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Personal profile

Contact Details

Email: m.upadhya@aston.ac.uk

Room: MB439


I joined Aston School of Life and Health Sciences in April 2019, having spent the previous 1.5 years as Research Associate at Neuroscience and Neuronal Connectivity Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. Prior to that, I spent 2 years at Sunpharma Advanced Research Company Ltd., India and was Senior Executive Scientist in Drug Discovery Biology Unit. I also served as Assistant Professor in Pharmacology at SKB College of Pharmacy, RTM Nagpur University, India for 2.5 years


  • April, 2019 – date: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Aston School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University.
  • November, 2017 – April, 2019: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.
  • November, 2015 – November, 2017: Senior Executive Scientist, Drug Discovery Biology, Sunpharma Advanced Research Company Ltd., Vadodara, India.
  • August, 2013 – November, 2015: Assistant Professor in Pharmacology, SKB College of Pharmacy, New Kamptee, India

Teaching Activity

Teaching experience in subjects like Human Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Drug Discovery and Biological Evaluation, Clinical Research, Pharmacoeconomics

Research Interests

  • I am interested in the behavioural aspects and molecular mechanisms of pain. My research work primarily involves the behavioural and functional assessment, and modulation of TRP ion channels in sensory neurons under physiological and disease conditions, and how they contribute to hyperalgesia.
  • Prior to this assignment, my work was directed towards investigating the physiological and functional role of CART peptide in neurological disorders employing rats and mice as experimental models. I demonstrated that endogenous CART potentiates spatial learning and memory behaviour and modulates the effects of cholinergic agents in the management of Alzheimer’s disease like conditions in rats. I showed that CART in accumbens shell in brain serve as an essential component of the opiod-mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Further I studied that CART also process predator induced fear in the neuronal circuitry that operates across the hypothalamo-amygdalar circuit. Later I demonstrated the role of CART as neuroprotective agent in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease since it increased the dopamine content in brain. CART also modulates the neuropathic pain and closely interacts with the glucocorticoids in nerve damage ailments like spinal cord injury. Thus, I concluded that upregulation of endogenous CART system might serve as fruitful strategy in the treatment of a range of pathophysiological conditions and neurodegenerative diseases. This research work has led to several high impact publications in journals like Addiction Biology, Neuropharmacology, Behavioural Brain Research, Brain Research, Peptides, Life Sciences, Neuropeptides, etc.
  • Before joining IISER Pune, I worked with Drug Discovery Biology team at Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd., India (SPARC), a leading pharmaceutical company.  With SPARC, I served as Lead Scientist for the assessment of molecules in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases. We proposed one SPARC molecule as a drug candidate for Parkinson's disease therapy, and could publish one international patent in WIPO entitled "Treatment for Parkinson's disease".
  • Techniques expertise: Behavioural Pharmacology, Immunohistochemistry, Transcardial perfusions, Neuroanatomy and Brain dissection, Molecular Biology

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Life Member, Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS).
  • Life Member, Indian Pharmacy Graduates’ Association (IPGA).
  • Life Member, Society for Neurochemistry India (SNCI).

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Role of CART peptide in Neurodegeneration, University Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, RTM Nagpur University

19 Sept 200926 Mar 2013

Award Date: 26 Mar 2013


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