Marina Nikiforova, MD
Professor of Pathology

Dr. Nikiforova is a member of the Division of Molecular & Genomic Pathology and the Director of the Molecular Genomic Pathology Laboratory..
Office Location:
Room 8033
Division of Molecular Genomic Pathology
Clinical Lab Building, 8th Floor
3477 Euler Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-802-6092
Fax: 412-802-6799
Email: nikiforovamn@upmc.edu

Education

  • MD - 1985, Belorussian State Medical University, Minsk, Belarus

Clinical Expertise

As Director of the UPMC Molecular & Genomic Pathology laboratory and member of the MGP Division, Dr. Nikiforova supervises clinical, developmental and regulatory activities of the MGP laboratory and performs clinical sign out of molecular tests, including next-generation sequencing.

She focuses on applying next generation sequencing (NGS) and other high throughput technologies for molecular diagnostics in the area of molecular oncology and cancer genetics. Dr. Nikiforova's specific areas of expertise are in molecular diagnostics of thyroid cancer and brain tumors. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications and several book chapters. Dr. Nikiforova currently serves as Chair of Clinical Practice Committee at the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and Laboratory Practice Committee at the American Thyroid Association (ATA), and she is on the Board of Directors at the AMP.

Research Interests

Dr. Nikiforova is Professor of Pathology and Director of Molecular & Genomic Pathology Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Dr. Nikiforova supervises clinical, developmental and regulatory activities of the MGP laboratory and performs clinical sign out of molecular tests, including next-generation sequencing.

Dr. Nikiforova focuses on applying next generation sequencing (NGS) and other high throughput technologies for molecular diagnostics in the area of molecular oncology and cancer genetics. Dr. Nikiforova's specific areas of expertise are in molecular diagnostics of thyroid cancer and brain tumors. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications and several book chapters. Dr. Nikiforova currently serves as Chair of Clinical Practice Committee at the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and Laboratory Practice Committee at the American Thyroid Association (ATA), and she is on the Board of Directors at the AMP.

Dr. Nikiforova's research efforts are focused on the areas of molecular diagnostics in solid tumors. Her main directions are:

  • Developing next-gen sequencing (NGS) based approaches for detection of rearrangements in cancer
  • Applying next generation sequencing (NGS) and other high throughput technologies for molecular diagnostics in the area of molecular oncology
  • studying microRNA dysregulation in cancer, with emphasis on identifying novel microRNA markers for thyroid cancer
  • developing novel diagnostics and prognostic molecular markers for brain tumors.

