CHAMINDRI WITHARANA
BSc (Col), MPhil (Wales), PhD (Giessen)
Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Colombo
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Present Appointment:
Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo (April 2015-to date)

Previous Appointments:

  • Senior Lecturer – Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Karapitiya. (December 2013- March 2015)
  • Planning executive- MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka (Sep 2006 – Sep 2007)

Collaborative International Appointments:

  • Visiting Research Assistant- Max Planck Institute for Biophysics, Frankfurt, Germany (March 2013 – May 2013)
  • Visiting Research Assistant–– Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, USA (Aug 2012 – Sep 2012)
  • Visiting Research Assistant– Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany (January 2011- January 2012)
  • Visiting Research Assistant – University of Moscow, Russia (May 2010)
  • Research Assistant- Department of Biological Sciences, University of Swansea, UK (Aug 2008 – Aug 2009 (part time), Nov 2009 – Feb 2010 (full time)

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in Micro and Molecular Biology, University of Giessen (Justus Liebig University) Giessen, Germany (2013)
  • MPhil in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom (2009) –Passed with a Distinction
  • BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (Sp.), University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2006)- 2nd Upper Class pass

Teaching, Scholarship and Academic Development

Undergraduate Teaching and Supervision

  • Lecturing Bachelor students, University of Swansea, United Kingdom-2009
  • Lecturing Bachelor students in Sri Lankan Universities
      • Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2015-todate
      • Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, 2013-2015
      • Faculty of Science, University of Jayawardenepura (Visiting Lecturer), 2016-to date
  • Supervision
      • Research projects of Bachelor students, Institute of Micro and Molecular Biology, University of Giessen, Germany, 2011-2012
      • Research Projects of MBBS students, Community Medicine Stream, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2015-todate
      • Research projects of Physiotherapy BSc students, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2016- to date
      • Research projects of BSc students, Faculty of Science, University of Jayawardenepura 2016- to date

Postgraduate Teaching and Supervision

  • Lecturing Master students Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2013 –to date
  • Supervision
      • Research projects of Masters’ students, Institute of Micro and Molecular Biology, University of Giessen, Germany (2011-2012)
      • Research project of Masters students, Faculty of Medicine , University of Colombo, 2015-to date
      • Research Project of PhD students
      • Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2016 –to date
      • Faculty of Science, University of Jayawardenepura 2017- to date

Participation as a Resource person in Seminars / Workshops

  • Resource Person-Basic Techniques in Molecular Biology, Organized by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, September 2016
  • Resource Person-practicals in Molecular Techniques, Organized Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), 2016

Invited Speaker-National and International Conferences

  • Annual Symposium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2016
  • Seminar of Chemical Handling and Laboratory Safety, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon (IChem), 2016
  • Annual Sessions Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, 2015
  • VAAM (Association for General and Applied Microbiology) annual meeting March- Tübingen , Germany 2012
  • International Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life sciences Annual General Meeting 2013
  • International Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life sciences Annual General Meeting 2012
  • RNA Society Meeting Berlin, Germany, 2011
  • Achaea Annual General Meeting, Schmitten, Germany, 2010
  • International Research Training Group (IRTG) Meeting, Moscow, Russia

Organizing National and International Seminars and Conferences

  • Annual Open Forum, The Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists’ (SLAYS), Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 2017
  • The 3-MT (3 minute thesis competition) during the Open Forum of the Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists (SLAYS), March 2017
  • The Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists’ (SLAYS) Public Engagement and Outreach Programme for School children: Towards society-Inspiring young minds, January 2017
  • Seminar on Basic Techniques in Molecular Biology, Organized by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, September 2016
  • Workshop on Practicals in Molecular Techniques, Organized Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), 2016
  • Organising Committee-Annual Research Symposium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2016

National and International Collaborations

  • Research collaboration with the Faculty of Science, University of Jayawardenepura
  • Research collaboration with the Department of Genetics, University of Giessen (Justus Liebig University), Giessen, Germany
  • Sri Lanka Institute of Nano-Technology, Ministry of Science of Technology

