Prof. Preethi Gunaratne, Ph.D. who can be introduced as a geneticist and a genomicist at the same time, is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, with a dual appointment at the Human Genome Sequencing Centre and the Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Virology.
It is an honor for the Sri Lankans that she has been a part of the Human Genome Project, which is a 13-year effort (1993-2003), whose goal has been to completely map and understand the entire human genome.
She who has developed her passion in the field of Molecular biology wanted to put her skills to find a solution to attack cancer. Currently, most of her research work is focused on ovarian cancer, which is the fifth leading cause of death in women and, the most common gynecological malignancy.
Interestingly, her research team has made a very exciting discovery that micro RNAs can specifically kill the 90% of malignant cells that lead to tumor growth. And the rest of the 10% can be destroyed by developing personalized medicine therapies that mainly exploit RNA therapies. Simply, it is like when a patient walks into the medical center, his/ her genome is fully analyzed and then the therapies are developed in accordance.
Also, Prof. Gunaratne founded NEXTmiRNA Technologies, a company dedicated to developing tumor suppressor microRNAs for cancer.
Prof. Gunaratne completed her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology (Honors) from the University of Colombo and earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the Cornell University, Newyork.
Moreover, she can be mentioned as a key personality from SL, who empowers the women scientists to go and just conquer the world; it is the passion, a bit of motivation, and dedication you always need to pursue.
“Heights by great men & women reach and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night”
Written By:-Henry Wordsworth-
for more information:https://www.careergirls.org