Certifications

The American Board of Pathology - Clinical Pathology

Selected Publications

View Dr. Nikiforova's publications on PubMed
  • Howell GM, Nikiforova MN, Carty SE, Armstrong MJ, Hodak SP, Stang MT, McCoy KL, Nikiforov YE, Yip L. BRAF V600E Mutation Independently Predicts Central Compartment Lymph Node Metastasis in Patients with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013; 20:47-52.
  • Ohori NP, Singhal R, Nikiforova MN, Yip L, Schoedel KE, Coyne C, McCoy KL, Lebeau SO, Hodak SP, Carty SE, Nikiforov YE. BRAF mutation detection in indeterminate thyroid cytology specimens: Underlying cytologic, molecular, and pathologic characteristics of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cancer Cytopathol. 2013; 121:197-205.
  • Yeung JT, Pollack IF, Shah S, Jaffe R, Nikiforova M, Jakacki RI. Optic pathway glioma as part of a constitutional mismatch-repair deficiency syndrome in a patient meeting the criteria for neurofibromatosis type 1. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Jan;60(1):137-9.
  • Dettmer M, Vogetseder A, Durso MB, Moch H, Komminoth P, Perren A, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. MicroRNA Expression Array Identifies Novel Diagnostic Markers for Conventional and Oncocytic Follicular Thyroid Carcinomas. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(1) E1-E7.
  • Yeung JT, Hamilton RL, Ohnishi K, Ikeura M, Potter DM, Nikiforova MN, Ferrone S, Jakacki RI, Pollack IF, Okada H. LOH in the HLA Class I Region at 6p21 Is Associated with Shorter Survival in Newly Diagnosed Adult Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2013;19(7):1816-26.
  • Pang B, Durso MB, Hamilton RL, Nikiforova MN. A Novel COLD-PCR/FMCA Assay Enhances the Detection of Low-abundance IDH1 Mutations in Gliomas. Diagn Mol Pathol. 2013 Mar;22(1):28-34.
  • Clark KH, Villano JL, Nikiforova MN, Hamilton RL, Horbinski C. 1p/19q testing has no significance in the workup of glioblastomas. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2013; 39:706-717.
  • Yousem SA, Dacic S, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova M. Pulmonary Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis: Profiling of Multifocal Tumors Using Next-Generation Sequencing Identifies Concordant Occurrence of BRAF V600E Mutations. Chest. 2013; 143(6): 1679-1684.
  • Gupta N, Dasyam AK, Carty SE, Nikiforova MN, Ohori NP, Armstrong M, Yip L, Lebeau SO, McCoy KL, Coyne C, Stang MT, Johnson J, Ferris RL, Seethala R, Nikiforov YE, Hodak SP. RAS Mutations in Thyroid FNA Specimens Are Highly Predictive of Predominantly Low-Risk Follicular-Pattern Cancers.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May;98(5):E914-22.
  • Dettmer MS, Perren A, Moch H, Komminoth P, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. Comprehensive microRNA expression profiling identifies novel markers in follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Thyroid. 2013; 23(11): 1383-1389.
  • Nikiforov YE, Yip L, Nikiforova MN. New Strategies in Diagnosing Cancer in Thyroid Nodules: Impact of Molecular Markers. Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(9): 2283-8.
  • Bansal M, Gandhi M, Ferris RL, Nikiforova MN, Yip L, Carty SE, Nikiforov YE. Molecular and Histopathologic Characteristics of Multifocal Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 2013; 37: 1586-1591.
  • Nikiforova MN, Khalid A, Fasanella KE, McGrath KM, Brand RE, Chennat JS, Slivka A, Zeh HJ, Zureikat AH, Krasinskas AM, Ohori NP, Schoedel KE, Navina S, Mantha GS, Pai RK, Singhi AD. Integration of KRAS testing in the diagnosis of pancreatic cystic lesions: a clinical experience of 618 pancreatic cysts. Mod Pathol. 2013; 98(11): E1852-E1860.
  • Hartman DJ, Nikiforova MN, Chang DT, Chu E, Bahary N, Brand RE, Zureikat AH, Zeh HJ, Choudry H, Pai RK. Signet Ring Cell Colorectal Carcinoma: A Distinct Subset of Mucin-poor Microsatellite-stable Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma Associated With Dismal Prognosis. Am J Surg Pathol. 2013 Jul;37(7):969-77.
  • Cankovic M, Nikiforova MN, Snuderl M, Adesina AM, Lindeman N, Wen PY, Lee EQ. The Role of MGMT Testing in Clinical Practice: A Report of the Association for Molecular Pathology. J Mol Diagn. 2013 Sep;15(5):539-55.
  • Ohori NP, Wolfe J, Hodak SP, Lebeau SO, Yip L, Carty SE, Duvvuri U, Schoedel KE, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE. "Colloid-Rich" follicular neoplasm/suspicious for follicular neoplasm thyroid fine-needle aspiration specimens: Cytologic, histologic, and molecular basis for considering an alternate view. Cancer Cytopathol. 2013;121:718-28.
