Mark S. Dias was born on September 13, 1956 in Vallejo, California. He graduated from De La Salle High School in 1974 and attended the University of California at Davis where he received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in animal physiology with an emphasis on neurobiology in 1978. He obtained his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1982, and completed one year of surgical internship and six years of neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh and a two year fellowship at the University of Utah’s Primary Children’s Medical Center, finishing his training in 1991.
Dr. Dias was an attending pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University from July 1991-April 1993. He assumed the position of chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in 1993 and became Assistant Professor and, in 1998, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2001 he was recruited to the Department of Neurosurgery at Penn State University where he has served as Associate Professor and, since 2006, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics, and as Vice Chair for Clinical Neurosurgery and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Dr. Dias’ research interests primarily involve two subject areas: the embryology of craniospinal dysraphic malformations, and abusive head trauma (AHT). He has published 58 journal articles and 29 book chapters. His research on prevention of AHT through perinatal parent education has been funded by the NY State Children and Family Trust Fund, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, in Upstate New York, has resulted in a 45% reduction in the incidence of AHT. He is an internationally recognized expert in AHT and has been an invited speaker in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Turkey and throughout the United States. He is the recipient of several awards for his work in the prevention of AHT including an Excellence in Child Abuse Prevention Award from Prevent Child Abuse New York; a Commissioner’s Award from the New York State Administration on Children, Youth and Families; national awards from the Shaken Baby Alliance and National Shaken Baby Coalition; an Award for Child Abuse Prevention from Family and Children’s Services/Parent Works of Central Pennsylvania; and the Children’s Advocacy Award from the Penn State University College of Medicine.
Dr. Dias is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Joint Section on Pediatric Neurosurgery of the AANS/CNS, the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, the Children’s Oncology Group, The Ray Helfer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the Section on Neurological Surgery of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2003 and has served as Chair since 2008. He also is a member of the Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellowships (ACPNF). Dr. Dias has also served on the Professional Advisory Council of the Spina Bifida Association of America from 1998-2003, and on the Research Advisory Panel for the Spina Bifida Foundation from 2004-2007. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Medicolegal Advisory Panel since 2002.
Dr. Dias lives in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania with his wife Anita, and children Erin and Ethan.