News ≫ Young Sri Lankan scientist’s research gains attention in the US

Young Sri Lankan scientist’s research gains attention in the US

Jan 3, 2022
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Sri Lankan born young scientist Dr. Gayani Senevirathne, who has excelled in the fields of Zoology and Molecular Biology brought pride to the country, since her latest research on finding an answer to a human abnormality had gained attention in the United States.

Dr. Senevirathne’s doctorate work discovered a gene in frog development that could be used to answer an abnormality that we can see in the axial column of human babies before birth. This work gained attention in United States and was published in a high-ranked journal called Proceedings of the National Sciences. Dr. Gayani Senevirathne is an exceptional scholar, who studied in the biological science stream for her G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination at Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy and entered the Science Faculty of the University of Peradeniya in 2009.

She received two Presidential awards and an award for the Best Science Research from Sri Lanka Research Institute for her research. However, she earned another award for academic excellence after several publications. After graduating with a First-class degree specializing in Zoology and Molecular Biology, she got a fellowship to complete her doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, which is ranked top 10 in the world.

She completed her PhD in 4 ½ years and joined Harvard University as a post doctor to understand how the pelvic girdle of the humans develop and diseases associated with it. The excellence in her academic career made her win the Helen Hay Whitney fellowship, a prestigious award, given to few of the well-recognized Nobel Laureates in the World. Her goal is to serve the country one day after returning to Sri Lanka by helping girls in science to achieve their dreams. Gayani’s greatest desire in her career life is to run her own laboratory, to build an environment where everyone is accepted, to empower females and minorities, and to address scientific research questions in vertebrate evolution using cutting-edge techniques.

Dr. Senevirathne’s father, Upul Senevirathne is an Assistant Commissioner of the Excise Department and her mother Bhagya Senevirathne is a research assistant in the water purification company, ‘CETEC’. Her brother, Ashan Senevirathne works as a Senior Engineer at the Testra company in Melbourne, Australia, whilst Gayani’s sister, Salani Senevirathne is currently reading for her undergraduate degree majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA after receiving the ‘Chancellor’s Award.’

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