Michael Tainsky

Michael Tainsky

Michael Tainsky

Position Title

Basic Science

Office Location

Karmanos Cancer Institute
Elliman Building, RM - 3126
421 E Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201

Mailing Address

Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R., EL03GL
Detroit, MI 48201

Office Phone


Office Fax


Education Training

(1977)  Ph.D. Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
(1971)  B.A. Chemistry (with Honors), New York University, Bronx, NY

Postgraduate Training
(1976-1977)  Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Nutley, NJ with Dr. Herbert Weissbach

Professional Experience

Faculty Appointments
(2012-Present)  Professor, Oncology, and Barbara and Fred Erb Endowed Professor in Cancer Genetics at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit MI
(1998-2012)  Professor and Leader, Program in Molecular Biology & Human Genetics, Barbara and Fred Erb Endowed Professor in Cancer Genetics at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit MI

Hospital and Other Professional Appointments
(1998-Present)  Member, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Major Professional Societies

(1998-Present)  American Society of Human Genetics
(1993-Present)  International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology & Medicine
(1987-Present)  American Association for Cancer Research
(1985-Present)  American Association for the Advancement of Science
(1985-Present)  American Society of Microbiology

Honors and Awards

(2012)  WSUSOM Research Excellence Award for Professor
(2000-Present)  Barbara and Fred Erb Endowed Professor in Cancer Genetics

Courses taught

CB 7015: Interdisciplinary Molecular and Cellular Biology
CB 7210: Fundamentals of Cancer Biology
MGG 7015: Introduction to Genetics
MGG 7600: Advanced Human Genetics

Research Interests

Dr. Tainsky is an experienced molecular biologist who has been studying the molecular basis of human cancer for more than 30 years.  In 1998, he came to the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University School of Medicine, after 13 years on the faculty of the University of Texas, M.D.AndersonCancerCenter in Houston, TX and 8 years at NCI/NIH.  He continues to study the biological effects of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and transcription factor on tumor cells, and in the Li-Fraumeni Cancer Syndrome, mechanisms of cellular immortalization and senescence.  Recently he extended his mechanistic cancer research to translational applications of genomics and proteomics to molecular diagnostics.  For the past 12 years his laboratory has developed the epitope cloning technology, protein microarray immunoassays, the methods for identifying the RNA and antigen biomarkers, as well as new informatics tools for the classification. He has published over 135 peer-review papers which have more than 12000 citations.  In 2009 he published a 330 page book as editor in the Methods in Molecular Biology Series from Humana Press entitled Tumor Biomarker Discovery drawing 22 chapters from authors around the world including one chapter from his own lab giving detailed protocols into the technology he developed.  He was invited to guest edit a Special Issue of the journal Cancer Biomarkers on Antibody Biomarkers Volume 6 and another on Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers.  He is currently a guest editor on volumes on Proteomes in Cancer Biomarkers and another on The Basic Science and Clinical Science of Ovarian Cancer.  Dr. Tainsky has developed the biopanning technology and immunoassays on protein microarrays for multiple high-throughput projects in cancer diagnostics research.


  1. Tainsky MA, Cooper CS, Giovanella BC, Vande Woude GF. An activated rasN gene: Detected in late but not early passage human PA-1 teratocarcinoma cells. Science 225:643-5, 1984. PMID: 6740333
  1. Dameron KM, Volpert OV, Tainsky MA, Bouck N. Control of angiogenesis in fibroblasts by p53 regulation of thrombospondin-1. Science, 265:1582-4, 1994. PMID: 7521539
  1. Draghici S, Chatterjee M, Tainsky MA. Epitomics: serum screening for the early detection of cancer on microarrays using complex panels of tumor antigens. Expert RevMol Diagn. 2005; 5: 735-43. PMID: 16149876
  1. Chatterjee M, Mohapatra S, Ionan A, Bawa G, Ali-Fehmi R, Wang X, Nowak J, Ye B, Nahhas FA, Lu K, Witkins SS, Fishman D, Munkarah A, Morris R, Levin NK, Shirley NN, Tromp G, Abrams J, Draghici S, Tainsky MA. Diagnostic markers of ovarian cancer by high-throughput antigen cloning and detection on arrays. Cancer Research 2006; 66: 1181-90. PMID: 16424057
  1. Lin HS, Talwar HS, Tarca AL, Ionan A, Chatterjee M, Ye B, Wojciechowski J, Mohapatra S, Basson MD, Yoo GH, Peshek B, Lonardo F, Pan CJ, Folbe AJ, Draghici S, Abrams J, Tainsky MA. Autoantibody approach for serum-based detection of head and neck cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2007; 16: 2396-2405. PMID: 18006929

6. Tainsky MA. Genomic and proteomic biomarkers for cancer: A multitude of opportunities. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009; 1796: 176-93. PMID: 19406210

7. Ali-Fehmi R, Chatterjee M, Ionan A, Levin NK, Arabi H, Bandyopadhyay S, Shah J, Bryant CS, Hewitt SM,O'Rand MG, Alekseev OM, Morris R, Munkarah A, Abrams J, Tainsky MA. Analysis of the expression of human tumor antigens in ovarian cancer tissues. Cancer Biomarkers, 2010:6:33-48. PMID: 20164540

  1. 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
  1. Kaplun L, Levine Fridman A, Chen W, Levin NK, Ahsan S, Petrucelli N, Barrick JL, Gold R, Land S, Goode EL, 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, 2012:7 151-7. PMID: 23300341
  1. Sun D, Haddad R, Kraniak JM, Horne SD, Tainsky MA. RAS/MEK-Independent gene expressionr BMP2-related malignant phenotypes in the Nf1-deficient MPNST. Mol Cancer Res. 2013 Jun;11(6):616-27.PMID: 23423222

Faculty Status

Basic Science

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