Research Areas

Immuno- & Molecular Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax asexual stage vaccine candidates in Sri Lanka

Correlations examined between the degrees of in vivo protection of endemic populations with the characteristics of the antibody responses in order to develop in vivo correlates of asexual protective immunity to Plasmodium vivax were carried out for MSP-1 and AMA-1 and DBP. The genetic diversity of AMA-1, MSP-1 and DBP of P. vivax in clinical isolates obtained from endemic regions of Sri Lanka were elucidated, and the strain specific immunity to these three vaccine candidate antigens in Sri Lanka were established.This programme  resulted in the awarding of three PhD degrees in collaboaration with the Institut Pasteur, Paris, the Harvard Medical School and the ICGEB in New Delhi.

Comparison of the genetic structure of P. vivax populations that  circulated in the country prior to elimination and of that in the early 2000 under the control phase, concerning both coding and noncoding (microsatellites) loci was conducted  in collaboration with the National Anti-Malaria Campaign, Genetech Pvt. Ltd. (Colombo) and the University of Arizona, USA.

A study under the Prevention of Re-establishment Phase (POR) of malaria in Sri Lanka completed recently,  unequivocally established that  serology is indeed a potential marker of transmission of Malaria.  

Bioprospecting for immunomodulatory and other vital bioactivity of herbal preparations based on Sri Lankan Traditional Medicine cues

With a view to search for novel drug leads, herbal decoctions and distillates based on native traditional medicine with relevant claims were screened using both in vitro (parasite cultures/ stem cell lines/ cancer cell lines) and in vivo (rodent models) studies. These studies are conducted in collaboration with the Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda University  and the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy

A pilot study was completed on screening selected marine sponge extracts for immunomodulatory and cancer chemopreventive activity, in collaboration with the University of Genova, Italy.

Association of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Oral & Oropharyngeal Cancer (OPC) in Sri Lanka

Cytokines and other Immune mediators as biomarkers of non communicable diseases

Reproductive & Pregnancy Immunology