University of Colombo Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence – 2021 Professor Ranil Jayawardena, Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Ranil Jayawardena is a Professor in Nutrition in the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine. Following his graduation from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, he completed his MSc from the University of Glasgow, UK and subsequently his PhD at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He is one of the leading practitioners and researchers in nutrition in the country.
Prof. Jayawardena’s research interests lie primarily in the areas of clinical nutrition, non- communicable diseases and lately on COVID-19. He has a vast array of research experience which includes multi-national research collaborations, drug trials, nation wide epidemiological surveys, systemic reviews and meta-analyses. The Vice- Chancellor’s award for 2021 is awarded based on research conducted between 2019 to 2021 which was a very challenging time for Sri Lankans due to many reasons. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s hardships, Prof. Jayawardena was quite productive and published over 50 full papers in international journals, and two books, and was granted two patents in these three years.
He has an H-index of 42 and 10508 citations. He is one of the top two most cited researchers among current researchers in the University of Colombo. He has received nearly 50 research awards including several presidential awards. He was named the “Top Outstanding Young Person in Medical Research” in 2014 by the Junior Chamber International. He won the “Country Prize” as the best Young Scientist by the World Academy of Science, Trieste, Italy in 2018. He was awarded the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) Excellence Award for the most outstanding young researcher in 2018. This makes him the only academic in the University of Colombo with all three young national-level awards for research. In 2021, Prof. Jayawardena was ranked among the World’s Top 2% of Scientists in the list of outstanding researchers prepared by Elsevier and the Stanford University, USA. Since joining the University of Colombo, he has received the senate awards continuously and this is his second Vice- Chancellor’s Award for research excellence.