Max Diem

1976 PhD., University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
1970 Vordiplom (BS) Universität Karlsruhe, Germany

Area(s) of Expertise
Physical and Biophysical Chemistry, Bio-Imaging, Medical Diagnostics

Research Interests

The research in Prof. Diem’s laboratory is centered on the development of optical methods for medical diagnosis. In contrast to standard pathology, where stained cells and tissues are examined visually under a microscope, we measure changes in cellular composition using molecular fingerprint techniques, such as infrared and Raman micro-spectroscopy.
The research being carried out is divided into three major areas. In Prof. Diem’s work on tissue diagnostics, he has developed methods for the detection and diagnosis of secondary (metastatic) tumors in lymph nodes (Figure 1) by methods of infrared spectral imaging. Prof. Diem’s lab is working on producing instrumentation and software that can diagnose and classify tissue sections, and provide the physician with an objective diagnosis of disease. Similarly, he is using the infrared spectral signatures of individual exfoliated cells to determine pre-cancer and viral infection (Figure 2). The infrared methods have been licensed to a start-up company to commercialize the diagnostic methodologies.

Prof. Diem’s lab also uses Raman micro-spectroscopy, in conjunction with multivariate imaging analysis al-gorithms, to follow cellular processes and drug uptake into cells by a minimally invasive method.

Lab Website



316 Hurtig Hall

Chemistry professor retires from Northeastern

Professor Max Diem retired from Northeastern University at the end of the spring semester after a decade in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.