Harikrishna Nakshatri, B.V.Sc., D.V.M., Ph.D.

Associate Director of Education

Harikrishna Nakshatri

Harikrishna Nakshatri was named associate director of education at the IU Simon Cancer Center in September 2009. Dr. Nakshatri is responsible for overseeing faculty development and training programs at the cancer center. He is also responsible for scholarship programs, seminars and special events. As a senior leader, he plays a key role in setting the strategic direction, policies and priorities of all educational and outreach activities.

Dr. Nakshatri’s research interests are the mechanisms of anti-estrogen resistance, cancer stem cells and metastasis in breast cancer. Dr. Nakshatri’s ongoing research includes elucidating the mechanisms by which the serine/threonine kinase AKT alters estrogen signaling and confers anti-estrogen resistance and identifying functional markers of cancer stem cells. His recent focus is to understand heterogeneity in the normal breast and how that impacts characterization of tumors and metastasis.

His laboratory has identified and commercialized biomarkers that may predict response to anti-estrogen therapy. His laboratory demonstrated constitutive activation of the nuclear factor kappaB in a subset of breast cancer. Activated nuclear factor kappaB confers chemotherapy resistance and enhances metastasis. An inhibitor of nuclear factor kappaB developed by his lab in collaboration with other institutions is currently in a Phase I clinical trial for cancer. The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Susan G. Komen and other private foundations have funded his research. He is the author or co-author of 120 publications.

Dr. Nakshatri earned his bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciences from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, and his doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France.

He joined the IU School of Medicine in 1996. He has served and continues to serve on scientific review committees of the NIH, the Department of Defense and Susan G. Komen. He is a Susan G. Komen Scholar, is an associate editor of Cancer Research and he serves on the editorial boards of other scientific journals. He is actively involved in training postdoctoral fellows, surgical residents and medical students.