Dr Nirmani Wijenayake Gamachchige
Lecturer

Dr Nirmani Wijenayake Gamachchige

  • 2017 - Current: Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
     
  • 2015 - 2017: Associate Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
     
  • 2010 - 2014: PhD student, Casual Academic, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
Science
School of Biotech & Biomolecular Science

I am an education-focused academic at the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. I am known as a leader in my school for developing and integrating online resources and technology into teaching to enhance the student experience, increase engagement and provide students with a personalized education. I also have a major role in conducting numerous outreach activities for High School students, mentoring others around online learning, and developing resources for the professional development of sessional staff. 

Phone
+61 2 9065 1163
Location
Room 220A, Biological Sciences Building (D26)

  • 2017: Scientia Education and Innovation Fund (SEIF#4)
    Blended transactional learning: a sustainable feedback model for developing teaching capabilities of sessional staff, L. Lutze-Mann, N. Wijenayake, K. Snepvasngers, L. Jo, K. Thomson, J. Wilson, V. Yeung, $45000
     
  • 2015: UNSW Learning and Teaching Innovation Grants (SEF# 4)
    Integration of Real and Virtual Experiences in Undergraduate Laboratories, G. Kornfeld, L. Lutze-Mann, P. Polly, N. Wijenayake, R. LeBard, $20000
     
  • 2015: UNSW Learning and Teaching Innovation Grants (SEF# 4)
    Assessment, analytics, and personalised feedback for building undergraduate technical and analytical skills using virtual laboratories, P. Polly, L. Lutze-Mann, T. Thai, N. Wijenayake, $20000
 

  • 2021: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
     
  • 2020: UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (General)
     
  • 2019: UNSW Presidents Award for Embraces Diversity - UNSW Women in Maths & Science Champions (Science) 
     
  • 2016 - 2021:13 Titans of Teaching Awards for Best Course and/or Teaching in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences

My PhD was focused on investigating the effects of antipsychotic drugs and statins in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. Meta-analysis of cancer in schizophrenic patients suggests a lower incidence of some cancers leading to the hypothesis that antipsychotic drugs taken regularly by these patients may have the ability to inhibit tumour growth. We have identified and tested a number of antipsychotic drugs for their ability to act as chemotherapeutics. Our in vitro and in vivo studies indicate the potential of these drugs as candidates for the treatment of glioblastoma especially since they can cross the blood-brain barrier. These drugs have been in clinical use for decades and their pharmacokinetics and toxicology are well characterized, increasing their potential.

My Education Portfolio can be accessed from here.