Vishal Kothari

Vishal Kothari
About Vishal Kothari
  • New therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers for treatment-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC) would greatly improve outlook and decrease mortality rates for men with advanced forms of this disease. Recent research has identified DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNAPK), a molecule that regulates cell function, as a key driver in CRPC metastatic progression.
  • Dr. Vishal Kothari will use gene sequencing of clinical tissue from CRPC patients to investigate how DNAPK increases Wnt signaling. Overexpression of Wnt signaling is implicated in onset of 30% of patients with treatment resistance and is induced by androgen deprivation therapies (ADT).
  • Defining the DNAPK interaction network will allow Dr. Kothari to determine the effectiveness of using a DNAPK inhibitor combined with standard ADT medicines in treating men with CRPC.
  • Dr. Kothari’s study is poised to make significant advancements toward using DNAPK activity as a biomarker for prognostic tools and targeted therapies to treat men suffering from CRPC.

What this means for patients: Early diagnosis of aggressive, lethal types of prostate cancer is a critical unmet clinical need. Validating DNAPK as a prognostic marker will provide a novel clinical tool to guide early treatment intensification, and may guide personalization of treatment for men with prostate cancer.


2015 Gerry Lenfest–PCF Young Investigator

Vishal Kothari, PhD

University of Michigan


Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD; Felix Feng, MD

Proposal Title

Investigating DNAPK as a Therapeutic Target and a Prognostic Biomarker in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer