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Member Profile

Membership type: full

Nadira D. Karunaweera

Country of origin: Sri Lanka Currently in: Sri Lanka, Colombo General field of specialization: Biological Systems and Organisms
Academic Background


1993 Doctorate Biological Systems and Organisms
Research and Profession

Current Research Activities

Biological Systems and Organisms

Immunology and pathogenesis of malaria. Clinical disease, pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission of leishmaniasis

Publications resulting from Research: 

1. Carter R, Karunaweera ND. The Role of Improved Housing and Living Environments in Malaria Control and Elimination. Malaria Journal. (2020) 19:385.
2. Karunaweera ND, Ferreira MU. (2018). Leishmaniasis: current challenges and prospects for elimination with special focus on the South Asian region. Parasitology. 12:1-5. doi: 10.1017/S0031182018000471.
3. Silva H, Liyanage A, Deerasinghe T, Sumanasena B, Munidasa D, de Silva H, Weerasingha S, Fernandopulle R, Karunaweera ND. (2021).Therapeutic response to thermotherapy in cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment failures for sodium stibogluconate: A randomized controlled proof of principle clinical trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 104(3): 945-950.
4. Karunaweera ND, Ginige S, Senanayake S, Silva H, Manamperi N, Samaranayake N, Siriwardana Y, Gamage D, Senerath U, Zhou G. (2020). Spatial Epidemiologic Trends and Hotspots of Leishmaniasis, Sri Lanka, 2001–2018. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 26(1). DOI:
5. Dewasurendra RL, Dewasurendra RL, Baniecki ML, Schaffner S, Siriwardena HVYD, Moon J, Doshi R, Gunawardena GSA, Daniels RF, Neafsey D, Volkman S, Chandrasekharan NV, Wirth DF, Karunaweera ND. 2020. Use of a Plasmodium vivax genetic barcode for genomic surveillance and parasite tracking in Sri Lanka. Malaria Journal.19:342.
6. Pathirage DRK, Karunaratne SHPP, Senanayake SC, Karunaweera ND. (2020). Insecticide susceptibility of the sand fly leishmaniasis vector Phlebotomus argentipes in Sri Lanka. Parasit Vectors 13(1): 246.
7. Samarasinghe SR, Samaranayake N, Kariyawasam U, Siriwardana Y, Imamura H, Karunaweera ND. (2018). Genomic insights into virulence mechanisms of Leishmania donovani: evidence from an atypical strain. BMC Genomics. 28;19(1):843. doi: 10.1186/s12864-018-5271-z.
8. Kariyawasam KKGDUL, Siriwardana HVYD, Senerath U, Karunaweera ND. (2018). Dermotropic Leishmania donovani in Sri Lanka: Visceralizing potential in clinical and preclinical studies. Parasitology. 145(4):443-452.
9. Refai W, Madarasingha N, Sumanasena B, Weerasingha S, De Silva A, Fernandopulle R, Satoskar A, Karunaweera ND. (2017). Efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of thermotherapy in the treatment of Leishmania donovani-induced cutaneous leishmaniasis: A randomized controlled clinical trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 97(4):1120-1126. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0879.
10. Karunaweera ND, Ferreira MU, Munasinghe A, Barnwell JW, Collins WE, King CL, Kawamoto F, Hartl DL, Wirth DF. (2008). Extensive Microsatellite Diversity in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium vivax. Gene, 410(1):105-112

Current profession

Current professional activities type: 
Senior Professor and Chair of Parasitology: engage in teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees; Team leader of leishmaniasis research team


Harvard University, USA
Prizes, Grants and Awards

Other Awards

Jan 2021
Fellowship, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)
Elected Fellow of the The World Academy of Sciences
Oct 2020
International Fellow, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Elected Distinguished International Fellow, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Oct 2019
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Elected member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Aug 2011
Fellow, National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka
Elected Fellow, National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka
Aug 2005
Fellowship, Harvard University, USA
Fellowship award, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University, USA
Aug 2006
Fulbright Fellowship
Fulbright Advanced Research and Lecturing award, USA

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