Elva Diaz

image of Elva Diaz

Associate Professor


Pharmacology - Medicine

Offices and Labs

3515 Genome & Biomedical Sciences Facility
(530) 754-6080
3409A Genome & Biomedical Sciences Facility
(530) 754-6414


1999 PhD Biochemistry Stanford University
1993 BA Biochemistry Harvard University

Research Interests

Functional genomics of nervous system development.

My lab's main research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms of nervous system development in rodent model systems. We use DNA microarrays as a tool to identify genes that are developmentally regulated during mouse brain development. Candidate genes are characterized with molecular and cellular techniques and transgenic mice. In particular, my lab is interested in two areas: neural proliferation and synapse development. We have identified several candidate molecules that increase in gene expression during the period of neural proliferation or synapse formation and we are currently studying the role of two molecules (Mxd3 and SynDIG1) in these processes.


Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Department and Center Affiliations

Center for Neuroscience
Genome Center
Cancer Center


American Society of Cell Biology
Society for Neuroscience
American Association for Cancer Research

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Neurobiology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Pharmacology & Toxicology


Diaz Lab
  • Lyndsey Kirk, Graduate student (BMCDB)
  • Tin Ngo, Graduate student (BMCDB)
  • Abraham Corrales, Undergraduate student
  • Mayra Orozco-Llamas, Undergraduate student
  • Michelle Pham, Undergraduate student
  • Kris Plambeck, Graduate student (BMCDB)

Teaching Interests

Developmental neurobiology, cell biology of the neuron, genomics


NSC 224AB Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience (Spring)
NSC 289 Topics in Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience (Fall, Winter, Spring)
PHA 250 Functional Genomics: From bench to bedside (Spring)

Personal Interests

Davis Aquatic Masters website
Bikram Yoga website


11/2/2014 2:58:05 PM
  • Satake N, Duong C, Chen C, Barisone GA, Díaz E, Tuscano J, Rocke DM, Nolta J, and Nitin N. Targeted therapy with MXD3 siRNA, anti-CD22 antibody and nanoparticles for precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Br J Haematol. 2014 Sep 8. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13066. [Epub ahead of print] 

  • Ngo T, Barisone GA, Lam KS, and Díaz E, MXD3 regulation of DAOY cell proliferation dictated by time course of activation, BMC Cell Biol. 2014, 15:30. 

  • Barisone GA, Ngo T, Tran M, Cortes D, Shahi MH, Nguyen TV, Lanza-Perez D, Matayasuwan W, and Díaz E, Role of Mxd3 in proliferation of DAOY human medulloblastoma cells . PLoS ONE. 2012;7(7):e38508. 

  • McMahon SA and Díaz E., Mechanisms of excitatory synapse maturation by trans-synaptic organizing complexes [invited review]. Curr Opin Neuro 2011, 21(2): 221-227

  • Kalashnikova E, Lorca RA, Kaur I, Barisone GA, Li BH, Ishimaru T, Trimmer JS, Mohapatra DP, and Díaz E. SynDIG1: an activity-regulated AMPA receptor interacting transmembrane protein that regulates excitatory synapse development, Neuron, 2010, 65: 80-93.
  • Díaz E (2010). Dynamic expression of SynDIG1 mRNA in cerebellar Purkinje neurons. Current Neurobiology, 1(1): 78-81.
  • Díaz E (2009), From microarrays to mechanisms of brain development and function [Invited review], Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jul 24;385(2):129-31. Epub 2009 May 19.
  • Díaz E (2009), One decade later: What has gene expression profiling told us about neuronal cell types, brain function and disease? [Invited review]. Current Genomics, 10(5): 318-325.
  • Barisone GA, Yun JS, and Díaz E (2008), From cellellar proliferation to tumorigenesis: novel insights into the role of Mad3 [invited Extra-View], Cell Cycle, [invited Extra-View], Cell Cycle, 7: 423-7. Epub 2007 Dec 6.
  • Yun JS, Rust JM, Ishimaru T, and Diaz E (2007), A novel role for the Mad family member Mad3 in cerebellar granule neuron precursor proliferation, Mol. Cell. Biol. 27: 8178-8189.
  • Diaz E, Ge Y, Yang YH, Loh KC, Serafini TA, Okazaki Y, Hayashizaki Y, Speed TP, Ngai J and Scheiffele P. (2002). Molecular analysis of gene expression in the developing pontocerebellar projection system. Neuron 36, 417-434.
  • Diaz E, Yang YH, Ferreira T, Loh KC, Okazaki Y, Hayashizaki Y, Tessier-Lavigne M, Speed TP and Ngai J (2003). Analysis of gene expression in the developing mouse retina, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 5491-5496.
  • Diaz E and Pfeffer SR (1998). TIP47: A cargo selection device for mannose 6-phosphate receptor trafficking. Cell 93, 433-443.