Michael Grunstein (born 1946 in Romania) is a Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The only surviving child of Holocaust survivors, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal, and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He did his post-doctoral training at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he invented the colony hybridization screening technique for recombinant DNAs in David Hogness' laboratory.
Soon after coming to UCLA in 1975, Grunstein pioneered the genetic analysis of histones in yeast and showed for the first time that histones are regulators of gene activity in living cells. His studies were among the most influential to counter the prevailing belief in the 1980s that eukaryotic genes, like previously studied bacterial genes, were predominantly subjected to transcriptional activation. His laboratory's studies provided inspiration for the eukaryotic histone code and underlie the modern study of epigenetics.2003 Massry Prize from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (with Roger Kornberg and C. David Allis).
April 2008, Grunstein was elected into the National Academy of Sciences.
2011 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (shared with C. David Allis)
2016 Gruber Prize in Genetics from The Gruber Foundation (at Yale University) (jointly with C. David Allis)