Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD

Marian J. Morrison Professor of Surgery

Specialty: General Surgery


My research focuses on breast cancer. My laboratory was the first to report constitutive activation of NF-kB in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. The current focus is on genomic aspects of anti-estrogen resistance, mechanisms of organ-specific metastasis and biomarkers of breast cancer progression and therapeutic response. Results of these studies have been published in more than 80 manuscripts and several have been cited 250 - 630 times (~70 citations per manuscript, H factor=40). I have received funding from NIH (R01, R21, and R03), DOD, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure for these studies. Additionally, a drug identified from these studies is now in phase I clinical trial. I have co-founded a biotech company and licensed another patent to a diagnostic company for clinical use. Two other patent applications are currently pending including one on circulating microRNAs. These outcomes, achieved through extensive collaboration with clinical and basic scientists, demonstrate the translational nature of our research. Based on my scientific contribution to breast cancer, I am one among the 62 scientists selected from seven countries to serve in the inaugural Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Council (renamed as Komen Scholars).

Basic Research Interests: Breast cancer biology, chemotherapy and anti-estrogen resistance, breast cancer stem cells and metastasis.

Research Page


  1. Badve S, and Nakshatri. H. (2012). Breast cancer Stem cells: Beyond Semantics. Lancet Oncology e43-48.
  2. Patel, JB, Appaiah HN, Burnett RM, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Wang G, Mehta R, Badve S, Thomson M, Hammond S, Steeg P, Liu Y, and Nakshatri H (2011) Control of EVI-1 oncogene expression in metastatic breast cancer cells through microRNA miR-22. Oncogene 30:1290-1301.
  3. Appaiah HN, Goswami CP, Mina LA, Badve S, Sledge GW, Liu Y, and Nakshatri H. (2011). Persistent upregulation of U6:SNORD44 small RNA ratio in the serum of breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Research 13:R86
  4. McCune K, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Thorat M, Nephew KP, Badve S and Nakshatri H (2010). Prognosis of hormone-dependent breast cancers:  implications of the presence of dysfunctional transcriptional networks activated by insulin via the immune transcription factor T-bet. Cancer Research 70:685-96 PMCID: PMC2807987
  5. Bhat-Nakshatri P, Wang G, Collins NR, Thomson MJ, Geistlinger TR, Carroll JS, Brown M, Hammond S, Srour EF, Liu Y, and Nakshatri H  (2009) Estradiol-regulated microRNAs control estradiol response in breast cancer cells. Nucleic Acids Research 37:4850-4861. PMCID: PMC2724297 Selected by Faculty for 1000 in medicine as “Must Read”
  6. Hitesh Appaiah, Poornima Bhat-Nakshatri, Rutika Mehta, Mangesh ThoratSunil Badve and Harikrishna Nakshatri (2010). ITF2 is a target of CXCR4 in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and is associated with reduced survival in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Cancer Biology & Therapy 6:600-614
  7. Bhat-Nakshatri P, Appaiah H, Ballas C, Pick-Franke P, Goulet R, Badve S, Srour EF, and Nakshatri H (2010). SLUG/SNAI2 and tumor necrosis factor generate breast cells with CD44+/CD24- phenotype. BMC Cancer 10:411
  8. Badve S, Collins NR,  Bhat-Nakshatri P, Turbin D, Leung S, Thorat M, Dunn SE, Geistlinger TR, Carroll JS, Brown M, Bose S, Teitell MA and Nakshatri H. (2010). Subcellular localization of activated AKT in ER and PR expressing breast cancers: potential clinical implications. American Journal of Pathology 176: 2139-49
  9. Bhat-Nakshatri P, Wang G, Appaiah H, Luktuke N, Carroll JS, Geistlinger TR, Brown M, Badve S, Liu Y, and Nakshatri H. (2008). AKT alters Genome-wide estrogen receptor alpha binding and impacts estrogen signaling in breast cancer. Molecular and Cellular Biology 28:7487-7503. PMCID: PMC2593438
  10. Chua HL, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Clare SE, Morimiya A, Badve S, Nakshatri H (2007) NF-κB Represses E-cadherin Expression and Enhances Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition of Mammary Epithelial Cells: Potential Involvement of ZEB-1 and ZEB-2, Oncogene 26:711-724. Citations= 87
  11. Badve S, Turbin D, Thorat MA, Morimiya A, Nielsen TO, Perou CM, Dunn S, Huntsman DG, and Nakshatri H. (2007). FOXA1 expression in breast cancer- correlation with luminal subtype A and survival. Clinical Cancer Research, 13:4415-4421.
  12. Sheridan C, Kishimoto H, Fuchs RK, Mehrotra S, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Turner CH, Goulet R jr, Badve S, Nakshatri H: (2006) CD44+/CD24-breast cancer cells exhibit enhanced invasive properties, an early step necessary for metastasis, Breast Cancer Res 8(5):R59. Citations=250
  13. Helbig G, Christopherson KW, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Kumar S, Miller KD, Broxmeyer HE and Nakshatri H (2003) NF-κB promotes breast cancer cell migration and metastasis by inducing the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4, J. Biol. Chem. 278:21631-21638. Citations=300
  14. Campbell RA, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Patel NA, Constantinidou D, Ali S, and Nakshatri H. (2001), PI3 kinase/AKT-mediated activation of estrogen receptor alpha: a new model for anti-estrogen resistance, J. Biol. Chem. 276:9817-9824. Citations=590
  15. Nakshatri H, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Martin DA, Goulet RJ and Sledge GW (1997). Constitutive activation of NF-kB during progression of breast cancer to hormone-independent growth.  Molecular and Cellular Biology 17: 3629-3639. Citations=550

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771