ESR13 – Joey Mark Diaz – based in Leeds

Project Title: Genomic Copy Number Alterations in Melanoma and Patient Survival
PhD Award Expected: Autumn 2020

In 2016, I joined the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology (now Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James’s), School of Medicine in the University of Leeds for a PhD study on analysis of genomic copy number alteration and melanoma survival as one of the selected 17 Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellows under MELGEN.

I finished BSc in Statistics in Central Luzon State University, Philippines in 2010 as a government scholar with an undergraduate work on multiple imputation using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. I then worked as research assistant in the National Genetic Program Unit of the Philippine Carabao Center in 2010 and as biostatistician in the University of Sto Tomas Center for Drug Research, Evaluation and Studies, Inc in 2011. I was awarded an Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP) in 2011 by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to study MSc in Health Informatics-Bioinformatics in the University of the Philippines Manila. My graduate work focused on the classification of lung cancer using statistical and machine learning methods applied to transcriptomic data.

Aside from science, I have more than three years of corporate experience working on statistical financial risk models as credit scoring specialist in the RCBC Savings Bank and as retail modelling analytics manager in the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.

I look forward to taking part in improving patient treatment in my home country through personalised and stratified medicine using genomics.


Research Summary

Coming soon…


Váraljai R., Wistuba-Hamprecht K., Seremet T., Diaz JMS, Nsengimana J., Sucker A., Griewank K., Placke J-M., Horn P.A., von Neuhoff N., Shannan B., Chauvistré H., Vogel F.C.E., Horn S., Becker J.C., Newton-Bishop J., Stang A., Neyns B., Weide B., Schadendorf D., Roesch A. Application of Circulating Cell-Free Tumor DNA Profiles for Therapeutic Monitoring and Outcome Prediction in Genetically Heterogeneous Metastatic Melanoma. JCO Precision Oncology 2019; :3, 1-10. Available at:

Poźniak J, Nsengimana J, Laye JP, O’Shea SJ, Diaz JMS, Droop AP, Filia A, Harland M, Davies JR, Mell T, Randerson-Moor JA, Muralidhar S, Hogan SA, Freiberger SN, Levesque MP, Cook GP, Bishop DT, Newton-Bishop J. Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Immune Response to Cutaneous Melanoma. Cancer Res. 2019 May 15;79(10):2684-2696. Available at:

Filia A, Droop A, Harland M, Thygesen H, Randerson-Moor J, Snowden H, Taylor C, Diaz JMS, Pozniak J, Nsengimana J, Laye J, Newton-Bishop JA, Bishop DT. High-Resolution Copy Number Patterns From Clinically Relevant FFPE Material. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 20;9(1):8908. Available at:

Thakur R, Laye JP, Lauss M, Diaz JMS, O’Shea SJ, Poźniak J, Filia A, Harland M, Gascoyne J, Randerson-Moor JA, Chan M, Mell T, Jönsson G, Bishop DT, Newton-Bishop J, Barrett JH. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Prognostic Molecular Signatures of Stage I Melanoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Dec 15;25(24):7424-7435. Available at:

Muralidhar S, Filia A, Nsengimana J, Poźniak J, O’Shea SJ, Diaz JM, Harland M, Randerson-Moor JA, Reichrath J, Laye JP, van der Weyden L, Adams DJ, Bishop DT, Newton-Bishop J. Vitamin D-VDR signaling inhibits Wnt/beta-catenin-mediated melanoma progression and promotes anti-tumor immunity. Cancer Res. 2019 Dec 1;79(23):5986-5998. Available at: