Prof. Sharmini Gunawardena

M.B.B.S., M.Phil (Cmb), MD (Med Parasitology)

Professor and Consultant Parasitologist

CONTACT INFORMATION

PHONE: 00-94-11–2695300 Ext.179

E-MAIL : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   

   QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA.  (April – December 2008).
  • MD Medical Parasitology, University of Colombo (2007).
  • M. Phil, University of Colombo (2005).
  • Diploma in Medical Microbiology, University of Colombo (2002).
  • Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education with accreditation from the Staff and Educational   Development  Association (SEDA), UK (2001).
  • MBBS (1995).

     MEMBERSHIPS & OTHER APPOINTMENTS

  • Chairperson, Research Promotion Committee of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Sri Lanka: June 2015 - to date.
  • Assistant Secretary, Sri Lanka Medical Association, Sri Lanka: December 2014 – 2015.
  • Editor-in-Chief, SLMA newsletter – 2015.
  • Reviewer for Malaria Journal, PLOS NTD, PLOS ONE; Tropical Medicine and International Health; Journal of Public Health and Nutrition; Indian Journal of Community Medicine; Parasitology International; Journal of the College of Surgeons; Journal of the National Science Foundation; Wellcome Trust Grant 2015.
  • Visiting Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA. 2009–to date.
  • Secretary, Editorial Board, Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases: 2010 – to date.
  • Member, Expert Group of the National Centre for Toxicology, National Hospital of Sri Lanka – 2010.
  • Secretary, Committee for Popularization of Science, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, Sri Lanka: 2010 and 2011.
  • Secretary, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (Section A), Sri Lanka – 2003.
  • Council Member, Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists, Sri Lanka – 2004/2005; 2005/2006.
  • Secretary, Research and Higher Degrees Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. May 2010 – 2013.
  • Chairperson, Foundation Module 2, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. September 2009 – 2012.
  • Convener, Special Topics Module, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. May 2005 – April 2010.
  • Convener, C1A2 IRQUE (Research), Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. February 2007 – March 2008; January 2009 - July 2010.
  • Convener, Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Module, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. May 2000 – November 2001.
  • Committee member, Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Module, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. 1998 – to date.
  • Examiner for the 3rd MBBS Part I (Parasitology examination) at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.
  • Examiner for IBSS and IPD Parasitology Examinations and the Distinction viva in Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • Examiner of Elective and Community stream project reports, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • Examiner for viva voce examination, Intensive English Language Course, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • Moral Tutor for medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • Member of the Organizing Committee, Inaugural Students’ Scientific Sessions - 2000, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • Member of the Disaster Management Core Group of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo
  • Reviewer for PLOS NTD, Tropical Medicine and International Health; Journal of Public Health and Nutrition; Indian Journal of Community Medicine; Parasitology International; Journal of the College of Surgeons. 

  TEACHING

   Parasitology for undergraduate medical students during the Foundation Module II and

   in the Infectious and Parasitic Diseases module.

  • Development of CD-ROMs for undergraduate and postgraduate students:
  • CD-ROM on Toxoplasmosis
  • CD-ROM on Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis
  • CD-ROM on Parasitic Zoonoses
  • CD-ROM on the  preparation, storage, examination and disposal of faecal samples
  • Postgraduate teaching is done for students following the degree course in MD Medical Parasitology, MD Medical Microbiology, MD Transfusion Medicine and Diploma in Medical Microbiology.

     AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

  • National Research Council, Sri Lanka (NRC 14-069) awarded SLRs. 2,541,360.00 in 2014.
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, awarded US$ 5,068.00 in 2012. 
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2010).
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2008).
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2007).
  • National Science Foundation Research Award for Health Sciences – 2008
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2004).
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2005)
  • Second prize for research papers at the 2004 Annual Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for the paper titled “Seasonal variations in the incidence of soil-transmitted helminth infections in two low country tea plantations”.
  • Third prize for research papers at the 2001 Annual Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for the paper titled “Seasonal variation in the incidence of Ascaris infection in a low country estate – preliminary observations”.
  • National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka (RG/2011/HS/09) awarded SLRs. 985,700.00 in 2011
  • IRQUE Research Grant, University of Colombo, awarded SLRs. 150,000.00 in 2008.
  • National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka (RG/2005/HS/08) awarded SLRs. 320,000.00 in 2005.
  • World Health Organization (Grant No HQ/06/105501) awarded US$ 980.00 in 2006.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom, awarded US$ 18, 800.00 in 2003.
  • University grant (AP/3/2/99/M20), awarded SLRs. 300, 000.00 in 1999 / 2000.

   CONTRIBUTION TO TEXT BOOKS

  • Gunawardena S. (2013). Section 7: Role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in malaria diagnosis. In: An update on malaria. Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo. pp 33-36. ISBN: 978-955-50677-8-2. 
  • Gunawardena S. (2012). Toxoplasmosis: The most extreme parasite. ISBN 978-955-54210-0-3. 

     RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

  1. GSA Gunawardena, GMG Kapilananda, SMDN Samarakoon, S Maddevithana, WSS Wijesundera, LV Goonaratne, ND Karunaweera. (2017). Prevalence of G6PD deficiency in selected populations from two previously high malaria endemic areas of Sri Lanka. PLoS One; 12(2):e0171208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171208.
  2. GSA Gunawardena, RF Daniels, TC Yahathugoda; MV Weerasooriya, K Durfee, SK Volkman, DF Wirth, ND Karunaweera. (2017). Case report of Plasmodium ovale curtisi malaria in Sri Lanka: relevance for maintenance of elimination status. BMC Infectious Diseases ;17(1):307. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2411-z.
  3. Gunawardena S and KarunaweeraND. (2015). Advances in genetics and genomics: use and limitations in achieving malaria elimination goals. Pathogens and Global Health. 109 (3):123-141.
  4. Gunawardena S, Ferreira MU, Kapilananda GMG, Wirth DF and KarunaweeraND. (2014). The Sri Lankan paradox: high genetic diversity in Plasmodium vivax populations despite decreasing levels of malaria transmission. Parasitology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182013002278.
  5. Gunawardena S, Gunawardena N, Kahathuduwa G, Karunaweera N, de Silva N, Ranasinghe U, Samarasekara S, Nagodavithana K, Rao R, Rebollo M and Weil G. (2014). Integrated school-based surveillance for soil-transmitted helminth infections and lymphatic filariasis in Gampaha district, Sri Lanka. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 90: 661 - 666. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0641.
  6. Gunawardena GSA, Gunatilleke MH, Ismail MM. (2013). Prevalence of Enterobius vermicularis infection among schoolchildren attending four selected schools in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases 3: 17 - 20.
  7. SubasingheSDLP, Karunaweera ND, Kaluarachchi A, Abayaweera CA, GunatilakeMH, RanawakaJ, JayasundaraDMCS, Gunawardena GSA. (2011). Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence among two selected groups of pregnant women. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases 1: 9-17.
  8. Orjuela-Sanchez P, Karunaweera N, da Silva-Nunes M, da Silva N, Scopel K, Goncalves R, Amaratunga C, Sa J, Socheat D, Fairhurst R, Gunawardena S, Thavakodirasah T, Galapaththy G, Abeysinghe R, Kawamoto F, Wirth D, Ferreira M. (2010). Single-nucleotide polymorphism, linkage disequilibrium and geographic structure in the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax: prospects for genome-wide association studies. BMC Genetics 11:65.
  9. Gunawardena S, Karunaweera ND, Ferreira MU, Phone-Kyaw M, Pollack RJ, Alifrangis M, Rajakaruna RS, Konradsen F, Amerasinghe PH, Schousboe ML, Galappaththy GNL, Abeyasinghe RR, Hartl DL and Wirth DF. (2010). Geographic structure of Plasmodium vivax: microsatellite analysis of parasite populations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Ethiopia. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 82: 235 - 242.
  10. Gunawardena S, Sri Ranganathan S and Fernandopulle R. (2008). Pharmacovigilance through consumer feedback (reporting) in the mass treatment of lymphatic filariasis using diethylcarbamazine and albendazole in two districts of Sri Lanka. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 13: 1153 – 1158.
  11. Gunawardena SA, Gunawardena GSA. (2008). Acute large bowel obstruction due to Ascaris lumbricoides in a child from Sri Lanka. Tropical Medicine and Health. 36: 41-43.
  12. Gunawardena GSA, Siriwardana C, Paranavitane SR, Ismail MM, Fernando SD. (2008). Anthelminthic prescribing patterns of a sample of General Practitioners from selected areas in the Colombo district of Sri Lanka. Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 33: 93 – 99.
  13. Gunawardena GSA., Ismail M.M. Bradley M and Karunaweera ND (2007). Factors influencing drug compliance in the mass drug administration programme against filariasis in the Western province of Sri Lanka. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 101: 445 - 453.
  14. Gunawardena GSA., Ismail M.M., Bradley M.H and Karunaweera N.D. (2007). Impact of mass drug administration in 2004, at selected time points, in urban and rural areas of the Western province of Sri Lanka. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. 101: 335 - 341.
  15. Fernando SD, Gunawardena GSA, Siriwardena C, Palihawadana VP, Ismail MM. (2007). Knowledge and Practice on use of anthelminthics by mothers in selected areas in the Colombo District. Ceylon Medical Journal. 52: 70 – 71.
  16. Gunawardena GSA., Karunaweera N.D. and Ismail M.M. (2005). Effect of climate, socio-economic and behavioural factors on hookworm (Necator americanus) transmission in two low country plantations of Sri Lanka. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 99: 601 – 609.
  17. Gunawardena GSA., Karunaweera N.D. and Ismail M.M. (2004). Socio-economic and behavioural factors affecting the prevalence of Ascaris infection in a low country tea plantation in Sri Lanka. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 98: 615 – 621.
  18. Gallella S.D., Gunawardena GSA. and Karunaweera N.D. (2004). Bertiella studeri infection: resistance to niclosamide. Ceylon Medical Journal 49: 65
  19. Gunawardena GSA., Karunaweera N.D. and Ismail M.M. (2004). Wet-days: are they better indicators of Ascaris infection levels? Journal of Helminthology 78: 305 – 310.
  20. Gunawardena GSA., Karunaweera N.D. and Ismail M.M. (2001). A study on the seasonal variation in the incidence of Ascaris infection in the plantation sector of Sri Lanka. In: Collected papers on the control of soil-transmitted helminthiases. Asian Parasite Control Organization,Eds. Hayashi, S et al., Vol. VII: 104 - 112.