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Harsh B. Pathak, Ph.D.

Harsh Pathak portrait
Research Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Professional Background

Dr. Pathak received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (Philadelphia, PA) and his PhD from Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA). He completed his post-doctoral work at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Godwin. Dr. Pathak joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at KUMC in 2010 as a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Pathak was an Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research Scholar through the BIRCWH K12 career development program at KUMC. He is currently the technical director of the Biomarker Discovery Laboratory (sponsored by the KU Cancer Center) and co-director of the Biobanking and Biomarker Validation Core of the Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine COBRE at KUMC.

Education and Training
  • BS, Biochemistry, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Philadelphia, PA
  • PhD, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA



Dr. Pathak has a basic science background with extensive experience in molecular biology and biochemistry. As a post doctoral scholar, his research focus was on improving treatment options for patients with advanced, recurrent ovarian cancer through a multifaceted approach including drug reformulation of existing drugs using micelles, identification of prognostic signatures of response, and identification of rational drug combinations. Toward this goal he performed preclinical studies using siRNA screening approaches to identify novel druggable targets in ovarian cancer, mechanistic approaches to study rational drug combinations, translational correlative approaches to identify prognostic indicators of drug response in clinical trials and studied circulating biomarkers for early detection of ovarian cancer. He has also worked briefly on reformulating existing molecularly targeted therapies into micelles for alternate drug delivery methods to improve bioavailability and overall efficacy of these drugs; he has worked on identification of prognostic gene expression signatures of response using 2D and 3D in vitro cell culture models. Recently, as director of the KUCC Biomarker Discovery Lab and co-director of the KIPM COBRE BBV Core, Dr. Pathak's research efforts have focused more on designing and implementing translational/correlative studies on clinical trials and basic research studies through a variety of methods including 1) isolation and quantitation of nucleic acids (gDNA, cfDNA, mRNA, miRNA) from cells, tissue, and blood and their evaluation by next-generation sequencing (NGS), RT-PCR, NanoString including digital spatial profiling (DSP, GeoMx), microarray assays, PCR arrays, etc. 2) for quantitation of circulating levels of soluble proteins in serum/plasma by ELISA and Luminex assays; 3) isolation and quantitation of extracellular vesicles from conditioned media, plasma, and other bodily fluids by ultracentrifugation, size-exclusion chromatography, or membrane affinity chromatography followed by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA - NanoSight); and 4) and characterization of extracellular vesicle surface and internal protein and nucleic acid contents.