Dr. Sunil K. Parapuram was appointed an independent research associate with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Western Ontario in 2008 and has recently been promoted as a faculty member.
Dr. Parapuram intends to establish a laboratory to conduct translational research in fibrosis with broad applications to various diseases, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and scleroderma.
He is the recipient of the prestigious Cambridge-Nehru scholarship for his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, U.K. His Ph.D. thesis was on the therapeutic benefits of retinal precursor cell transplantation for retinal degenerative diseases.
Further post-doctoral work in the USA included studies on the fibrotic disorder proliferative vitreoretinopathy and on gene expression changes during aging of rod photoreceptors.
In 2008, he moved to Canada and at the University of Western Ontario continued his work on ophthalmic diseases and discovered the unique role of integrins in the maintenance of corneal structural integrity with implications for the corneal disease keratoconus. He also established a mouse model for scleroderma, a disease characterized by fibrosis of various organs, using gene-knockout technology.