Resume
















































I received my PhD degree in Molecular biology/Biotechnology from the University of East London under the supervision of Dr. David Bringloe. My thesis titled ''Plant-based strategies aimed at expressing a functional human adenosine deaminase at high levels'' examined the expression of human anenosine deaminase gene in tobacco whole plants and BY2 cell suspension and also investigated various synthetic gene expression regulators and compartmental targeting elements to enhance the synthetic protein yield. I have successfully defended the thesis under the perusal of Prof. Julian Ma (St. George's, University of London).

 

During my recent appointment as a Post-doctoral scientist (leader of synthetic biology team) at Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, I was conducting research on developing novel plant synthetic biology platforms to increase salinity tolerance through changing root architecture and signal transduction pathways.  This involved Agrobacterium mediated transformation of rice (Oryza sativa indica) embryos. Furthermore, next generation sequencing of indigenous plant species were performed in view of finding novel regulatory elements, novel genes, gene loss events and SNP variants.


During my employment at the Human Genetics Unit, I also performed library preparation and next generation sequencing of human exomes and cancer panels using Illumina Miseq platform.

 

In addition to experience in general Molecular Biological techniques, my dissertation work has involved, production of recombinant proteins, gene cloning, transgenic E.coli DH5α, Nucleic acid and protein gel blot analysis, SDS-PAGE, agarose gel electrophoresis, PCR, qPCR, ELISA, enzymatic assays, protein assays, plant cell culture techniques, transgenic plants and I also possess skills in writing and presenting reports gained during the PhD. I also possess extensive experience in designing transgenic constructs and plasmids using various bioinformatics tools such as Clustal Omega, NCBI tools, Expasy tools, Molecular tool kit, Codon optimisation tools etc. I also possess extensive experience in Illumina Miseq next generation sequencing platform.
 
My research interests include synthetic biology, genetic engineering, molecular pharming, molecular biology, plant biotechnology, the function of DNA sequence and gene regulatory networks.
 
I’m an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual possessing excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to work in an independent role and collaborate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds. I met without fail, the many deadlines in my research, teaching/demonstration (during PhD) and supervisory duties and possess extensive experience in juggling different tasks and bringing to a successful conclusion. I also have excellent IT and data interpretation skills gained throughout my education over the years. I have the ability to organise own workload and also with the guidance from senior colleagues if required. Gained throughout my M.Sc and Ph.D, I also have experience in writing research reports to effectively disseminate outcomes.
 

Prior to my PhD, I’ve successfully completed an M.Sc in Biotechnology and did my M.Sc project on characterisation of ADA gene in yeast pYES2 vector. I also completed my first degree in Pharmacy and possess excellent technical skills related to retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance.





Post-doctoral scientist - Team leader of synthetic biology group.
Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
 
​05/2014 to 09/2016
 
Conduct research on developing novel synthetic biology platforms to increase salinity tolerance through changing root architecture and signal transduction pathways. Also conduct next generation sequencing of indigenous plants species in view of finding novel regulatory elements, novel genes, gene loss events and SNP variants. 
 
 
Senior lecturer (Head of Department).
Department of Pharmacy, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka
 
​11/2013 to 05/2014
 
Duties involved in conducting pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy and molecular biology lectures in B.Sc Pharmacy, B.Sc Nursing, B.Sc Medical laboratory science and B.Sc Physiotherapy undergraduate courses.
 
Conducted examination roles in question paper moderation, assessment tasks and also involved in administrative matters of department of pharmacy.
 
Teaching and demonstration.
University of East London, United Kingdom.
 
​02/2008 to 05/2013
 
Conducted occasional teaching of biotechnology and molecular biology modules during the course of my Ph.D.
 
Worked as a postgraduate demonstrator conducting regular supervision of practical classes for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
 
Supervised undergraduate research projects of two final year B.Sc students and M.Sc research projects of 10 students.
 
Healthcare advisor.
Boots UK Ltd, United Kingdom.
 
​04/2006 to 06/2013
 
Duties involved, patient counselling and dispensing over the counter medicines, patient counselling on smoking cessation, dispensing nicotine replacement medicines and dealing with customer requests and complaints.
 
Throughout the years I have been involved in building a strong and a positive relationship with customers and staff.
 
Executive pharmacist.
Pharmaco (PVT) Ltd, Sri Lanka.
 
​01/2005 to 09/2005
 

Duties involved, prescription handling, patient counselling and dispensing medicines, compounding of extemporaneous preparations, day to day management and monitoring of stock levels and re-ordering of drugs and devices when required, managing 6 full-time members of staff and dealing with customer requests and complaints.




Ph.D: Biotechnology/Biopharming. 

University of East London, United Kingdom. 
​2008 - 2012
 
 
PG.Cert: Research. 
University of East London, United Kingdom. 
​2008 - 2009
 
Master of Science (M.Sc): Biotechnology. 
University of East London, United Kingdom. 
​2005 - 2007
 
Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm).
University of The Punjab, Pakistan. 
​1999 - 2003
 
G.C.E (A/L).
D.S.Senanayake College, Sri Lanka. 

​1998





Research and 
teaching interests


Research

  • Molecular pharming.

  • Synthetic biology.

  • Biofuel production.

  • Plant biotechnology.

  • Molecular biology.

  • Stem cells.

  • Cancer.

  • Genetic engineering.


Teaching
  • Biotechnology.

  • Molecular biology.

  • Biochemistry.

  • Pharmacology.

  • Pharmaceutics.

  • Synthetic biology.



Skills

Technical

  • Gene cloning.

  • Isolation and analysis of DNA.

  • Southern, northern & western blot analysis.

  • SDS PAGE, Agarose gel electrophoresis.

  • PCR.

  • ELISA.

  • Production of recombinant proteins.

  • Enzymatic assays,

  • Protein purification and protein assays.

  • Plant cell culture techniques.

  • Transgenic plants.

  • Pharmaceutical quality control.

  • Next generation sequencing.

  • Spectrophotometry.

  • Chromatography.

  •  

Teaching

  • Teaching of Biotechnology and Molecular biology. modules.

  • Supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

  • Demonstration.

 

Other

  • Knowledge of research methodologies.

  • Data and information collection and statistical analysis.

  • Writing and presenting reports.

  • Extensive experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Prism.

  • Retail pharmacy.



Languages

English
Sinhalese
Hindi
Urdu