Dr Mohammad Mahfuz Chowdhury specialises in developing advanced macro and micro-scale culture system to improve stem cell processes by using microfluidics and biomaterials, and developing mechanistic understanding of these processes by using Systems Biology approaches.

Research: Fine tuning of cellular microenvironment (soluble and physical) is crucial to obtain robust output from various cell processes, for example, stem cell differentiation to a specific lineage. I have demonstrated that scaling down of stem cell culture (by using microfluidics) can activate their autocrine signalling and maintain their phenotype more robustly than conventional cultures. In addition, mathematical modelling of the culture system established a dimensional requirement of the culture system to activate autocrine signalling.  I have also shown that physical contact between pericytes and endothelial cells in a hydrogel based culture environment is crucial to achieve liver sinusoidal endothelial cell phenotype, and which in turn modulated cancer cell adhesion in an organ specific manner. Currently, I am investigating how various properties of culture substrate influence multi-step process of cellular reprogramming.

After finishing my B. Sc. in Chemical Engineering from BUET, Bangladesh, I did M. Sc. in KAIST, South Korea researching on Pharmacokinetics and Systems Biology models. Then I started PhD in University of Tokyo, which focused on engineering stem cell processes. After finishing PhD and a project researcher position, I have joined CSIRO  as a Postdoctoral Fellow under Prof. Justin Cooper-White supervision. 

Key Publications:

Chowdhury M. M., Danoy M., Rahman F., Kaneda S., Shiba K., Fujita N., Fujii T. & Sakai Y. “Adhesion of pancreatic cancer cells in a liver-microvasculature mimicking coculture correlates with their propensity to form liver-specific metastasis in vivo BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 241571, 13 pages, doi:10.1155/2014/241571, 2014.

Chowdhury M. M., Fujii T. & Sakai Y. “Importance of a diffusion-dominant small volume to activate cell-secreted soluble factor signaling in embryonic stem cell culture in microbioreactors: A mathematical model based studyJournal Bioscience and Bioengineering, 116, 118-125, 2013.

Chowdhury M. M., Kimura H., Fujii T. & Sakai Y. “Induction of alternative fate other than default neuronal fate of embryonic stem cells in a membrane-based two-chambered microbioreactor by cell-secreted BMP4Biomicrofluidics, 6, 014117, 2012.

Chowdhury M. M., Kim D. H. & Ahn J. K. “A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for absorption and distribution of Imatinib in human bodyBull. Korean Chem. Soc., 32, 3967, 2011.

Chowdhury M. M., Katsuda T., Montagne K., Kimura H., Nobuhiko K., Akutsu H., Ochiya T., Fujii T. & Sakai Y. “Enhanced effects of secreted soluble factor preserve better pluripotent state of embryonic stem cell culture in a membrane-based compartmentalized micro-bioreactorBiomed Microdevices, 12, 1097-1105, 2010.