Elva Diaz, Ph.D.

Elva Denise Diaz, Ph.D.




  • Professor


Genome and Biomedical Sciences Building

451 Health Sciences Drive, Suite 3503
Davis, CA 95616
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Phone: 530-754-6080
Clinic Fax: 530-752-7710
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Research/Academic Interests

Elva Diaz's research interests include functional genomics of nervous system development. Her lab's main research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms of neural development using a rodent model system. In particular, she is interested in two areas: neural proliferation and synapse development.



Center/Program Affiliation

Center for Neuroscience
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


Ph.D., Biochemistry, Stanford University, Stanford CA 1999

Postdoc, Dev Neuro, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 1999-2003

B.A., Harvard University, Cambridge MA 1993

Professional Memberships

American Society for Cell Biology

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

Society for Neuroscience

Honors and Awards

National Science Foundation Award, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1992

NIH Director's New Innovator Award,

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship,

Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship,

Select Recent Publications

Matt L, Kirk LM, Chenaux G, Speca DJ, Puhger KR, Pride MC, Qneibi M, Haham T, Plambeck KE, Stern-Bach Y, Silverman JL, Crawley JN, Hell JW, Díaz E. SynDIG4/Prrt1 Is Required for Excitatory Synapse Development and Plasticity Underlying Cognitive Function. Cell Rep. 2018 Feb 27;22(9):2246-2253. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.026. PMID:29490264.

Chenaux G, Matt L, Hill TC, Kaur I, Liu XB, Kirk LM, Speca DJ, McMahon SA, Zito K, Hell JW, Díaz E. Loss of SynDIG1 Reduces Excitatory Synapse Maturation But Not Formation In Vivo. eNeuro. 2016 Oct 21;3(5):ENEURO.0130-16.2016. doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0130-16.2016. PMID:27800545.

Kaur I, Yarov-Yarovoy V, Kirk LM, Plambeck KE, Barragan EV, Ontiveros ES, Díaz E. Activity-Dependent Palmitoylation Controls SynDIG1 Stability, Localization, and Function. J Neurosci. 2016 Jul 20;36(29):7562-8. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4859-14.2016. PMID:27445135.

Kirk LM, Ti SW, Bishop HI, Orozco-Llamas M, Pham M, Trimmer JS, Díaz E. Distribution of the SynDIG4/proline-rich transmembrane protein 1 in rat brain. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Aug 1;524(11):2266-80. doi:10.1002/cne.23945. Epub 2015 Dec 29. PMID:26660156.

Barisone GA, Ngo T, Tran M, Cortes D, Shahi MH, Nguyen TV, Perez-Lanza D, Matayasuwan W, Díaz E. Role of MXD3 in proliferation of DAOY human medulloblastoma cells. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e38508. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038508. Epub 2012 Jul 10. PMID:22808009.

Kalashnikova E, Lorca RA, Kaur I, Barisone GA, Li B, Ishimaru T, Trimmer JS, Mohapatra DP, Díaz E. SynDIG1: an activity-regulated, AMPA- receptor-interacting transmembrane protein that regulates excitatory synapse development. Neuron. 2010 Jan 14;65(1):80-93. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.12.021. PMID:20152115.

Yun JS, Rust JM, Ishimaru T, Díaz E. A novel role of the Mad family member Mad3 in cerebellar granule neuron precursor proliferation. Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Dec;27(23):8178-89. doi:10.1128/MCB.00656-06. Epub 2007 Sep 24. PMID:17893326.

Díaz E, Ge Y, Yang YH, Loh KC, Serafini TA, Okazaki Y, Hayashizaki Y, Speed TP, Ngai J, Scheiffele P. Molecular analysis of gene expression in the developing pontocerebellar projection system. Neuron. 2002 Oct 24;36(3):417-34. doi:10.1016/s0896-6273(02)01016-4. PMID:12408845.

To view a detailed list of  Dr. Diaz's publications, please click here.