Publications and Conference Presentations

  • Witharana, C., Wanigasekara , W.M.J.M.B. (2017) Drug Delivery Systems: A new Frontier in Nano-technology, International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (Paper Accepted for publication)
  • Dammann, R., Richter, A., Jiménez,A., Woods, M. Küster, M., Witharana, C. (2017) Impact of natural compounds on DNA methylation levels of the tumor suppressor gene RASSF1A in cancer, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Paper Accepted for publication)
  • Siraj M.F.R, Mathew C.P.D.W., Witharana C. (2017) Isolation, biochemical characterization and identification of thermostable alpha amylase producing bacteria from hot water springs in Sri Lanka, Annual Sessions, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLASS) (Accepted for a presentation)
  • Siraj M.F.R, Mathew C.P.D.W., Witharana C.(2017) Purification and functional characterization of thermostable alpha amylase from Caldimonas manganoxidans MS1 isolated from Maha Oya hot water spring in Sri Lanka, Annual Sessions, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLASS) (Accepted for a presentation)
  • Perera D.G.K.Y., Witharana C, Thoradeniya S.T. (2017) Determination of Lipolysis and Size Of Isolated Adipocytes: An Alternative Method Sparing Laboratory Animals. Annual Scientific Sessions of The Sri Lanka Association For Laboratory Animal Science (SLALAS)
  • Aminu J., Witharana C., Thoradeniya S.T. (2017) Measurement of Total Lipids And Lipolysis In Human Placental Tissue Explants 4th Annual Scientific Sessions Of The Sri Lanka Association For Laboratory Animal Science (SLALAS)
  • Wanigasekara , W.M.J.M.B. Palpola N, Jayasena S.M.T., Witharana C., Mathew C.P.D.W., Wijesundera W.S.S. (2016) Cloning of alkaline protease gene from thermophilic Bacillus licheniformis into an E.coli expression system. Conference: International Symposium “Young Researchers in Biosciences”, At Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Volume: 3
  • W.M.J.M.B.Wanigasekara, N Palpola, S.M.T. Jayasena, A.W.C.P Witharana, C.P.D.W. Mathew, W.S.S. Wijesundera ( 2016) Cloning of DNA polymerase gene from thermophilic Bacillus licheniformis into an E.coli expression system University of Colombo, Annual Research Symposium, 2016, Colombo.
  • Wanigasekara J., Witharana C. (2016) Applications of Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery and Design - An Insight. Current Trends in Biotechnology and Pharmacy, 10(1) 78-91
  • Witharana C., Wijesiriwardhana P., Jayasekara K., Kumari P., Rodrigo C. (2015) Awareness of female malignancies among women and their partners in Southern Sri Lanka and implications for screening: a cross sectional study BMC Public Health 15(1):1179
  • Witharana, C., Roppelt, V., Lochnit, G., Klug, G., Evguenieva-Hackenberg, E. (2012) Heterogeneous complexes of the RNA exosome in Sulfolobus solfataricus. Biochemie. 2012. 94(7):1578-87
  • Witharana C., Hackenberg E. (2010) Exosome protein complex in Sulfolobus solfataricus. Proceedings of the annual meeting of RNA society. Berlin, Germany
  • Witharana C., Roppelt V, Hackenberg E. (2011) Heterogeneity of the Sulfolobus solfataricus exosome. Proceeding of the annual meeting of the International research training group (IRTG) Gissen, Germany
  • Witharana C., Hackenberg E. (2011) RNA degradation by archeal exosome. Proceedings of the annual meeting of the International Giessen Graduate Centre (GGL), Gissen, Germany
  • Witharana C., Lassek C, Hou L., Hackenberg E. (2012) Heterogeneity of the archeal exosome. Proceedings of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) meeting, Tübingen , Germany
  • Witharana C., Hackenberg E. Archeal exosome as a RNA degradation machine. Proceedings of the annual meeting of the international Giessen Graduate Centre (GGL) 2012, Giessen, Germany

Other Conferences and Training Programes Attended

  • International Conference of the Giessen Graduate Centre (GGL), Giessen, Germany, July 2017
  • Cell Culture Training Department of Genetics, Giessen University, Germany, July Germany 2017
  • Third Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academics of Science, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2017

Grants Awarded

  • University small grant 2016
  • University small grant 2017
  • National Science Foundation Overseas Special Training Programme (OSTP) travel grant 2017

Membership of Professional Bodies and Associations

  • Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLASS)
  • Collage of Biochemists- Sri Lanka
  • General Society of Microbiology – UK, 2008
  • British Computer Society (BCS) -UK
  • Royal Society of Chemistry - UK (2003/2004)

Positions Held in Professional Bodies, Associations and Organizations

  • Secretary, Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientist (SLAYS) 2016/2017
  • Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientist (SLAYS) 2017-todate
  • Secretary, Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association (FMTA) 2016-todate

Faculty and University Positions

  • Convenor, Nutrition, Growth and Development Module, Applied Sciences Stream, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo( 2016-todate)
  • Convenor, Elective Programme, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo(2017-todate)