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2023 Fellow

Shilpa Pothapragada

PhD Institution
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research - Hyderabad
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Ingber Lab, Wyss Institute at Harvard

Shilpa’s PhD focussed on the role of cellular forces and tissue stiffness in the regulation of cancer within the epithelium. Her work established how pathological stiffening of the extracellular matrix can lead to loss of a fundamental epithelial defence against cancer, and therefore promoting oncogenesis.

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Shilpa will work with Professor Donald Ingber at the Wyss Institute at Harvard. Pivoting to Bioengineering, she will be working on in vitro organ-on-chip microfluidic culture systems to model the female reproductive system and study diseases like endometriosis, with the intent to improve therapeutics and diagnostics.

Shilpa is passionate about addressing often-neglected diseases of the female reproductive system. Her ambition stems from first-hand observations of women receiving insufficient diagnoses due to a limited understanding of these conditions. Shilpa hopes to address this by developing innovative tools and solutions that seamlessly connect biomedical research with clinical outcomes, aiming to significantly improve women’s well-being and expedite advancements in this critical field.