Roberto Diaz, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)

Roberto Diaz, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Contact Information
Email address: 
roberto.diaz [at]
Hospital title: 
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery Clinic
Brain Tumour Clinic

Dr. Diaz’s laboratory is in the Brain Tumour Research Centre, where he will use molecular biology techniques to study how brain cancer cells develop and find ways to stop their growth without toxic effects to normal cells in the body.

Dr. Roberto Jose Diaz is a neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University who specializes in the neurosurgical treatment of brain tumours. His research at The Neuro's Brain Tumour Research Centre focuses on understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of cancer in the brain.

Model systems, genetic tools, and biochemical assays are used to understand how brain cancer cells originate, replicate, survive, and migrate. By understanding the basic processes that allow tumours to develop, smart medicines can be developed which will be less toxic to normal cells and effectively seek and destroy brain cancer cells. The laboratory also studies new strategies for delivering drugs and biological agents across the blood-brain barrier, which prevents many useful chemotherapy agents from entering the brain.

In addition to basic science research, Dr. Diaz leads a clinical research program. His main areas of research are the assessment of targeted therapies for malignant brain tumours and the development of minimally invasive surgical tools for brain tumour diagnosis and treatment.

Selected publications: 

Ivan ME, Diaz RJ, Berger MH, Basil GW, Osiason DA, Plate T, Wallo A, Komotar RJ. (2016) Magnetic Resonance-Guided Laser Ablation for the Treatment of Recurrent Dural Based Lesions: A Series of Five Cases. World Neurosurg. Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Diaz RJ, McVeigh PZ, Etame AB, Bramall A, Smith C, Rutka JT. (2016) Rational Design of Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Brain Tumor Targeting. J. Bionanosci. 10, 247–256

Jermakowicz WJ, Diaz RJ, Cass SH, Ivan ME, Komotar RJ. (2016) Use of a mobile intraoperative CT scanner for navigation registration during laser interstitial thermal therapy of brain tumors. World Neurosurg. Oct; 94:418-425

Girgis F, Diaz R, Hader W, Hamilton M. (2015) Comparison of Intracranial Neuroendoscopic Procedures in Children versus Adults. Can J Neurol Sci. Nov;42(6):427-35.

Diaz RJ, Dios RR, Hattab EM, Burrell K, Rakopoulos P, Sabha N, Hawkins C, Zadeh G, Rutka JT, Cohen-Gadol AA. (2015) Study of the biodistribution of fluorescein in glioma infiltrated mouse brain and histopathologic correlation of intraoperative findings in high-grade gliomas resected under fluorescein fluorescence-guidance. J Neurosurgery. Jun;122(6):1360-9. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Diaz RJ, Golbourn B, Faria C, Picard D, Shih D, Raynaud D, Leadly M, MacKenzie D, Bryant M, Bebenek M, Smith CA, Taylor MD, Huang A, Rutka, JT. (2015) Mechanism of action and therapeutic efficacy of Aurora kinase B inhibition in MYC overexpressing medulloblastoma. Oncotarget Feb 20;6(5):3359-3374.

Rutka JT, Kim B, Etame A, Diaz RJ. (2014) Nanosurgical Resection of Malignant Brain Tumors: Beyond the Cutting Edge. ACS Nano. Oct 28; 8(10):9716-22. Epub 2014 Sept 18.

Diaz RJ, Girgis F, Hamilton M (2014). Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for hydrocephalus due to tectal glioma. Can J Neurol Sci. Jul; 41(4):476-81.

Diaz RJ, Maggacis N, Zhang S, Cusimano MD. (2014) Determinants of quality of life in patients with skull base chordomas. J Neurosurgery. Feb;120(2):528-37

Diaz RJ, McVeigh PZ, O’Reilly M, Burrell K, Bebeneck M, Smith C, Etame A, Zadeh G, Hynynen K, Wilson BC, Rutka JT. (2014) Focused ultrasound delivery of Raman nanoparticles across the blood-brain barrier: Potential for targeting experimental brain tumors. Nanomedicine. Jul;10(5):1075-87

Research areas: 
Brain Tumour

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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.




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