UCLA cancer researcher Maria Begona Diaz Fernandez

Begona Diaz, PhD

Associate Professor in Residence, Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Investigator, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center



Contact Information

Scientific Interests

Dr. Begonia Diaz’s research focuses on the investigation of cell adaptation to stress during cancer progression and metastasis with the goal to uncover actionable targets for therapeutic intervention. In particular, we are interested in targeting protein myristoylation as a means to restrain cancer progression, and to understand the effect of stress signals in invadopodia-mediated cancer cell invasion.

Highlighted Publications

Chen YC, Baik M, Byers JT, Chen KT, French SW, Díaz B. TKS5-positive invadopodia-like structures in human tumor surgical specimens. Exp Mol Pathol. 2019 Feb;106:17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2018.11.005. Epub 2018 Nov 12. PMID: 30439350; PMCID: PMC6368464.

Baik M, French B, Chen YC, Byers JT, Chen KT, French SW, Díaz B. Identification of invadopodia by TKS5 staining in human cancer lines and patient tumor samples. MethodsX. 2019 Mar 28;6:718-726. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2019.03.024. PMID: 31011543; PMCID: PMC6461573.

Chen YC, Baik M, Byers JT, Chen KT, French SW, Díaz B. Experimental supporting data on TKS5 and Cortactin expression and localization in human pancreatic cancer cells and tumors. Data Brief. 2018 Nov 30;22:132-136. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.11.138. PMID: 30581916; PMCID: PMC6297239.

Chen YC, Navarrete MS, Wang Y, McClintock NC, Sakurai R, Wang F, Chen KT, Chou TF, Rehan VK, Lee DJ, Diaz B. N-myristoyltransferase-1 is necessary for lysosomal degradation and mTORC1 activation in cancer cells. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 20;10(1):11952. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-68615-w. PMID: 32686708; PMCID: PMC7371688.

Mejia I, Bodapati S, Chen KT, Díaz B. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Invasiveness and the Tumor Microenvironment: From Biology to Clinical Trials. Biomedicines. 2020 Oct 9;8(10):E401. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8100401. PMID: 33050151.