McMaster University

Scope of Search

Chandak Upagupta

Chandak Upagupta

Current standing:

  • MSc Candidate
  • Medical Sciences (since September 2015)
  • Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, McMaster University

Research Interests:

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease, characterized by progressive scarring of lung tissue. To date, there are no ideal therapies for IPF, with the ones currently in use only being able to reduce the progression of the disease. Key components contributing to the development and progression of IPF are the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM), and the persistence of myofibroblasts; the cells responsible for ECM deposition. The effect of ECM properties (composition & stiffness) on the phenotype of pulmonary cells is yet to be fully elucidated. We developed a whole rodent lung decellularization protocol for complete elimination of cells, allowing for reseeding with particular cell types to investigate the impact of lung ECM on cells’ behaviour. The decellularized lung will be installed in a lung bioreactor, which provides constant vasculature perfusion and positive ventilation for the reseeded decellularized lung, mimicking the 3-D lung environment. We propose to culture human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSc) on decellularized lungs (control and fibrotic) to investigate the differentiation of IPSc. This project will shed some light on ECM driven cell differentiation, and could potentially further the understanding of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.






  • FIRH Around the Bay Research Scholarship (2015).