Dr Didu Kariyawasam

Dr Didu Kariyawasam

Lecturer
BA, MA(Cantab), MRCPCH, RACP, PhD
Medicine & Health
School of Clinical Medicine

Dr Didu (Sandi) Kariyawasamn is a paediatric neurologist, and post doctoral researcher at UNSW Sydney. She completed her Masters at the University of Cambridge, UK, subsequently graduating from University College London in 2007. She embarked on her training in Paediatric Neurology at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK, gaining specialist expertise in the management of complex epilepsy (Great Ormond Street Hospital, London), movement disorders (Evelina Children’s Hospital London) and neuroinflammation (John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford). In 2022, Sandi successfully completed a PhD in the investigation of pathways to optimise diagnosis and care for children with Neurogenetic disease.

Sandi currently practices clinically at Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick), and as an early career researcher, holds the title of associate lecturer at the University of New South Wales. She recently completed her PhD (2022), evaluating the novel diagnostic and management pathways in paediatric neuromuscular disease (NMD). 

Sandi is active in the field of clinical trials and is part of the clinical research team providing access to new genetic therapies in the field of childhood onset neurological disease. Her work has been translational in the domain of paediatric neuromuscular disease where she strives to improve health and psychosocial outcomes for affected children and their families. 

Sandi's goal is to provide optimal care and informed choice for families, based on best current evidence, taking into account the values and beliefs of the individual. The ethos that underpins her work is maintaining a child- and family-centred focus to improve the health and well-being of her patients.

