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.


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. 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.  View on PubMed
  2. 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.  View on PubMed
  3. Chuntova P, Chow F, Watchmaker P, 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 C, Chen Y, Fecci P, 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.  View on PubMed
  4. Diaz AA Exosomal PD-L1 induces immunosuppressive nonclassical monocytes.  View on PubMed
  5. Wang L, Catalan F, Shamardani K, Babikir H, Diaz A Ensemble learning for classifying single-cell data and projection across reference atlases.  View on PubMed
  6. 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.  View on PubMed
  7. 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.  View on PubMed
  8. 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.  View on PubMed
  9. 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.  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.  View on PubMed
  11. 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.  View on PubMed
  12. 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.  View on PubMed
  13. 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  View on PubMed
  14. 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.  View on PubMed
  15. 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.  View on PubMed
  16. 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.  View on PubMed
  17. Bartlett TE, Müller S, Diaz A Single-cell Co-expression Subnetwork Analysis.  View on PubMed
  18. Müller S, Diaz A Single-Cell mRNA Sequencing in Cancer Research: Integrating the Genomic Fingerprint.  View on PubMed
  19. 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.  View on PubMed
  20. Diaz A, Liu SJ, Sandoval C, Pollen A, Nowakowski TJ, Lim DA, Kriegstein A SCell: integrated analysis of single-cell RNA-seq data.  View on PubMed

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