Michael Craig, Ph.D.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology-SOM
Research Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Diggs Laboratory 120, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001


M.S.: University of Cincinnati
Ph.D.: University of Cincinnati

Research Statement

My research interests and expertise are in the area of cancer biology, epigenetics and exercise physiology. Our past work involved development of a data processing pipeline for the analysis of microRNA sequencing data published in Scientific Reports in which we identified transcriptional targets of ΔNp63α, a p53-family member overexpressed in NMSC. In collaboration with the Dayton VA Medical Center, we used this pipeline to identify microRNA biomarkers of esophageal disease which have potential clinical utility in the detection of low-grade dysplasia during routine histopathology (Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology). We continue to leverage this methodology in our current projects, including:

  1. Analysis of microRNA expression changes in response to exercise in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, during aging, and associated with muscle inflammation in end-stage osteoarthritis.
  2. Office of Naval Research MURI Initiative with the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the Salk Institute aimed at identifying the epigenetic mechanisms underlying athletic performance changes occurring in response to moderate and high-intensity exercise.

We are also mentoring the new Wright State International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team (Instagram: @iGEMWrightState, Twitter: igemwrightstate) in their preparation for the worldwide synthetic biology competition in the fall.


  1. Craig MP, Rajakaruna S, Paliy O, Sajjad M, Madhavan S, Reddy N, Zhang J, Bottomley M, Agrawal S and Kadakia MP. (2020) “Differential MicroRNA Signatures in the Pathogenesis of Barrett’s Esophagus.” Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology. Jan;11(1)e00125.
  2. Stacy AJ, Zhang J, Craig MP, Hira A, Dole N, Kadakia MP. (2019) “TIP60 up-regulates ΔNp63α to promote cellular proliferation.”  J Biol Chem. 2019 Nov 8;294(45):17007-17016.
  3. Sakaram S, Craig MP, Hill NT, Aljagthmi A, Garrido C, Paliy O, Bottomley M, Raymer M, Kadakia MP (2018) “Identification of novel ΔNp63α-regulated miRNAs using an optimized small RNA-Seq analysis pipeline. Scientific Reports. Jul 3;8(1):10069.
  4. Clark RJ, Craig MP, Agrawal S and Kadakia M (2018) “microRNA involvement in the onset and progression of Barrett’s esophagus: a systematic review.” Oncotarget. Jan 11;9(8):8179-8196.
  5. Stacy AJ, Craig MP, Sakaram S and Kadakia M (2017) “ΔNp63α and microRNA: Leveraging the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition” Oncotarget. Jan 10;8(2):2114-2129.
  6. Baltrunaite K, Craig MP, Palencia-Desai S, Chaturvedi P, Pandey RN, Hegde RS and Sumanas S (2017) “ETS transcription factors Etv2 and Fli1b are required for tumor angiogenesis.” Angiogenesis. Aug;20(3):307-323.
  7. Craig MP and Sumanas S (2016) “ETS transcription factors in embryonic vascular development.” Angiogenesis. Jul;19(3):275-85. Review.
  8. Desai S.P, Rost MS, Schumacher JA, Ton QV, Craig MP, Baltrunaite K, Koenig AK, Wang J, Poss KD, Chi NC, Stainier DYR and Sumanas S (2015) “Myocardium and BMP Signaling Are Required for Endocardial Differentiation.”  Development. Jul 1;142(13)
  9. Craig MP, Grajevskaja V, Balciuniene J, Balciunas D, Park JS and Sumanas S (2015) “Etv2 and Fli1b function together as key regulators of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.” Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 35(4):865-876.
  10. Hove JR and Craig MP (2012) “High-speed confocal imaging of zebrafish heart development.” Methods in Molecular Biology 843:309-28
  11. Craig MP, Gilday SD, Dabiri D and Hove JR (2012) An optimized method for delivering flow tracer particles to intravital fluid environments in the developing zebrafish. Zebrafish Sep;9(3):108-19.
  12. Craig MP, Schumacher M and Zavros Y (2012) Techniques for following labeled cells in vivo: Use of X/Y FISH, techniques to optimize fluorescent detection, and beta-galactosidase detection. Methods in Molecular Biology 843:309-28.
  13. Craig MP, Desai MB, Olukalns KE, Afton SE, Caruso JA and Hove JR (2011). Unsupplemented Artemia diet results in reduced growth and jaw dysmorphogenesis in zebrafish. Aquaculture/Book I, Zainal Muchlisin (Ed.), ISBN: 979-953-307-107-6, InTech.
  14. Coffindaffer-Wilson M, Craig MP, and Hove JR (2011) Normal Interstitial Flow is Critical for Developmental Lymphangiogenesis in the Developing Zebrafish.  Lymphatic Research and Biology 9(3):151-8.
  15. Coffindaffer-Wilson M, Craig MP and Hove JR (2011) Determination of Lymphatic Vascular Identity and Developmental Timecourse in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Lymphology 44(1):1-12.
  16. Kurtzman MS, Craig MP, Grizzle BK and Hove JR (2010)  Sexually segregated housing results in improved early larval survival in zebrafish. Lab Animal 39(6):183-189.
  17. Mittelstadt SW, Hemenway CL, Craig MP and Hove JR (2008) Evaluation of zebrafish embryos as a model for assessing inhibition of hERG. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 57(2), 100-105.
  18. Craig MP, Gilday SD and Hove JR (2006). Dose-dependent effects of chemical immobilization on the heart rate of embryonic zebrafish. Lab Animal 35(9), 41-47.


Active Research Grant Awards

Office of Naval Research-Multi University Research Investigation (MURI)                        9/1/2016-8/31/22

Precision High Intensity Training through Epigenetics

The goal of this study is to create a mechanistic model of the epigenetic response to exercise that forecasts peak performance using miRNA as biomarkers.

Role: Collaborator


REACT Laboratory Methods/Specimen Processing Scholar Award                               7/1/2020-6/30/2021

Funded as subaward to P2CHD086851 (NIH National Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials, REACT) through the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB)

The goal of the study is to profile circulating miRNA from serum exosomes to identify biomarker readouts of medical rehabilitation in Parkinson’s Disease, end-stage osteoarthritis, and in individuals with muscle atrophy and neuromuscular function deficits.

Role: Collaborator

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