Aaron Diaz, PhD
Research Interests: computational biology, brain tumor heterogeneity
Dr. Diaz is interested in developing targeted therapeutics for the treatment of glioma. His laboratory applies molecular and computational approaches to identify therapeutic targets and pathways involved in cancer progression.
To date, some of the most effective cancer therapies are those that hone in on molecular defects associated with specific driver genes. However, in highly diverse tumors (like gliomas), clinical trials of promising targeted therapeutics often produce mixed results. This is at least partially due to the challenge that different parts of the tumor may react differently to treatment. To address this pressing challenge, Dr. Diaz’s research combines high-throughput single-cell sequencing with state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to produce quantitative models of tumor heterogeneity, and interactions with the tumor microenvironment. The long-term goal of these studies is to help to guide the design of clinical trials with targeted agents, and improve the management of gliomas through precision therapies.
1997: BS, Mathematics, New York University
2003: MS, Computer Science, Cornell University
2003: PhD, Applied Mathematics, Cornell University
2010-2014: Postdoctoral Fellow, Inst. for Human Genetics, UCSF
2003-2010: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Mathematics, Santa Clara University
2014-Present: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF
2015-Present: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2016: Society for Neuro-Oncology Adult Basic Research Award
2015: Brain Tumor SPORE Career Development Award
2010: BCATS Plenary Talk Award
2008: Santa Clara University Dean's Award
2003: Santa Clara University Technology Innovation Award
1997: Cornell University Sage Fellowship
1997: Institute for Advanced Study Research Fellowship
Single-cell profiling of human gliomas reveals macrophage ontogeny as a basis for regional differences in macrophage activation in the tumor microenvironment
S. Müller, G. Kohanbash, S. Liu, B. Alvorado, D. Carrera, A. Bhaduri, P. Watchmaker, G. Yagnik, E. Di Lullo, M. Malatesta, N. Amankulor, A. Kriegstein, D. Lim, M. Aghi, H. Okada, A. Diaz
Genome Biol. 2017;18(1):234.
Single-cell sequencing maps gene expression to mutational phylogenies in PDGF and EGF driven gliomas
S. Müller, S. J. Liu, E. Di Lullo, M. Malatesta, A. Pollen, T. J. Nowakowski, G. Kohanbash, M. Aghi, A. Kriegstein, D. A. Lim, A. Diaz.
Mol Syst Biol. 2016;12(11):889.
Single cell analysis of long non-coding RNAs in the developing human neocortex
S. Liu, T. Nowakowski, A. Pollen, J. Lui, M. Horlbeck, F. Attenello, D. He, J. Weissman, A. Kriegstein, A. Diaz*, D. Lim*.
Genome Biol. 2016;17:67.
GENT-22. Single-cell profiling of glioblastoma biopsies identifies a family of activating PDGF-receptor deletions
S. Müller, S. J. Liu, M. Malatesta, M. Aghi, A. Kriegstein, G. Kohanbash, D. A. Lim, A. Diaz.
Neuro-Oncology. 2016;18(6). Adult Basic Research Award Soc Neuro-Onc 2016.
Molecular Identity of Human Outer Radial Glia during Cortical Development
A. Pollen, T. Nowakowski, J. Chen, H. Retallack, C. Sandoval-Espinosa, C. Nicholas, J. Shuga, S. Liu, M. Oldham, A. Diaz, D. Lim, A. Leyrat, J. West, A. Kriegstein.