Kosala Weerakoon

I grew up in central hills of Sri Lanka where I had my primary education in the Mihindu Primary school, Ratnapura, followed by my high school studies at Dharmaraja College, Kandy. I went on to complete my MBBS degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, and following successful completion of my undergraduate education, I stepped into my professional career as  a researcher and a university teacher. I always had an interest in infectious disease research and I obtained my postgraduate diploma in applied statistics in 2010, just prior to the completion of my medical internship at teaching hospital Peradeniya. Later, I became a Lecturer in Medical Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. I also  completed a Master of Philosophy degree on rickettsia infections at the University of Peradeniya.  

I secures a doctoral scholarship from Australian government for my PhD and conducted PhD work on tropical infections and novel diagnostics at the University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. In late 2018, I obtained my doctoral degree on diagnostics for medical parasitology and I am currently a Professor in Medical Parasitology at Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, and I am a visiting Scientist at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, UK.   

My recent research mainly focusses on development of novel molecular tools to improve the diagnosis of many of the tropical infectious diseases, mainly focussing on human rickettsia infections, dengue and schistosomiasis.  I  led over  40 peer reviewed journal publications, with more than 750 citations.  

Currently, I am continuing my research on tropical diseases with a particular emphasis on acute undifferentiated fevers and leishmaniasis, and working towards expanding molecular diagnostic facilities at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, which would be an invaluable setting for diagnosis of infectious diseases in the North Central region as well as across the island.