Location
Bright Alliance, Randwick Clinical Campus, UNSW Sydney
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Farrar MA; Kariyawasam DS, 2024, 'Deciphering spinal muscular atrophy: the need for more research', The Lancet Neurology, 23, pp. 134 - 136, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(23)00502-1
    Journal articles | 2024
    Ji C; Kariyawasam DS; Sampaio H; Lorentzos M; Jones KJ; Farrar MA, 2024, 'Newborn screening for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: the perspectives of stakeholders', The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, 45, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2024.101049
    Journal articles | 2024
    Kariyawasam DS; Scarfe J; Meagher C; Farrar MA; Bhattacharya K; Carter SM; Newson AJ; Otlowski M; Watson J; Millis N; Norris S, 2024, ''Integrating Ethics and Equity with Economics and Effectiveness for newborn screening in the genomic age: A qualitative study protocol of stakeholder perspectives', PloS one, 19, pp. e0299336, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0299336
    Journal articles | 2023
    Balaji L; Farrar MA; D’Silva AM; Kariyawasam DS, 2023, 'Decision-making and challenges within the evolving treatment algorithm in spinal muscular atrophy: a clinical perspective', Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 23, pp. 571 - 586, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737175.2023.2218549
    Journal articles | 2023
    Davidson JE; Russell JS; Martinez NN; Mowat DR; Jones KJ; Kirk EP; Kariyawasam D; Farrar M; D’Silva A, 2023, 'The Carrier Frequency of Two SMN1 Genes in Parents of Symptomatic Children with SMA and the Significance of SMN1 Exon 8 in Carriers', Genes, 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes14071403
    Journal articles | 2023
    Djafar JV; Smith NJ; Johnson AM; Bhattacharya K; Ardern-Holmes SL; Ellaway C; Dale RC; D'Silva AM; Kariyawasam DS; Grattan S; Kandula T; Lewis K; Mohammed SS; Farrar MA, 2023, 'Characterizing Common Phenotypes Across the Childhood Dementia Disorders: A Cross-sectional Study From Two Australian Centers', Pediatric Neurology, 149, pp. 75 - 83, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2023.09.006
    Journal articles | 2023
    D’Silva AM; Kariyawasam D; Venkat P; Mayoh C; Farrar MA, 2023, 'Identification of Novel CSF-Derived miRNAs in Treated Paediatric Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy: An Exploratory Study', Pharmaceutics, 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15010170
    Journal articles | 2023
    Farrar MA; Calotes-Castillo L; De Silva R; Barclay P; Attwood L; Cini J; Ferrie M; Kariyawasam DS, 2023, 'Gene therapy-based strategies for spinal muscular atrophy—an Asia-Pacific perspective', Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics, 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40348-023-00171-5
    Journal articles | 2023
    Farrar MA; Kariyawasam D; Grattan S; Bayley K; Davis M; Holland S; Waddel LB; Jones K; Lorentzos M; Ravine A; Wotton T; Wiley V, 2023, 'Newborn Screening for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy', Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases, 10, pp. 15 - 28, http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JND-221535
    Journal articles | 2023
    Farrar MA; Kiernan MC; Kariyawasam DS, 2023, 'Presymptomatic spinal muscular atrophy: a cautionary approach to the proposed new terminology', Brain, 146, pp. E65 - E66, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad061
    Journal articles | 2023
    Ji C; Farrar MA; Norris S; Bhattacharya K; Bennetts B; Newson AJ; Healy L; Millis N; Kariyawasam DS, 2023, 'The Australian landscape of newborn screening in the genomics era', Rare Disease and Orphan Drugs Journal, 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.20517/rdodj.2023.30
    Journal articles | 2023
    Kariyawasam DS; D'Silva AM; Sampaio H; Briggs N; Herbert K; Wiley V; Farrar MA, 2023, 'Newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy in Australia: a non-randomised cohort study', The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, 7, pp. 159 - 170, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00342-X
    Journal articles | 2023
    Le Marne FA; Briggs N; Frith K; Kariyawasam D; McCarthy HJ; Nunn K; Rao A; Sachdev R; Sarkozy V; Teng A; Trethewie S; Williams GD; Bye AME, 2023, 'Understanding the ongoing learning needs of Australian paediatricians: Evaluation of a pilot paediatric video teaching programme', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 59, pp. 307 - 318, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpc.16291
    Journal articles | 2022
    D'Silva AM; Holland S; Kariyawasam D; Herbert K; Barclay P; Cairns A; MacLennan SC; Ryan MM; Sampaio H; Smith N; Woodcock IR; Yiu EM; Alexander IE; Farrar MA, 2022, 'Onasemnogene abeparvovec in spinal muscular atrophy: an Australian experience of safety and efficacy', Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 9, pp. 339 - 350, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51519
    Journal articles | 2022
    D'Silva AM; Kariyawasam DST; Best S; Wiley V; Farrar MA; Ravine A; Mowat D; Sampaio H; Alexander IE; Russell J; Jones K; Junek Z, 2022, 'Integrating newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy into health care systems: an Australian pilot programme', Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 64, pp. 625 - 632, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.15117
    Journal articles | 2022
    Kariyawasam D; D'Silva A; Farrar M; Shin-Yi Lin C, 2022, 'WE-149. Axonal excitability changes in children with spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen', Clinical Neurophysiology, 141, pp. S73 - S74, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2022.07.193
    Journal articles | 2022
    Kariyawasam D; D’Silva A; Mowat D; Russell J; Sampaio H; Jones K; Taylor P; Farrar M, 2022, 'Incidence of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the modern era; an Australian study', European Journal of Human Genetics, 30, pp. 1398 - 1404, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-022-01138-2
    Journal articles | 2022
