Dr. Diaz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Ithaca College. He completed an Honors Thesis under Dr. Marina Caillaud that investigated whether endosymbiotic bacteria drove pea aphid host-plant preference in wild aphid populations in the Ithaca area. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, with a focus on virology, under the guidance of Dr. Jianxin You. His thesis work explored the molecular regulation of a newly discovered human tumor virus that causes the extremely lethal skin cancer Merkel Cell Carcinoma. He remained at Penn as a Penn-PORT postdoctoral fellow where he trained both as a science educator and also as a plant biologist. His scientific studies during this time explored cellular factors involved in protein movement between cells in plant roots. During this time he also developed an interest in developing science curriculum that incorporated the humanities including politics, psychology and sociology.
In 2017 Dr. Diaz joined the Integrated Science, Business, and Technology program at La Salle where he develops coursework that explores the field of biotechnology. His present courses include foundational ISBT coursework including both semesters of the SEA-PHAGES collaboration and Living Systems II. His more advanced coursework includes Tissue Culture, Special Topics courses and Capstone. He is also interested in collaborative coursework with other departments including the Biology/ISBT Life Sciences Innovation course.