Michael A. Tainsky, PhD

Michael A. Tainsky, PhD
Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Oncology and of Pathology; Karmanos Cancer Institute
421 East Canfield Avenue
3126 Elliman Building
Detroit, MI 48201


Cornell University, PhD, 1977

Research Focus

The overall theme of the research within my laboratory is the understanding of basic mechanisms of molecular and cellular biology that are altered as cells progress to become neoplastic. My approach has been to use in vitro human cell models of carcinogenesis and differentiation to identify critical molecular mechanisms. We have identified studied spontaneous genomic instability immortalization in cells from familial cancer patients. In particular we are interested in mechanisms of transcription that cause changes in cell phenotype. We are developing novel cancer diagnostics methods for high risk populations who are genetically predisposed to cancer.

Recent Publications

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, Translational Oncogenomics 2012.  5:1-7.  PMID:22346343

Wang X, Levin AM, Smolinski SE, Vigneau, FD, Levin, NK,  Tainsky, MA.  Breast Cancer and Other Neoplasias in Women with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: A Retrospective Review of Cases in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2012, 158A:3061-4.  PMID:  22965642.

Chatterjee M, Dyson G, Levin NK, Shah JP, Morris R, Munkarah A, Tainsky, MA. Tumor Autoantibodies as Biomarkers for Predicting Ovarian Cancer Recurrence, Cancer Biomarkers, 2012, 11:59-73. PMID:  23011153.  PMCID:  3819456.

Kaplun L, Levine Fridman A, 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, Biomarker Insights, 2012:7 151–157.  PMID:  23300341.

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.  Molecular Cancer Research, 2013, 11:1-12.  PMID:  23423222.

Purcell M, Kruger A, Tainsky MA.  Gene expression profiling of replicative and induced senescence.  Cell Cycle, 2014; 13(24):3927-37.   PMID:  25483067.

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. PMID: 26856307.

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 Aug 30 [Epub ahead of print] 7: 57171-57185, 2016. PMID: 27494873.

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 Jun 7;12(6):e0178450. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178450. 2017. PubMed PMID: 28591191