PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology (UNSW)
I graduated with a bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc, Hons) degree from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and joined the Neuropathic Pain Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney in 2011 for my PhD.
In my PhD, I investigated the immune-modulatory approaches for the treatment of neuropathic pain in animal models. Briefly, the studies involved the investigation of effects of myelin-derived altered peptide ligand (APL) on pain behaviour, immune and inflammatory cell activation/infiltration and up/down-regulation of cytokines in the nervous system following peripheral nerve injury and spinal cord injury in experimental rats. Furthemore, I investigated the effects of intrathecal administration of novel cytokine, Interleukin (IL)-35 on neuropathic pain and associated glial cell activation following peripheral nerve injury.
In my first post-doctoral years, I worked in the Sensori-Motor Physiology and Therapeutics (SMPT) group in the Translational Neuroscience Facility, where I aimed to identify a potential neuroprotective compound to reduce excitotoxicity following traumatic brain injury.
Currently, I work as a Lecturer in the Pancreatic Research Group, School of South West Clinical School/Ingham Institute, Liverpool. Pancreatic Research Group investigate the underlying mechanism and possible novel therapeutic approaches for chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. In particular, I am interested in investigating the mechanisms of diabetes associated with pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis in rodent models. As an immunology enthusiast, I am keen to explore immune and inflammatory mediators and markers involved in pancreatic diseases.
I am the Founder of the Ingham Institute Public Speaking Club and the Founding Deputy Chair of the Ingham Institute Postdoctoral Association.
NHMRC Ideas Grant (2020-2024) - Pancreatic Cancer Related Diabetes (PCRD) - Novel role of Pancreatic Stellate Cells
CONCERT seed grant (2020-2022) - Pancreatic cancer related diabetes-Elucidating its mechanism to enable diagnosis and improved treatment of pancreatic cancer
PanKind Early detection innovation grant (2022) - Deciphering the Exosomal RNA Cargo in Pancreatic Cancer-related diabetes using Transcriptmonics: A Novel Approach for Early Detection of pancreatic cancer
Animal Models of Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes
Animal models of neuropathic pain
Animal models of hearing and stroke
I have experience in teaching Anatomy, Physiology, Immunology, Microbiology and Biology for Medical, Medical Science and Science students.