Director, U-M Center for Translational Pathology; S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology and Professor of Urology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; American Cancer Society Research Professor

Arul Chinnaiyan

Dr. Chinnaiyan and his collaborators found that a specific gene fusion, called TMPRSS2-ETS, is a marker of prostate cancer. This allows for individualized, genetic testing and treatment of prostate cancer, and holds the promise of similar treatments for other forms of cancer.

With his former student Dr. Dan Rhodes, he established Compendia Bioscience, a compendium of genetic data from 62,000 cancer patients, in 2006. The data are used by the pharmaceutical industry to identify new gene targets for drug discovery and development. In October 2012, the company was acquired by Life Technologies.

Dr. Chinnaiyan also formed Armune Bioscience to develop and commercialize new diagnostic tests for prostate, lung and breast cancers. And in 2012 he joined with Shaumeng Wang, professor of medicine, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, to found OncoFusion Therapeutics, a company that aims to develop personalized cancer therapies based on the specific driving genetic mutations in an individual’s tumor.

In 2007, Compendia Biosciences and its clinical version Oncomine won a $2.4 million SBIR Fast Track Award from the National Cancer Institute. Compendia won another $1.75 million from Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund in 2008. Another $1.3 million from the NCI Fast Track fund was awarded in 2010