Faculty Focus - Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Dr. Taylor completed medical school at the University of Western Ontario, followed by a neurosurgery residency and a PhD at the University of Toronto.  He then completed a clinical fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric neurooncology and postdoctoral fellowships in brain tumor genomics and in functional genomics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.  In 2004, Dr. Taylor joined the staff at The Hospital for Sick Children as a faculty neurosurgeon in the Division of Neurosurgery and as a Principal Investigator in the Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre.  He is currently appointed as an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Taylor's research interests lie in the molecular genetics and epigenetics of medulloblastoma and ependymoma, two of the most common malignant childhood brain tumors. Through a better understanding of the heterogeneity of these tumours, he and his team hope to devise new, more effective treatment strategies for these children. To this end, Dr. Taylor has personally led the formation of the Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium (MAGIC), a tumor bank containing over 1,200 frozen medulloblastoma tumors from around the world. His team is studying RNA and microRNA expression profiles of samples from this unique resourse to develop biomarkers to more reliably and accurately classify medulloblastomas. In 2008, Dr. Taylor was recognized by “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40” award. He and his wife Susan have an eleven-year-old daughter Alexandra and sons Robert and Andrew, ages 8 and 5, respectively.

Current Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Surgery and of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Principal Investigator, Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Scientist, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Associate Investigator, Centre for Applied Genomics, Hospital for Sick Children

