Harikrishna Nakshatri

Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD

Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research


Dr. Nakshatri’s laboratory research interests are on heterogeneity in normal breast, the mechanisms of anti-estrogen resistance and metastasis in breast cancer. Ongoing research in his lab includes elucidating the mechanisms by which the serine/threonine kinase AKT alters estrogen signaling and confers anti-estrogen resistance in breast Cancer. One of the projects focuses on how loss of Dependence Receptor UNC5A leads to anti-estrogen resistance and metastasis of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. His laboratory has identified and commercialized biomarkers that may predict response to anti-estrogen therapy. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate constitutive activation of NF-kappaB in a subset of breast cancer. Activated NF-kappaB confers chemotherapy resistance and enhances metastasis. An inhibitor of NF-kappaB developed by his lab in collaboration with other institutions is currently in phase I clinical trial for cancer. His laboratory is also investigating the mechanisms of organ-specific metastasis and the role of cancer stem cells in chemoresistance and metastasis. Using the normal breast tissue from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank, his group has shown ethnicity-dependent and ethnicity-independent heterogeneity in the normal breast. His group has also established a culturing method to grow tumors, and tumor adjacent-normal, and metastasis to genomically characterize tumors/metastasis at single cell level. NIH, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for Cure, Department of Veterans Affairs and other private foundations funded his research. He is the author or co-author of >130 publications with >14,000 citations. He has served/serving in scientific review committees of NIH, Department of Defense, Italian Association for Cancer Research, and Susan G. Komen for Cure. He is currently a member of the NIH Cancer Molecular Pathobiology Study Section. He is also in the editorial boards of scientific journals and an Associate Editor of Cancer Research, a premier journal from American Association for Cancer Research and Associate Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Management and Research. He has trained over 20 post-doctoral fellows, surgical residents, and medical students. In his role as the Associate Director of Education at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC), he is responsible for developing educational activities of the cancer center and a training program in cancer biology.

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.



(317) 278-2238 

General Surgery
Indianapolis, IN


Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Surgery
  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology