Michael J. Fay, Ph.D.

Professor and Biomedical Sciences Program Director

Midwestern University
College of Health Sciences and Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Biomedical Sciences Program and Department of Pharmacology
Science Hall 203-G
555 31st St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Office: (630)-515-6382
e-mail: mailto: mfayxx@midwestern.edu


B.S.      Microbiology      University of Maine (Orono, ME)                     1987
Ph.D.    Pharmacology    University of Mississippi (University, MS)         1992


The Cullin-5 (Cul5) gene is located on a region of chromosome 11 (q22-23) that is frequently deleted in human breast cancer.  This suggests that the Cul5 protein may be involved in breast tumorigenesis as a tumor suppressor.  Research in my laboratory is focused on investigating the cellular expression and function of Cullin-5 and its role in cancer. 

Project I: The Cul5 gene is implicated as a tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer.  However, the transcription factors involved in regulating Cul5 expression have not been identified.  The Fay laboratory is currently using full-length and truncated versions of the Cul5 gene promoter which are fused to a Gaussia luciferase reporter to identify transcription factors that regulate Cul5 gene expression using an in vitro research model.  This is a collaborative project with Dr. Joshua Gasiorowski in Biomedical Sciences.      

Cadmium is a major industrial environmental pollutant that is known to cause nephrotoxicity at the level of the proximal tubule.  MicroRNAs are small (18-24 nucleotides) non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level.  In collaboration with Dr. Walter Prozialeck, in the Department of Pharmacology, we are investigating the role of microRNAs in cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity and their usefulness as urinary biomarkers of nephrotoxicity. 

 Project II: To investigate the role of microRNAs in cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity we are using an established in vivo rat model of cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity.  To identify alterations in the microRNA expression profile we are currently analyzing changes in renal and urinary microRNA expression using a µParaflo® microfluidic array platform to examine the expression of all currently known rat microRNAs.  The differential expression in individual microRNAs is being validated using real-time RT-PCR.

Selected Publications

Edwards, J.R., Kolman, K., Lamar, P.C., Chandar, N., Fay, M.J., and Prozialeck, W.C.  Effects of cadmium on the sub-cellular localization of β-catenin and  β-catenin-regulated gene expression in NRK-52E cells. Biometals, 26:33-42, 2013.

Baxter SS, Carlson LA, Mayer AMS., Hall ML, and Fay M.J. Granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 promyeloytic leukemia cells is associated with increased expression of Cul5.  In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal, 45:264-274, 2009. 

Mayer, A.M.S., Guzman, M., Peska R., Hall, M., Fay, M.J., Jacobson P.B., Romanic A.M., and Gunasekera, S.P.  Differential Effects of Domoic Acid and E. coli Lipopolysaccharide on Tumor Necrosis Factor-a, Transforming Growth Factor-b1 and Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Release by Rat Neonatal Microglia: Evaluation of the Direct Activation Hypothesis. Marine Drugs, 5:113-135, 2007.

Fay, M.J., Longo, K.A., Karathanasis, G.A., Shope, D.M., Mandernach, C.J., Leong, J.R., Hicks, A., Pherson, K., and Husain A.  Analysis of CUL-5 expression in breast epithelial cells, breast cancer cell lines, normal tissues and tumor tissues.  Molecular Cancer, 2:40, 2003.