    Kariyawasam DST; D'Silva AM; Herbert K; Howells J; Carey K; Kandula T; Farrar MA; Lin C, 2022, 'Axonal excitability changes in children with spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen', Journal of Physiology, 600, pp. 95 - 109, http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP282249
    Journal articles | 2022
    Nguyen CQ; Kariyawasam D; Alba-Concepcion K; Grattan S; Hetherington K; Wakefield CE; Woolfenden S; Dale RC; Palmer EE; Farrar MA; Concepcion K, 2022, '‘Advocacy groups are the connectors’: Experiences and contributions of rare disease patient organization leaders in advanced neurotherapeutics', Health Expectations, 25, pp. 3175 - 3191, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hex.13625
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kariyawasam D; D'silva A; Howells J; Herbert K; Geelan-Small P; Lin CSY; Farrar MA, 2021, 'Motor unit changes in children with symptomatic spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen', Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 92, pp. 78 - 85, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-324254
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kariyawasam DST; D'Silva AM; Vetsch J; Wakefield CE; Wiley V; Farrar MA, 2021, '“We needed this”: perspectives of parents and healthcare professionals involved in a pilot newborn screening program for spinal muscular atrophy', EClinicalMedicine, 33, pp. 100742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100742
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kariyawasam DST; Farrar MA, 2021, 'Spinal muscular atrophy: A new treatment paradigm of proactive care', Medicine Today, 22, pp. 55 - 60
    Journal articles | 2020
    Kariyawasam D; Alexander IE; Kurian M; Farrar MA, 2020, 'Great expectations: Virus-mediated gene therapy in neurological disorders', Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 91, pp. 849 - 860, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2019-322327
    Journal articles | 2020
    Kariyawasam DST; D’Silva A; Herbert K; Lin CSY; Geelan-Small P; Farrar MA, 2020, '7. Motor unit changes in children with spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen', Clinical Neurophysiology, 131, pp. e3 - e4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2019.11.040
    Journal articles | 2020
    Kariyawasam DST; Russell JS; Wiley V; Alexander IE; Farrar MA, 2020, 'The implementation of newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy: the Australian experience', Genetics in Medicine, 22, pp. 557 - 565, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0673-0
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Biomarkers and the development of a personalized medicine approach in spinal muscular atrophy', , http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00898
    Journal articles | 2018
    Anand G; Vasallo G; Spanou M; Thomas S; Pike M; Kariyawasam DS; Mehta S; Parry A; Durie-Gair J; Nicholson J; Lascelles K; Everett V; Gibbon FM; Jarvis N; Elston J; Evans DG; Halliday D, 2018, 'Diagnosis of sporadic neurofibromatosis type 2 in the paediatric population', Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103, pp. 463 - 469, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2017-313154
    Journal articles | 2018
    Kariyawasam D; Carey K; Jones K; Farrar MA, 2018, 'New and developing therapies in spinal muscular atrophy', Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 28, pp. 3 - 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prrv.2018.03.003
    Journal articles | 2018
    Sampaio H; Kariyawasam D; Buckley M; Mowat D; Robinson J; Taylor P; Jones K; Farrar M, 2018, 'DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY - GENETICS', Neuromuscular Disorders, 28, pp. S97 - S98, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2018.06.264
    Journal articles | 2015
    Kariyawasam DS; McShane T, 2015, 'Brain tumours in paediatrics: When should they be suspected?', Archives of Disease in Childhood, 100, pp. 1102 - 1103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2015-308729
  • Preprints | 2024
    Kariyawasam D; Scarfe J; Meagher C; Farrar M; Bhattacharya K; Carter S; Newson A; Otlowski M; Watson J; Millis N; Norris S, 2024, Genetic newborn screening stakeholder perspectives, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2024.02.11.24302654
    Conference Papers | 2019
    Kariyawasam D; Sampaio H; Mowat D; Farrar MA, 2019, 'Genetic carrier screening for duchenne muscular dystrophy: the outcome of over twenty years of genetic counselling on disease epidemiology in a single-centre cohort study in new south wales (NSW), australia', Sydney Australia, presented at Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists, Sydney Australia
    Conference Abstracts | 2019
    Kariyawasam DS; Samapio H; Mowat D; Farrar M, 2019, 'GENETIC CARRIER SCREENING FOR DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: THE OUTCOME OF OVER TWENTY YEARS OF GENETIC COUNSELLING ON DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY IN A SINGLE-CENTRE COHORT STUDY IN NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW), AUSTRALIA', in JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY NEUROSURGERY AND PSYCHIATRY, BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, AUSTRALIA, Sydney, Vol. 90, presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian-and-New Zealand-Association-of-Neurologists (ANZAN), AUSTRALIA, Sydney, 21 May 2019 - 24 May 2019, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2019-anzan.22
    Preprints |
    D'Silva AM; Sampaio H; Kariyawasam DST; Mowat D; Russell J; Junek Z; Jones KJ; Alexander IE; Best S; Wiley V; Farrar MA, Integrating a Pilot Newborn Screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Into the Australian Public Healthcare System, , http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3814778
    Preprints |
    Kariyawasam DST; D'Silva AM; Vetsch J; Wakefield C; Wiley V; Farrar MA, <i>'We Needed This'</i>: Perspectives of Parents and Healthcare Professionals Involved in a Pilot Newborn Screening Program for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, , http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3682109

