Phedias Diamandis

Phedias Diamandis MD, PhD, FRCPC
Assistant Professor
Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
Phedias Diamandis
Contact Info
T: (416) 340-4459
Website
Location
University Health Network (UHN): Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St. RM11E427
Lab Medicine Program
Toronto, ON, M5G 2C4
Appointment Status Primary
Clinical Interests
Neuropathology
Research Interests
Brain & Neuroscience, Cancer

Accepting PhD research students for 2021

Dr. Diamandis completed his combined MD/PhD and residency training in neuropathology at the University of Toronto. His graduate work was carried out under the mentorship of Professors Peter Dirks and Mike Tyers in the field of cancer stem cell biology. Notably, he designed high-throughput screening platforms to allow chemical profiling of neural precursors and identified novel regulators of neural and cancer stem cell function.

Following completion of his training in 2016, he joined the University Health Network and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as a Neuropathologist and Clinician Scientist. His research team focuses on optimizing high-resolution mass spectrometry for proteomic analysis of clinical formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples to define novel protein-based biomarkers driving disease.

Similarly, his group is utilizing artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency and objectivity of repetitive and subjective tasks in pathology. These tools aim to augment efficiencies of physician-lead pathology workflows, quality assurance and personalized medicine initiatives. Together with proteomics, Dr. Diamandis aims to help modernize pathology, from a somewhat qualitative art, into a highly quantitative science.

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Research/Teaching

Research Synopsis

The Diamandis Lab II focuses on modernizing traditional phenotypic readouts of human disease. Specifically, they are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out large-scale morphologic analyses of neurological disorders not practical by human observers. Similarly, they use proteomics to provide global protein-based profiles of normal developmental and disease processes not possible with traditional candidate protein-based methods (e.g. immunohistochemistry).

As a pathologist, Dr. Diamandis believes morphologic analysis remains at the cornerstone of understanding human disease. Unlike most molecular tools, it provides rich single cell-level information regarding disease while maintaining important spatial relationships of cells within complex tissue. It is however not without limitations. Currently, morphologic analysis still remains a highly qualitative and subjective tool. His team is aiming to overcome these drawbacks by utilizing artificial intelligence, and particularly deep learning, to begin to improve the efficiency and objectivity of repetitive and subjective tasks in pathology. Specifically, they train neural networks to interpret digitized pathology slides and provide annotated outputs to aid in the diagnostic process. Ultimately, the augmentation of physician-led workflows with technology aims to improve quality assurance, patient safety and care.

Dr. Diamandis’ group is also developing expertise in liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to molecularly characterize the global protein architecture of the human brain and neurological disorders. So far, molecular studies have mainly focused on genomic readouts, leaving the proteomic landscape of the brain and its maladies largely unexplored. This is an important gap, as proteins are the functional building blocks that directly carry out biological processes.

Dr. Diamandis recently successfully applied this approach to study different sub-population of cells during human brain development and uncovered a number of novel markers of neuronal cell types and neural precursors. They are now using these proteomic approaches to resolving protein patterns in cancer to predict activated pathways in each patient’s tumor and aid with personalized medicine efforts. Dr. Diamandis’ group hopes to continue to build and leverage LC-MS/MS-based proteomics to molecularly characterize the nervous system and diverse array of disease including neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Development of efficient workflows to isolate and analyze the proteomes of small subpopulations of cells can revolutionize our understanding of the brain and related diseases. Their proteomics expertise offers new approaches to studying these disorders using human tissue.

Dr. Diamandis’ current research team consists of a diverse group of trainees at all levels of training including undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates from both the biological and computer sciences. The Diamandis Lab II seeks to expand by recruiting highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students and skilled technologists with an interest in neurosciences. Their collaborative partnerships provided access to a complete array of state-of-the art machines and experienced personnel. The learning objectives for all trainees during their tenure includes acquisition of foundational knowledge of neuroanatomy, neurosciences, neuro-oncology and neuro-development as well as familiarization and novel application of contemporary molecular techniques in these fields.

Specifically, The Diamandis Lab II is currently looking to recruit highly motivated and accomplished individuals with bioinformatics and programming expertise. Talented graphic designers and medical writers are also encouraged to apply for internships.

Publications and Awards

View PubMed search of this faculty member's recent publications.

Recent Publications

Diamandis P, Wildenhain J, Clarke ID, Sacher AG, Graham J, Bellows DS, Ling EK, Ward RJ, Jamieson LG, Tyers M & Dirks PB. Chemical genetics reveals a complex functional ground state of neural stem cells. Nat Chem Biol 2007; 3:268-73.

Diamandis P, Sacher AG, Tyers M & Dirks PB. New drugs for brain tumors? Insights from chemical probing of neural stem cells. Med Hypotheses 2009; 72:683-7.

Diamandis P, Ferrer-Luna R, Huang RY, Folkerth RD, Ligon AH, Wen PY, Beroukhim R, Ligon KL, Ramkissoon SH. Case Report: Next generation sequencing identifies a NAB2-STAT6 fusion in Glioblastoma. Diagn Pathol. 2016 Jan 27;11(1):13

Diamandis P, Chitayat D, Toi A, Blaser S, Shannon P. The pathology of incipient polymicrogyria. Brain Dev. 2016 Jul 9.

Djuric U, Zadeh G, Aldape K, Diamandis P. Precision Histology: How deep learning is poised to revitalize the H&E slide for personalized cancer care. npj Precision Oncology 2017 June 19; 1:22

Diamandis P, Aldape KD. Insights From Molecular Profiling of Adult Glioma. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Jul 20; 35(21):2386-239

Djuric U, Rodrigues DC, Batruch I, Ellis J, Shannon P, Diamandis P. Spatiotemporal proteomic profiling of human cerebral development. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2017 Sep;16(9):1548-1562