The subject Bacteriology came under the purview of the Department of Pathology and was taught during the 4th year. After Dr. T.E.D. Chapman specialize in Bacteriology, the Department of Bacteriology was inaugurated in 1956 as the 12th Department in the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo. Dr Chapman was appointed as the first Professor of Bacteriology in 1958.
In 1976 the Department was changed to the Department of Microbiology, in view of the sub-specialties included in the Department.
In 1982 Dr. Ivy de Fonseka was appointed as the second Professor of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo and Dr. Lalitha Mendis became the third Professor of Microbiology in 1990. Prof Jennifer Perera, present Head of the Department became Professor in Microbiology in 2001.
As post graduate training by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine continued, there was an impetus to research activity in the department which had hitherto concentrated on teaching Microbiology to undergraduates, post graduates in other disciplines and assisting in teaching and examination work in the Microbiology departments in the Faculties at Galle and Ragama.
Despite the constraints of limited resources of staff, space and finances available, the department has steadily grown over the years to its present stature.
(Compiled by Dr. Ivy Fonseka–2nd Professor of Microbiology)