  • Hartman DJ, Brand RE, Hu H, Bahary N, Dudley B, Chiosea SI, Nikiforova MN, Pai RK. Lynch syndrome-associated colorectal carcinoma: frequent involvement of the left colon and rectum and late-onset presentation supports a universal screening approach. Hum Pathol. 2013 Nov;44(11):2518-28.
  • Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Roy S, Durso MB, Nikiforov YE. Targeted next-generation sequencing panel (ThyroSeq) for detection of mutations in thyroid cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(11):E1852-E1860.
  • Hu H, Chang DT, Nikiforova MN, Kuan SF, Pai RK. Clinicopathologic Features of Synchronous Colorectal Carcinoma: A Distinct Subset Arising From Multiple Sessile Serrated Adenomas and Associated With High Levels of Microsatellite Instability and Favorable Prognosis. Am J Surg Pathol. 2013 Nov;37(11):1660-70.
  • Chiosea SI, Grandis JR, Lui VW, Diergaarde B, Maxwell JH, Ferris RL, Kim SW, Luvison A, Miller M, Nikiforova MN. PIK3CA, HRAS and PTEN in human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer. 2013 Dec 17;13(1):602.
  • Leeman-Neill RJ, Kelly LM, Liu P, Brenner AV, Little MP, Bogdanova TI, Evdokimova VN, Hatch M, Zurnadzy LY, Nikiforova MN, Yue NJ, Zhang M, Mabuchi K, Tronko MD, Nikiforov YE. ETV6-NTRK3 is a common chromosomal rearrangement in radiation-associated thyroid cancer. Cancer. 2014;120:799-807.
  • Chang AM, Nikiforova MN, Johnson JT, Bauman JE, Perez-Ordonez B, Seethala RR, Krane JF, Chiosea SI. Human Papillomavirus-Associated Adenocarcinoma of the Base of Tongue: Potentially Actionable Genetic Changes. Head Neck Pathol. 2013 Nov 21.
  • Roy S, Durso MB, Wald A, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. SeqReporter: Automating Next-Generation Sequencing Result Interpretation and Reporting Workflow in a Clinical Laboratory. J Mol Diagn. 2014 Jan;16(1):11-22.
  • Mehta RS, Carty SE, Ohori NP, Hodak SP, Coyne C, LeBeau SO, Tublin ME, Stang MT, Johnson JT, McCoy KL, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE, Yip L. Nodule size is an independent predictor of malignancy in mutation-negative nodules with follicular lesion of undetermined significance cytology. Surgery. 2013 Oct;154(4):730-6.
  • Davison JM, Choudry HA, Pingpank JF, Ahrendt SA, Holtzman MP, Zureikat AH, Zeh HJ, Ramalingam L, Zhu B, Nikiforova M, Bartlett DL, Pai RK. Clinicopathologic and molecular analysis of disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms: identification of factors predicting survival and proposed criteria for a three-tiered assessment of tumor grade. Mod Pathol. 2014 Nov;27(11):1521-39.
  • Davison JM, Hartman DA, Singhi AD, Choudry HA, Ahrendt SA, Zureikat AH, Ramalingam L, Nikiforova M, Pai RK. Loss of SMAD4 Protein Expression is Associated With High Tumor Grade and Poor Prognosis in Disseminated Appendiceal Mucinous Neoplasms. Am J Surg Pathol. 2014:38(5):583-592.
  • Kelly LM, Barila G, Liu P, Evdokimova VN, Trivedi S, Panebianco F, Gandhi M, Carty SE, Hodak SP, Luo J, Dacic S, Yu YP, Nikiforova MN, Ferris RL, Altschuler DL, Nikiforov YE. Identification of the transforming STRN-ALK fusion as a potential therapeutic target in the aggressive forms of thyroid cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(11):4233-4238
  • Li Z, Dacic S, Pantanowitz L, Khalbuss WE, Nikiforova MN, Monaco SE. Correlation of Cytomorphology and Molecular Findings in EGFR+, KRAS+, and ALK+ Lung Carcinomas. Am J Clin Pathol. 2014 Mar;141(3):420-8. PMID: 24515771.
  • Dacic S, Nikiforova MN. Present and future molecular testing of lung carcinoma. Adv Anat Pathol. 2014 Mar;21(2):94-9.
  • Dettmer MS, Perren A, Moch H, Komminoth P, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. MicroRNA profile of poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas: new diagnostic and prognostic insights. J Mol Endocrinol. 2014 Mar 6;52(2):181-9.
  • Radkay LA, Chiosea SI, Seethala RR, Hodak SP, LeBeau SO, Yip L, McCoy KL, Carty SE, Schoedel KE, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE, Ohori NP. Thyroid nodules with KRAS mutations are different from nodules with NRAS and HRAS mutations with regard to cytopathologic and histopathologic outcome characteristics. Cancer Cytopathol. 2014 Dec; 122(12): 873-82.
  • Hartman DJ, Binion D, Regueiro M, Schraut W, Bahary N, Sun W, Nikiforova M, Pai RK. Isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 is mutated in inflammatory bowel disease-associated intestinal adenocarcinoma with low-grade tubuloglandular histology but not in sporadic intestinal adenocarcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 2014 Aug;38(8):1147-56.
  • Singhi AD, Nikiforova MN, Fasanella KE, McGrath KM, Pai RK, Ohori NP, Bartholow TL, Brand RE, Chennat JS, Lu X, Papachristou GI, Slivka A, Zeh HJ, Zureikat AH, Lee KK, Tsung A, Mantha GS, Khalid A. Preoperative GNAS and KRAS Testing in the Diagnosis of Pancreatic Mucinous Cysts. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Aug 15; 20(16):4381-9.
