Andres F. Diaz

Graduate School
College of Medicine – Tucson
Year Entered Program: 
Grad Year: 
Degrees Received: 
  • Tulane University | New Orleans, LA | MS, Cellular and Molecular Biology | 2018
  • University of Central Florida | Orlando, FL | BS, Biomedical Sciences, BS Biotechnology, Minor, Medical Anthropology | 2017
University of Arizona | Tucson, AZ | MD/PhD Candidate, Cancer Biology | 2028
Thesis Advisor: 
Emmanuel Katsanis, MD
Thesis Research: 

I am interested in the role of the bone marrow tumor microenvironment (TME) in the progression and recurrence of pediatric cancers. My current project explores cancer-associated adipocytes (CAAs) in the bone marrow and their interaction with metastatic neuroblastoma. I am particularly intrigued by neuroblastoma-induced phenotypic changes among resident bone marrow adipocytes, their eventual transformation into the CCA phenotype, and the subsequent changes that result in improved bone marrow metastasis and tumor cell survival. Supported by recent literature in breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and prostate cancer, these changes may include:

  • A metabolic change in the TME induced by increased fatty-acid oxidation and shift in tumor metabolism towards fat metabolism (Anti-Warburg effect). This includes modulation of HIF-1 and increased angiogenesis. 
  • Improved metastatic potential in bone marrow from the release of metastasis modulators, pro-inflammatory markers, and pro-migration molecules.
  • CAA-derived pharmacological resistance to chemotherapy and decreased efficacy of bone marrow transplantation.

About Me: 

Throughout my personal and professional life, I have been inspired by the work of physicians and scientists who dedicate their work to improving access to health services, life-saving medicines, education, and resource equity. As such, I strive to place patients and underserved communitites at the center of my research, doing my best to integrate a "bench-to-bedside" approach to all of my work. As an aspiring pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher, I plan to nurture a practice that cares for those in the "outskirts" of society locally and a broad as well as commit to a research philosophy that includes patient communities underrepresented in research literature.

I am currently serving as Chief Editor of The New Physician magazine and as a member of the AMSA National Board of Trustees.

Always looking to collaborate or help in any way. Feell free to contact me via email!

Honors & Awards: 
  • American Medical Student Association, James Slayton National Award for Leadership Excellence | 2022
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology, Summer Internship and Travel Award ($6500) | 2021
  • National Institute of Health, Medical Student Research Program ($5000) | 2021
  • UA College of Medicine, Latino Medical Student Association Community Service Award | 2021
  • The Daily Wildcat, Rising Star in Science Journalism | 2021
Selected Publications: 

Acacemic Publications

  • Marielle Ngamije, MPH, Andres Diaz, MS, Ntami Echeng, BSc, Victoria Ainsworth, BSc, Lydia Asana, PhD; Chapter 12: Key Steps for Youth Inclusion in Global Health Efforts; Approaching global oncology: The win-win model; IOP Publishing; Bristol, UK; 2022
  • “Lack of Publications Featuring Skin of Color in High Impact Journals and its Effects on Medical Education: A Call to Action”; Britney N. Wilson, MBS, Mary Sun, Claire Ufongene, Andres F. Diaz, MS, Dedee F. Murrell, MD, Jenny E. Murase, MD; Journal of American Academy of Dermatology. (In review)
  • “Assessing hypertension management and identifying health disparities in the Latino population at a medical student-Run free family clinic”; Amanda Chung, Andres F. Diaz, MS, Daniel Sadoway, Patricia Lebensohn, MD; Journal of Student-Run Clinics. (In review)


  • Turning the Tide Against Malaria; Andres F. Diaz, MS; The Daily Wildcat; Tucson, AZ; 2021
  • Coronavirus Resurgence and Mental Health Obstacles for Health Professionals; Andres F. Diaz, MS; The New Physician; Washington, DC; 2021
  • Hablas Español? Spanish in an Evolving Medical Stage; Andres F. Diaz, MS; The Daily Wildcat; Tucson, AZ; 2020