Recent Peer-Reviewed Funding

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) - Terry Fox Frontiers Program, 2011-2014.
    Addressing tumor heterogeneity through targeting of subgroup specific shared maintenance genes – the correct target for each cancer.
    PIs: Egan S, Taylor MD, Woodgett J, Zacksenhaus E.
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2010-2013.
    Role of Histone Lysine Methylation in Medulloblastoma and Cerebellar Development.
    PI: Taylor MD
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2010-2013.
    Clinician-Scientist Award, Phase II (renewal).
    PI: Taylor MD
  • Genome Canada, 2011-2014.
    Stratifying and Targeting Medulloblastoma Through Genomics.
    PI: Taylor MD
  • Genome Canada / Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2011-2012.
    The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Genome Consortium: Translating next-generation sequencing technologies into improved therapies for high-risk childhood cancer.
    Co-PI: Taylor MD.  PI: Sorenson P.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2010-2015.
    Medulloblastoma and Metastases.
    PIs: Taylor MD, Weiss B.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2010-2015.
    Cellular and Genetic Basis of Anaplastic Medulloblastoma.
    PIs: Taylor MD, Weiss B, Wechsler-Reya R.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Pei Y, Moore C, Eroshkin A, Tewari A, Cho YJ, Korshunov A, Read TA, Sun LL, Miller CR, Bucklely AF, McLendon RE, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Pfister SL, Febbo PG, Wechsler-Reya RJ. An Animal Model of MYC-Driven Medulloblastoma. Cancer Cell 2012. 21(2): 155-167.
  • Wu X, Northcott PA, Dubuc A, Dupuy AJ, Garzia L, Eberhart C, Witt H, Van Meter T, Zagzag D, Croul S, Scheetz TE, Pfister S, Korshunov A, Bouffet E, Scherer SW, Cho YJ, Akagi k, McDonald T, Koster J, Sarver AL, Collins VP, Weiss WA, Largaespada D, Collier L, Taylor MD. Disseminated medulloblastoma is bicompartmental secondary to clonal selection. Nature. 2012. 482: 529-33.
  • Witt H#, Mack SC#, Ryzhova M, Bender S, Sill M, Isserlin R, Benner A, Hielscher T, Milde T, Remke M, Jones DT, Northcott PA, Roberts SS, Massimi L, van Meter T, Weiss WA, Gupta N, Grajkowska W, Lach B, Cho JY, von Deimling A, Kulozik AE, Witt O, Bader GD, Guha A, Rutka JT, Lichter P, Korshunov A, Taylor MD*, Pfister SM*. 2011. Delineation of Two Clinically and Molecularly Distinct Subgroups of Posterior Fossa Ependymoma. Cancer Cell. 2011. 20: 143-157.
  • Rausch T, Jones DTW, Zapatka M, Stütz AM, Zichner T, Jäger N, Remke M, Shih D, Weischenfeldt J, Northcott PA, Pfaff E, Tica J, Wang Q, Massimi L, Witt H, Bender S, Pleier S, Cin H, Hawkins C, Beck C, von Deimling A, Hans V, Brors B, Eils R, Scheurlen W, Blake J, Benes V, Kulozik AE, Witt O, Kool M, Tabori U, Malkin D, Korshunov A, Taylor MD, Lichter P, Pfister SM, Korbel JO. 2011. Genome sequencing of medulloblastoma brain tumors of childhood links chromopthripsis with TP53 germline mutations. Cell. 2012. 148(1-2): 59-71.
  • Remke M, Hielscher T, Korshunov A, Northcott P, Bender S, Kool M, Westermann F, Benner A, Cin H, Ryzhova M, Sturm D, Witt H, Hagg D, Toedt G, Wittmann A, Schoettler A, Von Bueren AO, Rutkowski S, Scheurlen W, Kulozik A, Taylor MD, Lichter P, Pfister SM. FSTL5 is a marker of poor prognosis in Non-Wnt/Non-Shh medulloblastoma. J Clin Oncol. 2011. 29(29): 3852-61.
  • Remke M, Hielscher T, Northcott PA, Witt H, Ryzhova M, Wittmann A, Benner A, von Deimling A, Scheurlen W, Perry A, Croul S, Kulozik AE, Lichter P, Taylor MD, Pfister SM, Korshunov A. Adult Medulloblastoma Comprises Three Major Molecular Variants. J Clin Oncol, 2011. 19: 2717-2723.
  • Parsons DW, Li M, Zhang X, Jone S, Leary RJ, Lin JCH, Boca SM, Carter H, Samayoa J, Bettegowda C, Gallie GL, Jallo GI, Binder ZA, Nikolsky Y, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Gerhard DS, Fults DW, Vandenberg S, Berger MS, Marie SKN, Shinjo SMO, Clara C, Phillips PC, Minturn JE, Biegel JA, Judkins AR, Resnick AC, Storm PB, Curran T, He Y, Rasheed AB, Friedman HS, Keir ST, McLendon R, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Burger PC, Riggins GJ, Karchin R, Parmigiani G, Bigner DD, Yan H, Papadopoulos N, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, Velculescu VE. The Genetic Landscape of the Childhood Cancer Medulloblastoma. Science. 2011. 331: 435-439.
  • Pfaff E, Remke M, Sturm D, Benner A, Witt H, Milde T, von Buren AO, Wittman A, Schottler A, Jorch N, Graf N, Kulozik AE, Witt O, Scheurlen W, von Deimling A, Rutkowski S, Taylor MD, Tabori U, Lichter P, Korshunov A, Pfister SM. TP53 Mutation is Frequently Associated with CTNNB1 Mutation or MYCN Amplification and Is Compatible with Long-Term Survival in Medulloblastoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010. 28: 5188-5196.
  • Johnson RA, Wright KD, Poppleton H, Mohankumar KM, Finkelstein D, Pounds SB, Rand V, Leary SES, White E, Eden C, Hogg T, Northcott P, Mack S, Neale G, Wang Y, Coyle B, Atkinson J, DeWire M, Kranenberg TA, Gillespie Y, Allen JC, Merchant T, Boop FA, Sanford RA, Gajjar A, Ellison D, Taylor MD, Grundy RG, Gilbertson RJ. Cross species genomics matches driver mutations and cell compartments to model ependymoma. Nature. 2010. 466: 632-636.
  • Northcott PA, Korshunov A, Witt H, Hielscher T, Eberhart C, Mack S, Bouffet E, Clifford SC, Hawkins C, French P, Rutka JT, Pfister S, Taylor MD. Medulloblastoma Comprises Four Distinct Molecular Variants. J Clin Oncol. 2011. 29: 1408-1414.
  • Northcott PA, Nakahara Y, Wu X, Feuk L, Ellison DW, Croul S, Mack S, Kongkham PN, Peacock J, Dubuc A, Ra YS, Zilberberg K, Mcleod J, Scherer SW, Rao SJ, Eberhart CG, Grajkowska W, Gillespie Y, Lach B, Grundy R, Pollack IF, Hamilton RL, Van Meter T, Carlotti CG, Boop F, Bigner D, Gilbertson RJ, Rutka JT, Taylor MD. Multiple recurrent genetic events converge on control of histone lysine methylation in medulloblastoma. Nature Genetics. 41(4): 465-472. 2009.

Professional Activities and Affiliations

  • International Scientific Steering Committee, International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), 2011 - present
  • Chair, Young Investigators Committee, Society for Neuro-Oncology, 2010 - present
  • Scientific Advisory Council, American Brain Tumor Association , 2010 - present
  • Central Nervous System Tumor Disease Committee, Children’s Oncology Group (COG), 2009 - present
  • Board of Directors, Society for Neuro-Oncology, 2009 - present

Selected Awards

  • George-Armstrong Peters Prize, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 2011
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Gold Medal Award in Surgery, 2010
  • Canadian Cancer Society Award for Excellence in Cancer Research, Young Investigator Award in Biomedical Science, 2009
  • Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, 2008