  • Singhi AD, Davison JM, Choudry HA, Pingpank JF, Ahrendt SA, Holtzman MP, Zureikat AH, Zeh HJ, Ramalingam L, Mantha G, Nikiforova M, Bartlett DL, Pai RK. GNAS is frequently mutated in both low-grade and high-grade disseminated appendiceal mucinous neoplasms but does not affect survival. Hum Pathol. 2014 Aug;4 5(8):1737-43.
  • Yip L, Wharry LI, Armstrong MJ, Silbermann A, McCoy KL, Stang MT, Ohori NP, LeBeau SO, Coyne C, Nikiforova MN, Bauman JE, Johnson JT, Tublin ME, Hodak SP, Nikiforov YE, Carty SE. A clinical algorithm for fine-needle aspiration molecular testing effectively guides the appropriate extent of initial thyroidectomy. Ann Surg. 2014 Jul; 260(1):163-8.
  • Chen L, Voronovich Z, Clark K, Hands I, Mannas J, Walsh M, Nikiforova MN, Durbin EB, Weiss H, Horbinski C. Predicting the likelihood of an isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 mutation in diagnoses of infiltrative glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2014 Nov; 16(11):1478-83.
  • Armstrong MJ, Yang H, Yip L, Ohori NP, McCoy KL, Stang MT, Hodak SP, Nikiforova MN, Carty SE, Nikiforov YE. PAX8/PPARγ Rearrangement in Thyroid Nodules Predicts Follicular-Pattern Carcinomas, in Particular the Encapsulated Follicular Variant of Papillary Carcinoma. Thyroid. 2014 Sep;24(9):1369-74.
  • Gross ND, Bauman JE, Gooding WE, Denq W, Thomas SM, Wang L, Chiosea S, Hood BL, Flint MS, Sun M, Conrads TP, Ferris RL, Johnson JT, Kim S, Argiris A, Wirth L, Nikiforova MN, Siegfried JM, Grandis JR. Erlotinib, erlotinib-sulindac versus placebo: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled window trial in operable head and neck cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Jun 15;20(12):3289-98.
  • Kelly LM, Barila G, Liu P, Evdokimova VN, Trivedi S, Panebianco F, Gandhi M, Carty SE, Hodak SP, Luo J, Dacic S, Yu YP, Nikiforova MN, Ferris RL, Altschuler DL, Nikiforov YE. Identification of the transforming STRN-ALK fusion as a potential therapeutic target in the aggressive forms of thyroid cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 18;111(11):4233-8.
  • Salgado CM, Basu D, Nikiforova M, Bauer BS, Johnson D, Rundell V, Grunwaldt LJ, Reyes-Múgica M. BRAF Mutations Are Also Associated With Neurocutaneous Melanocytosis and Large/Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevi. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Jan-Feb; 18(1):1-9.
  • Jedrych J, Nikiforova M, Kennedy TF, Ho J. Epithelioid cell histiocytoma of the skin with clonal ALK gene rearrangement resulting in VCL-ALK and SQSTM1-ALK gene fusions. Br J Dermatol. 2015 May; 172(5): 1427-9.
  • Nikiforov YE, Carty SE, Chiosea SI, Coyne C, Duvvuri U, Ferris RL, Gooding WE, Hodak SP, LeBeau SO, Ohori NP, Seethala RR, Tublin ME, Yip L, Nikiforova MN. Highly accurate diagnosis of cancer in thyroid nodules with follicular neoplasm/suspicious for a follicular neoplasm cytology by ThyroSeq v2 next-generation sequencing assay. Cancer. 2014 Dec 1;120(23):3627-34.
  • Zutter MM, Bloom KJ, Cheng L, Hagemann IS, Kaufman JH, Krasinskas AM, Lazar AJ, Leonard DG, Lindeman NI, Moyer AM, Nikiforova MN, Nowak JA, Pfeifer JD, Sepulveda AR, Willis JE, Yohe SL. The Cancer Genomics Resource List 2014. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2015 Aug;139(8): 989-1008.
  • Salgado CM, Basu D, Nikiforova M, Bauer BS, Johnson D, Rundell V, Grunwaldt LJ, Reyes-Mugica M. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Jan-Feb;18(1):1-9.
  • Chiosea SI, Williams L, Griffith CC, Thompson LD, Weinreb I, Bauman JE, Luvison A, Roy S, Seethala RR, Nikiforova MN. Molecular characterization of apocrine salivary duct carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 2015 Jun;39(6):744-52.
  • Dudley B, Brand RE, Thull D, Bahary N, Nikiforova MN, Pai RK. Germline MLH1 Mutations Are Frequently Identified in Lynch Syndrome Patients With Colorectal and Endometrial Carcinoma Demonstrating Isolated Loss of PMS2 Immunohistochemical Expression. Am J Surg Pathol. 2015 Aug;39(8):1114-20.
  • McCoy KL, Seethala RR, Armstrong MJ, Nikiforova MN, Stang MT, Carty SE, Yip L. The clinical importance of parathyroid atypia: Is long-term surveillance necessary? Surgery. 2015 Jul 22. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Schoedel KE, Wolfe J, Hodak SP, Lebeau SO, Yip L, Carty SE, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE. Ohori NP. Significance of what is not sampled: Characteristics of thyroid nonmicrocarcinomas (>1.0 cm) that were not targeted. Cancer Cytopathol. 2015 Aug 4 [Epub ahead of print].