Michael Tainsky

Michael Tainsky




Michael Tainsky


421 E. Canfield Street, Suite 3126 Detroit, MI 48201

Office Address

421 E. Canfield Street, Suite 3126
Detroit, MI 48201 


 Oncology and Pathology

Research Interests

  • Whole Genomic Analysis of Germline Cancer Risk
  • Proteomic Approaches to the Early Detection of Cancer
  • Mechanisms Leading to Inherited Cancer
  • 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. Whole exome sequencing has been used to identify rare variants of hereditary ovarian cancer risk genes and methods are being developed to evaluate them as functionally defective or benign.

Selected Publications

Baughan, SL, Darwiche, F, Tainsky, MA. Functional analysis of ATM variants in a high-risk cohort provides insight into missing heritability. Cancer Genetics 2022;264:40-9.

Choudhry, SC, Lopes, JL, Levin, NK, Kalpage H, Tainsky MA. Germline mutations in apoptosis pathway genes in ovarian cancer; the functional role of a TP53I3 (PIG3) variant in ROS production and DNA repair. Cell Death and Discovery 2021;7:62.

Baughan S, Tainsky MA. K3326X and Other C-Terminal BRCA2 Variants Implicated in Hereditary Cancer Syndromes. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13:447.

Evaluation of paraneoplastic antigens reveals TRIM21 as autoantibody biomarker for early detection of ovarian cancer in combination with TP53 and NY-ESO-1. Hurley LC, Levin NK, Chatterjee MC, Coles J, Muszkat S, Howarth Z, Dyson G, Tainsky MA. Cancer Biomark. 2020;27:407-21.

Lopes, JL, Choudhry, SC, Levin, NK, Tainsky MA. FANCM, RAD1, CHEK1 and TP53I3 Act as BRCA-like Tumor Suppressors and are Mutated in Hereditary Ovarian Cancer, Cancer Genetics. 2019;235–236:57–64.

Chaudhry, SC and Tainsky, MA. Utilizing iVariantGuide for Variant Assessment of Next Generation Sequencing. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. 2019;65:e73.

Farran B, Albayrak S, Abrams J, Tainsky MA, Levin NK, Morris R, Matherly LH, Ratnam M, Winer I. Serum folate receptor α (sFR) in ovarian cancer diagnosis and surveillance. Cancer Med. 2019;8:920-7.

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. 2018;11:655-64.

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.



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

Courses Taught

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

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