13331-Nakshatri, Harikrishna

Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD

Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research

Phone 317-278-2238
R3 C218C
980 W. Walnut St.

Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Dr. Nakshatri currently serves as Marion J Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research, Professor of Surgery, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is also the Associate Director of Education and Co-leader of the Breast Cancer Working Group of the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also a Research Career Scientist at the VA Roudebush Medical Center. Dr. Nakshatri received his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India and doctoral degree in Molecular Biology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

Prior to joining Indiana University, Dr. Nakshatri was a Staff Investigator at the Picower Institute for Medical Research in New York.

Dr. Nakshatri’s research focus is on breast cancer. He has served as a principle/co-investigator/contributor to more than 170 of peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Nakshatri is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), The Metastasis Society, Endocrine Society and Sigma XI. He is an elected fellow of the AAAS and elected member of Sigma XI, a scientific honors society. He was a Susan G Komen for the Cure Scholar (2010-2020). He currently serves as the Associate Editor of Cancer Research (AACR journal), Associate Editor of Cancer Research Communications  (AACR Journal) and Associate Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Management and Research. He also serves as a member of Cellular and Molecular Medicine peer-review panel of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Key Publications

Nakshatri H, Appaiah HN, Anjanappa M, Gilley D, Tanaka D, Badve S, Crooks P, Mathews W, Sweeney C, and Bhat-Nakshatri, P. (2015). NF-?B dependent and independent epigenetic modulation using the novel anti-cancer agent DMAPT. Cell Death and Disease 6:e1608.

Riesa M Burnett, Kelly Craven, Purna Krishnamurthy, Chirayu P Goswami, Sunil Badve, Peter Crooks, William P Mathews, Poornima Bhat-Nakshatri and Harikrishna Nakshatri (2015). Organ-specific adaptive signaling pathway activation in metastatic breast cancer cells. Oncotarget 6:12682-96.


Perkins S, Bales C, Vladislav T, Althouse S, Miller KD, Sandusky G, Badve S, and Nakshatri H. (2015). TFAP2C expression in breast cancer- correlation with overall survival beyond 10 years of initial diagnosis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 152:519-31.


Jin K, Park S, Teo WW, Korangath P, Cho SS, Yoshida T, Gyorffy B, Goswami CP, Nakshatri H, Cruz LA, Zhou W, Ji H, Su Y, Ekram M, Wu Z, Zhu T, Polyak K, and Sukumar S. (2015). HOXB7 is and ERa cofactor in the activation of HER2 and multiple ER target genes leading to endocrine resistance. Cancer Discovery 5:944-59#


Nakshatri H, Anjanappa M, and Bhat-Nakshatri P. (2015). Ethnicity-dependent and ethnicity-independent heterogeneity in healthy normal breast hierarchy impacts tumor characterization. Nature Scientific Reports 5:13526.

Bhat-Nakshatri P, Goswami CP, Badve S, Magnani L, Lupien M, and Nakshatri H. (2016). Molecular insights of pathways resulting from two common PI3KCA mutations in breast cancer. Cancer Research 76:3989-4001.

Anjanappa M, Burnett R, Zieger MA, Merfeld-Clauss S, Wooden W, March K, Tholpady S, and Nakshatri H. (2016). Distinct effects of adipose-derived stem cells and adipocytes on normal and cancer cell hierarchy. Molecular Cancer Research 14:660-671.


Anjanappa M, Angelo Cardoso, Lijun Cheng, Safa Mohamad, Andrea Gunawan, Susan Rice, Yan Dong, Lang Li, George E. Sandusky, Edward F. Srour and Harikrishna Nakshatri (2017). Individualized breast cancer characterization through single cell analysis of tumor adjacent-normal cells. Cancer Research 77:2759-2769.


Anjanappa M, Hao Y, Simpson ER, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Nelson JB, Tersey SA, Mirmira RG, Cohen-Gadol A, Saadatzadeh MR, Li L, Fang F, Nephew KP, Miller KD, Liu Y and Nakshatri. H. (2018). A system for detecting high impact-low frequency mutations in primary tumors and metastasis. Oncogene 37:185-196.


Wang R, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Padua MB, Prasad MS, Anjanappa M, Jacobson M, Finnearty C, Sefcsik V, McElyea K, Redmond R, Sandusky G, Penthala N, Crooks PA, Liu J, Zimmers T, and Nakshatri H. (2017). Pharmacological dual inhibition of tumor and tumor-induced functional limitations in transgenic model of breast cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 16:2747-2758.


Beg F, Wang R, Saeed Z, Devaraj S, Masoor K and Nakshatri H (2017). Inflammation-associated microRNA changes in circulating exosomes of heart failure patients. BMC Research Notes 10:751.


Padua MB, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Anjanappa M, Prasad MS, Hao Y, Liu S, Wan J, Liu Y, McElyea K, Jacobsen M, Sandusky G, Althouse S, Perkins S and Nakshatri H. (2018). Dependence receptor UNC5A restricts luminal to basal breast cancer plasticity and metastasis. Breast Cancer Research 20:35.


Titles & Appointments

  • Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research
  • Professor of Surgery
  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Associate Director of Education, Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Co-Leader, Breast Cancer Working Group, IUSCCC
  • Research Career Scientist, VA Roudebush Medical Center
  • Chief Scientific Officer, Komen Tissue Bank, IUSCCC
  • Education
    1990 PhD Memorial University of Newfoundland
    1982 BVSC University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research

    Dr. 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/racial background, his group discovered genetic ancestry-dependent heterogeneity in the normal breast, which has important implications on how tumors are characterized for genomic abnormalities.

    Dr. Nakshatri's group is working to identify drug targets that are unique to breast cancers in women of African ancestry. His recently published studies may enable researchers 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.


  • Professional Organizations
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
    Endocrine Society
    Metastasis Research Society
  • Awards
    Org: American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Desc: Fellow (Medical Science)
    Scope: National
    Date: 1905-07-15
    Org: Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer research
    Desc: Outstanding Achievement Award
    Scope: National
    Org: Walther Cancer Institute
    Desc: Inaugural Michael K Gust award for Innovative Research
    Scope: Regional
    Org: IUPUI
    Desc: Prestigious External Recognition Award
    Scope: Regional

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