Harikrishna Nakshatri, BVSc, PhD
Phone: (317) 278-2238
980 W. Walnut St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
- Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine
- Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine
- Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine
- Associate Director of Education, IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Full member
, Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis
Headlines & highlights
- IU cancer center researchers identify biology behind aggressive breast cancers in Black women (Oct. 2023)
- Susan G. Komen® welcomes nine leaders to research advisory roles (Apr. 2023)
- IU cancer researchers identify new target for breast cancer therapy (Apr. 2023)
- IU cancer center receives American Cancer Society funding for research, education programs (Mar. 2023)
- IU School of Medicine researcher develops non-invasive tool to detect mutations that could potentially lead to breast cancer (Feb. 2023)
- Cancer Center to be new training ground for translational PhDs (Dec. 2022)
- Researchers make important new findings about how to test cancer-fighting drugs (Jan. 2022)
- How three scientists are working to make genetics research more diverse (May 2021)
- Cancer center researcher receives $1.3 million grant to improve breast cancer treatment for Black women (Nov. 2020)
- Genomic medicine key to treating aggressive breast cancers disproportionately affecting African American women (Oct. 2020)
- Study published in 'Nature' identifies new mechanism for cancer cell growth (July 2019)
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative picks IU team for Human Cell Atlas award (June 2019)
Understanding how normal cells function is as equally important as understanding how cancer cells behave abnormally. Resources uniquely developed at IUSCCC allow comparative analysis of normal and cancer tissues, which is crucial for developing therapies that kill cancer cells but spares normal cellsHarikrishna Nakshatri, BVSc, PhD
Harikrishna Nakshatri, Ph.D., was named associate director of education at the IU Simon Cancer Center in September 2009. Nakshatri is responsible for overseeing faculty development and training programs at the cancer center. He is also responsible for translational cancer biology Ph.D. program, 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.
Nakshatri studies the molecular drivers of therapy resistance in breast cancer. His laboratory was the first to identify the role of the protein complex, NF-kappaB, which controls genes that respond to environmental stress and infection in triple negative breast cancer. He also identified biomarkers that may predict response to anti-estrogen therapy. Utilizing normal breast tissues of women of different ethnic background, his group has discovered genetic ancestry-dependent heterogeneity in the normal breast, which has important implications on how tumors are characterized for genomic abnormalities. His recently published studies may enable to understand why hormone-responsive breast tumors are more common in women of European ancestry and why triple negative breast cancers are aggressive in women of African ancestry. Additionally, his group has mapped the normal breasts as well as the breasts of BRCA1/2 mutation careers at single cell resolution using single cell sequencing techniques. These efforts may lead to classification of breast cancer based on “cell-of-origin” of tumor. He is using systems biology approaches to understand organ specific breast cancer metastasis and developing patient-derived tumor models that reflect organ-specific metastasis and therapy resistance.
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, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, and other private foundations have funded his research. He is the author or co-author of 170 publications.
Dr. Nakshatri earned his bachelor s degree in veterinary medicine 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, Department of Veteran Affairs and Susan G. Komen. He served as a Susan G. Komen Scholar 2010-2020 and was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) in 2021. He is an associate editor of Cancer Research, associate editor of Cancer Research Communications, and he serves on the editorial boards of other scientific journals. He is actively involved in training postdoctoral fellows, surgical residents and medical students.