Michael A. Tainsky

Michael Andrew Tainsky, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Oncology
421 E. Canfield Street, Suite 3126
Detroit, MI 48201

Mentoring:  Laura Hurley  (Senior Student)

• Whole Genomic Analysis of Germline Cancer Risk
• Proteomic Approaches to the Early Detection of Cancer
• Mechanisms Leading to Inherited Cancer

Research Interests:
• Molecular genetic mechanisms by which normal cells become malignant
• Pathway analysis of gene expression changes leading to DNA Damage
• Development of novel cancer diagnostic tests for early detection of cancer in the form of a complex blood test

Research Description:
The research focus of the lab is based on our research experience in inherited cancer and genomic instability.

Finding the Cancer Early. We have developed technology for a new biochip-based test for cancer that can predict cancer before there are symptoms. Protein microarrays containing thousands of proteins are used in screening tests for breast and ovarian cancer.

Understanding Cells with Defective, Mutant Cancer Genes. We discovered over 30 years ago that cells with defects in cancer predisposing genes grow abnormally in the laboratory. Using genomic profiling, we have identified pathways that contribute to immortalization of cancer cells and inherited cancer. These pathways are being studied to develop new therapies for the early interference in cancer formation in patients genetically predisposed to the disease.

Selected Publications:

Wang X, Kallionpää RA, Gonzales PR, Chitale DA, Tousignant RN, Crowley JP, Chen Z, Yoder SJ, Blakeley JO, Acosta MT, Korf BR, Messiaen LM, Tainsky MA. Germline and Somatic NF1 Alterations Are Linked to Increased HER2 Expression in Breast Cancer. Cancer Prev Res. 2018doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-18-0072. [Epub ahead of print]

Chatterjee M, Hurley LC, Levin NK, Stack M, Tainsky MA. Utility of paraneoplastic antigens as biomarkers for surveillance and prediction of recurrence in ovarian cancer.  Cancer Biomark. 2017;20:369-87.

Wang X, Teer JK, Tousignant RN, Levin AM, Boulware D, Chitale DA, Shaw BM, Chen Z, Zhang Y, Blakeley JO, Acosta MT, Messiaen LM, Korf BR, Tainsky MA. Breast cancer risk and germline genomic profiling of women with neurofibromatosis type 1 who developed breast cancer. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018;57:19-27.  

Chatterjee M, Hurley LC, Tainsky MA. Paraneoplastic antigens as biomarkers for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer.  Gynecol Oncol Rep. 2017;21:37-44.

Stafford JL, Dyson G, Levin NK, Chaudhry S, Rosati R, Kalpage H, Wernette C, Petrucelli N, Simon MS, Tainsky MA. Reanalysis of BRCA1/2 negative high risk ovarian cancer patients reveals novel germline risk loci and insights into missing heritability. PLoS One. 2017;12:e0178450.

Ahsan S, Ge Y, Tainsky MA. Combinatorial therapeutic targeting of BMP2 and MEK-ERK pathways in NF1-associated malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.  Oncotarget. 2016;7:57171-85.

Ernst A, Jones DT, Maass KK, Rode A, Deeg KI, Jebaraj BM, Korshunov A, Hovestadt V, Tainsky MA, Pajtler KW, Bender S, Brabetz S, Gröbner S, Kool M, Devens F, Edelmann J, Zhang C, Castelo-Branco P, Tabori U, Malkin D, Rippe K, Stilgenbauer S, Pfister SM, Zapatka M, Lichter P. Telomere dysfunction and chromothripsis. Int J Cancer. 2016;138:2905-14.

Education and Training:
BA in Chemistry (1971): New York University (Honors), New York, New York
PhD in Molecular Biology (1977): Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Cancer Biology Courses Taught:
CB7210 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology
CB7300 Special Topics F31 Grant Writing Course
CB7700 Recent Developments in Cancer Biology