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.


Not accepting new M.S. students in 2023-2024

Not accepting new Ph.D. students in 2023-2024

Recent Publications

McCarthy-Leo, C., Darwiche, F., Tainsky, M.A. DNA Repair Mechanisms, Protein Interactions and Therapeutic Targeting of the MRN Complex. Cancers 2022, 14, 5278. PMID: 36358700. 

Baughan, SL, Darwiche, F, Tainsky, MA. Functional analysis of ATM variants in a high-risk cohort provides insight into missing heritability, 2022 Cancer Genetics, 264:40-49. PMID: 35354106.

Germline mutations in apoptosis pathway genes in ovarian cancer; the functional role of a TP53I3 (PIG3) variant in ROS production and DNA repair. Chaudhry SR, Lopes J, Levin NK, Kalpage H, Tainsky MA. Cell Death Discovery. 2021 Mar. 29;7(1):62. PMID: 33782397

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, 27:407-421.  PMID: 32083570

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 Mar;8(3):920-927.1944. PubMed PMID: 30761774; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6434204.

Chaudhry, SC and Tainsky, MA. Utilizing iVariantGuide for Variant Assessment of Next Generation Sequencing.  Current Protocols in Bioinformatics Epub ahead of print, FEB. 2019. PMID:  30747482

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. PMID: 31078449

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 and Cancer, 57:19-27, 2018 PubMed PMID: 28891274.

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 (Phila). 2018 11:655-664. PMID: 30104415.


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