School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Michael A. Tainsky

Michael Andrew Tainsky, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Oncology
Leader, Molecular Biology & Genetics
110 E. Warren Avenue, PR03GL
Detroit, MI 48201

Mentoring: Sidra Ahsan ( Senior Student ), Maggie Purcell ( Graduated 07/18/2014/ )

• Mechanisms of Cellular Immortalization
• Proteomic Approaches to the Early Detection of Cancer
• Oncolytic Viral Approaches to Cancer Therapeutics

Research Interests:
• Molecular genetic mechanisms by which normal cells become malignant
• Pathway analysis of gene expression changes leading to cellular immortalization
• 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 20 years ago that cells with defects in cancer predisposing genes grow abnormally in the laboratory. Using genomic profiling, we have identified three genetic pathways that contribute to immortalization of cancer cells. 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:

Sun D, Haddad R, Kraniak JM, Horne SD, Tainsky MA. RAS/MEK-independent gene expression reveals BMP2-related malignant phenotypes in the Nf1-deficient MPNST. Mol Cancer Res. 2013;11:616-27.

Kaplun L, Fridman AL, Chen W, Levin NK, Ahsan S, Petrucelli N, Barrick JL, Gold R, Land S, Simon MS, Morris RT, Munkarah AR, Tainsky MA. Variants in the Signaling Protein TSAd are Associated with Susceptibility to Ovarian Cancer in BRCA1/2 Negative High Risk Families. Biomark Insights. 2012;7:151-7.

Sun D, Tainsky MA, Haddad R. Oncogene Mutation Survey in MPNST Cell Lines Enhances the Dominant Role of Hyperactive Ras in NF1 Associated Pro-Survival and Malignancy. Transl Oncogenomics. 2012;5:1-7.

Chatterjee M, Dyson G, Levin NK, Shah JP, Morris R, Munkarah A, Tainsky MA. Tumor autoantibodies as biomarkers for predicting ovarian cancer recurrence. Cancer Biomark. 2012;11:59-73.

Fletcher NM, Jiang Z, Ali-Fehmi R, Levin NK, Belotte J, Tainsky MA, Diamond MP, Abu-Soud HM, Saed GM. Myeloperoxidase and free iron levels: potential biomarkers for early detection and prognosis of ovarian cancer. Cancer Biomark. 2011-2012;10:267-75.

Li Q, Tainsky MA. Epigenetic silencing of IRF7 and/or IRF5 in lung cancer cells leads to increased sensitivity to oncolytic viruses. PLoS One. 2011;6:e28683.

Moolmuang B, Tainsky MA. CREG1 enhances p16(INK4a) -induced cellular senescence. Cell Cycle. 2011;10:518-30.

Li Q, Tainsky MA. Higher miRNA tolerance in immortal Li-Fraumeni fibroblasts with abrogated interferon signaling pathway. Cancer Res. 2011;71:255-65.

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