 103(2):309-322.e7.  View on PubMed
  12. Pinton L, Masetto E, Vettore M, Solito S, Magri S, D'Andolfi M, Del Bianco P, Lollo G, Benoit JP, Okada H, Diaz A, Della Puppa A, Mandruzzato S. The immune suppressive microenvironment of human gliomas depends on the accumulation of bone marrow-derived macrophages in the center of the lesion. J Immunother Cancer. 2019 02 27; 7(1):58.  View on PubMed
  13. Müller S, Cho A, Liu SJ, Lim DA, Diaz A. CONICS integrates scRNA-seq with DNA sequencing to map gene expression to tumor sub-clones. Bioinformatics. 2018 09 15; 34(18):3217-3219.  View on PubMed
  14. S. Müller, A. Cho, S. Liu, D. Lim, A. Diaz. CONICS integrates scRNA-seq with DNA sequencing to map gene expression to tumor sub-clones. Bioinformatics. 2018.  View on PubMed
  15. Müller S, Agnihotri S, Shoger KE, Myers MI, Smith N, Chaparala S, Villanueva CR, Chattopadhyay A, Lee AV, Butterfield LH, Diaz A, Okada H, Pollack IF, Kohanbash G. Peptide vaccine immunotherapy biomarkers and response patterns in pediatric gliomas. JCI Insight. 2018 04 05; 3(7).  View on PubMed
  16. Bulut-Karslioglu A, Macrae TA, Oses-Prieto JA, Covarrubias S, Percharde M, Ku G, Diaz A, McManus MT, Burlingame AL, Ramalho-Santos M. The Transcriptionally Permissive Chromatin State of Embryonic Stem Cells Is Acutely Tuned to Translational Output. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 03 01; 22(3):369-383.e8.  View on PubMed
  17. Müller S, Kohanbash G, Liu SJ, Alvarado B, Carrera D, Bhaduri A, Watchmaker PB, Yagnik G, Di Lullo E, Malatesta M, Amankulor NM, Kriegstein AR, Lim DA, Aghi M, Okada H, Diaz A. Single-cell profiling of human gliomas reveals macrophage ontogeny as a basis for regional differences in macrophage activation in the tumor microenvironment. Genome Biol. 2017 Dec 20; 18(1):234.  View on PubMed
  18. Bartlett TE, Müller S, Diaz A. Single-cell Co-expression Subnetwork Analysis. Sci Rep. 2017 11 08; 7(1):15066.  View on PubMed
  19. Müller S, Diaz A. Single-Cell mRNA Sequencing in Cancer Research: Integrating the Genomic Fingerprint. Front Genet. 2017; 8:73.  View on PubMed
  20. Müller S, Liu SJ, Di Lullo E, Malatesta M, Pollen AA, Nowakowski TJ, Kohanbash G, Aghi M, Kriegstein AR, Lim DA, Diaz A. Single-cell sequencing maps gene expression to mutational phylogenies in PDGF- and EGF-driven gliomas. Mol Syst Biol. 2016 Nov 25; 12(11):889.  View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI