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Member Profile

Membership type: full

Asha Nahallage Dona

Country of origin: Sri Lanka Currently in: Sri Lanka, Yakkala General field of specialization: Biological Systems and Organisms
Early Career Fellowship
Academic Background


2018 Doctorate Biological Systems and Organisms
2010 Master Biological Systems and Organisms
2006 Undergraduate Agricultural Sciences
Research and Profession

Current Research Activities

Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology

My research interest included molecular biology research work related to both plants and animals. Currently, I am doing research related to the use of the sterile insect technique for the control of Aedes mosquitoes in Sri Lanka. I have skills and experience for most of the molecular biology techniques from DNA extraction, PCR, RT-PCR, tissue culture methods, gene transformation techniques, microarray techniques, etc.

Publications resulting from Research: 

Journal Articles
1. Wijegunawardana, N. D. A. D., Ramanayaka, S. M. S. D. 2005. Induction of callus and plant regeneration in Momordica dioica. Proceedings the 5thAgriculture research symposium, University of Wayamba, Sri Lanka. 1, pp10-14.
2. Wijegunawardana, N. D. A. D., Gunewardene, Y. I. N. S., Manamperi, A. and Abeyewickreme, W. 2012. GIS mapping of Lymphatic filariasis endemic areas in Gampaha district Sri Lanka; based on the epidemiological and entomological screening. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 43(3) May: pp557-566.
3. Wijegunawardana, N. D. A. D., Gunawardane, Y. I. N. S., Manamperi, A., Hapuarachchi, C. and Abeyewickreme, W, Latif, B.2013. Evaluation of Polymerase Chain Reaction as a tool for monitoring transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti in District of Gampaha, Sri Lanka. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 3(5) May: 381-7. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60080-5.
4. Ramakrishna U. Rao, Kumara C. Nagodavithana, Sandhya D. Samarasekera, Asha N. Wijegunawardana, Welmillage D. Y. Premakumara, Samudrika N. Perera, Tilaka S. Liyanage, Sunil Settinayake, J. Phillip Miller , Udaya S. B. Ranasinghe, Gary J. Weil. 2014. A Comprehensive Assessment of Persistent Lymphatic Filariasis in Sri Lanka Six Years after Cessation of Mass Drug Administration. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 8(11) November: e3281
5. Wijegunawardana, N. D. A. D., Gunawardane, Y. I. N. S., Hapuarachchi, C., Manamperi, A., Gunawardena, N. K. and Abeyewickreme, W. 2017. Comparison of five DNA extraction methods for the recovery of Wuchereria bancrofti DNA from human blood as assessed by polymerase chain reaction. Bulletin of Trends in Biological Sciences. 1(1): pp12-17.
6. Gunathilaka, N., Ranathunge, T., Udayanga, L., Wijegunawardana, A., Abeyewickreme, W. 2017. Oviposition preferences of dengue vectors; Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in Sri Lanka under laboratory settings. Bulletin of Entomological Research. Cambridge University Press. pp 1-9.
7. N. D. A. D. Wijegunawardana, W. Abeyewickreme, Y. I. Nilmini Silva Gunawardene, R. S. Dasannayaka, N. Chandrasena, L. Udayanga (2019) Evaluation of the effects of Aedes vector indices and climatic factors on Dengue incidence in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. BioMed Research International.
Volume 2019, Article ID 2950216, pp 1-11.
8. N. D. A. D. Wijegunawardana, Y. I. N. Silva Gunawardene, W. Abeyewickreme, T. G. A. N. Chandrasena, R. S. Dassanayake, A. Manmperi. (2020) Optimization of Aedes albopictus rearing procedures for combined strile insect techniques (SIT) and Wolbachia-based laboratory studies in Sri Lanka. Int J Trop Insect Sci.
9. N. Gunathilaka, T. Ranathunge, L. Udayanga, N.D.A.D. Wijegunawardana, J.R.L. Gilles, W. Abeyewickreme. Use of mechanical and behavioral methods to eliminate female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus for Sterile Insect Technique and Incompatible Insect Technique applications. Parasite & Vectors. 12(1), Article no. 148.
10. D. O. Carvalho, J. Torres-Monzon, P. Koskinioti, N. D. A. D. Wijegunawardana, A. A. Augustinos, G. Pillwax, Z. Xi, K. Bourtzis. Ae. aegypti lines for combined sterile insect technique and incompatible insect technique applications: the importance of host genomic background. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata.
11. 10. Nayana Gunathilaka, Hirunika Perera, Tharaka Wijerathna, Wasana Rodrigo, Asha Wijegunawardana. The diversity of midgut bacteria among wild caught Phlebotomus argentipes (Psychodidae: Phlebotominae), the vector of Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka. BioMed Research International.
Volume 2020, Article ID 5458063.

Current profession

Current professional activities type: 
I am currently serving as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Technology, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. My professional activities included undergraduate teaching (subjects: Molecular Biology, Molecular Biotechnology and Enzyme Technology), Research and mentorship for both undergraduates and postgraduate students. In addition to that serving as a visiting lecturer and scientific consultant in two government and non-government organizations.

Workshop and Conference Attended

2019 Geneva, Switzerland WHO/TDR Crowdfunding capacity building workshop
2011 Lyon, France BioVision, the World Life Sciences Forum
2017 Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya 2nd National Symposium of Current Research Activities on Dengue
2016 RACP, University of Kelaniya Biological Modelling
2014 Research Division of the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka Effective Research Proposal Writing
2011 Institute of Biology, at University of Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka Sampling, Identification and Preservation of Mosquitoes


Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Science, Sri Lanka

Presentation given

A combined sterile insect technique (SIT) and a Wolbachia-based approach (Incompatible Insect Technique, IIT) as an additional tool in the integrated dengue vector control for control of Aedes albopictus population in Sri Lanka.
University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Event: 74th Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Science, Sri Lanka.
Establishment and maintenance of laboratory colonies of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka
Event: Peradeniya University International Research Sessions, Sri Lanka
Prizes, Grants and Awards

Other Awards

Sep 2014
WHO/TDR Postgraduate Research Grant award
WHO/TDR Postgraduate Research Grant award for Ph.D. research training worth of US $ 49, 924/- by the World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland.
Dec 2014
Presidential Award
Presidential Award for Scientific Publication awarded by the National Research Council, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dec 2013
Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award for Medicine – 2013
Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award for Medicine – 2013, Hiran Tillekeratne Research Fund with a cash award for M.Phil. Research degree. awarded by the University Grant Commission (UGC), Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, Sri Lanka.
Dec 2013
Commendation Postgraduate Research Award - 2012
Commendation Postgraduate Research Award - 2012 for contributions of research in Sri Lanka for M.Phil. Research degree awarded by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), Sri Lanka.

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