  • UNSW Paediatric Research Week Annual Prize (2019)

  • ANZCNS Best Research Award (2020)

  • Brain Foundation Grant (2021).

Publications 

1. Kariyawasam DST, Russell JS, Wiley V, Alexander IE, Farrar MA. The implementation of newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy: the Australian experience. Genet Med. 2020;22(3):557-565. doi:10.1038/s41436-019-0673-0

2. Kariyawasam DST, D'Silva A, Lin C, Ryan MM, Farrar MA. Biomarkers and the Development of a Personalized Medicine Approach in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Front Neurol. 2019;10:898. Published 2019 Aug 19. doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00898

3. Didu Kariyawasam, Kate A. Carey, Kristi J. Jones, Michelle A. Farrar. New and developing therapies in spinal muscular atrophy. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prrv.2018.03.003.

4. Kariyawasam D, Alexander IE, Kurian M, et al. Great expectations: virus-mediated gene therapy in neurological disorders. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2020;91:849-860.

5. D'Silva AM, Holland S, Kariyawasam D, et al. Onasemnogene abeparvovec in spinal muscular atrophy: an Australian experience of safety and efficacy. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2022;9(3):339-350. doi:10.1002/acn3.51519

6. D'Silva AM, Kariyawasam DST, Best S, Wiley V, Farrar MA; NSW SMA NBS Study Group. Integrating newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy into health care systems: an Australian pilot programme. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2022;64(5):625-632. doi:10.1111/dmcn.15117

7. Kariyawasam D, D'Silva A, Howells J, et al. Motor unit changes in children with symptomatic spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen [published online ahead of print, 2020 Oct 26]. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2020;92(1):78-85. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2020-324254

8. Kariyawasam, D., D’Silva, A., Mowat, D. et al. Incidence of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the modern era; an Australian study. Eur J Hum Genet 30, 1398–1404 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-022-01138-2

9. Kariyawasam DST, D'Silva AM, Vetsch J, Wakefield CE, Wiley V, Farrar MA. "We needed this": perspectives of parents and healthcare professionals involved in a pilot newborn screening program for spinal muscular atrophy. EClinicalMedicine. 2021;33:100742. Published 2021 Feb 19. doi:10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100742

10. Kariyawasam DS, D'Silva AM, Sampaio H, et al. Newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy in Australia: a non-randomised cohort study [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jan 17]. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2023;S2352-4642(22)00342-X. doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00342-X

11. Kariyawasam DST, D'Silva AM, Herbert K, et al. Axonal excitability changes in children with spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen. J Physiol. 2022;600(1):95-109. doi:10.1113/JP282249

12. Nguyen CQ, Kariyawasam D, Alba-Concepcion K, et al. 'Advocacy groups are the connectors': Experiences and contributions of rare disease patient organization leaders in advanced neurotherapeutics. Health Expect. 2022;25(6):3175-3191. doi:10.1111/hex.13625

13. D'Silva AM, Kariyawasam D, Venkat P, Mayoh C, Farrar MA. Identification of Novel CSF-Derived miRNAs in Treated Paediatric Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy: An Exploratory Study. Pharmaceutics. 2023;15(1):170. Published 2023 Jan 3. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics15010170

14. Farrar MA, Kariyawasam D, Grattan S, et al. Newborn Screening for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. J Neuromuscul Dis. 2023;10(1):15-28. doi:10.3233/JND-221535

15. Kariyawasam DS, McShane T. Brain tumours in paediatrics: when should they be suspected?. Arch Dis Child. 2015;100(12):1102-1103. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2015-308729

16. Kariyawasam DS, Samapio H, Mowat D, et al. Genetic carrier screening for duchenne muscular dystrophy: the outcome of over twenty years of genetic counselling on disease epidemiology in a single-centre cohort study in new south wales (NSW), Australia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2019;90:A8-A9.

17. Anand G, Vasallo G, Spanou M,..., Kariyawasam DS, et al. Diagnosis of sporadic neurofibromatosis type 2 in the paediatric population. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2018;103:463-469.

 

Society Memberships & Professional Activities:

  • Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK 
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians