Shalindra Ranasinghe

Shalindra Ranasinghe

Head of the Department of Parasitology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Shalindra Ranasignhe is the current head of the Department of Parasitology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. She has also been a Senior Lecturer in Medical Parasitology for more than 10 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Her M.Phil degree (from Keele University) was on “Chemical and molecular studies on Leishmania manipulation of Lutzomyia longipalpis blood feeding behaviour” and her PhD (from University of Sri Jayewardenepura) was on “Molecular detection and sero-prevalence of Leishmania donovani & risk factor analysis in selected areas in Sri Lanka”. During her tenure she was able to isolate the visceral leishmanisais causing strain in Sri Lanka for the first time and contributed to the nomenclature of the strain. She had also submitted both cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis causing strains in Sri Lanka to world experts to carry out the whole genome sequencing ad annotation of both these strains for the first time. This collaborative work with world experts led to a hypothesis of cutaneous leishmaniasis causing L. donovani in Sri Lanka is naturally attenuated and therefore could be a potential vaccine candidate in future. Shalindra also developed her laboratory to become one of the leishmaniasis reference centres identified by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka. The work carried out in her laboratory extends from slit skin smears, to PCR and recombinase polymerase assays on leishmaniasis. Her laboratory carries out patient diagnosis as a service component, research and teaching both undergraduate and post graduate students. Shalindra has co-authored in several papers in indexed journals with high impact factors including PLoSPath, Vaccine, Journal of Proteome Research & ASTMH. She has many local & foreign collaborations and continues her work in a service oriented and innovative manner.