Prof. Dushyantha Jayaweera, MD, MRCOG (UK), FACP

For his excellence in Research and Clinical Work in HIV/HCV & Covid-19 Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Work.

Professor Dushyantha Jayaweera was Awarded Outstanding Community Service for his focus on research centered on understanding the factors that impact communities of color and minorities, which have long been ignored. And also for his leadership in handling disaster relief efforts and his dedication during the recent pandemic to positively impact the public through outreach by educating people on their health. He actively dispelled myths regarding medicine and different aspects of their work and industry and ensured the public was informed with facts, not conjecture.

Prof. Jayaweera was born in Sri Lanka and attended Royal College. He received his Medical Degree from Sri Lanka in 1976 and was trained in medicine in Sri Lanka, Great Britain, and Loyola University of Chicago. In 1992, he joined the University of Miami after serving as a senior registrar at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom.

His passion has been working in disaster relief. His first international mission was to Honduras when Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in October 1998. The University of Miami sent a team with Prof. Jayaweera, providing medical care and delivering essential items such as medications donated by the University of Miami to the people in Tegucigalpa and La Lima. He spent a week helping the population affected by banana plantations in La Lima and saw hundreds of patients daily.

As a Rotary club member, his main contribution was to disaster relief in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami in December 2004. Due to the massive destruction after the Tsunami, many hospitals were destroyed. Prof. Jayaweera and the Rotary Club of Pinecrest and Dade Land collected money from all the Florida clubs and, with matching grants from Rotary International, donated close to $200,000.00 to the Galle hospitals to purchase equipment.

In 2010, Haiti was affected by an unprecedented earthquake. The University of Miami sprang into action and led the medical mission called “Project Medishare,” supported by some U.S. health systems and donors and spearheaded by Prof. Jayaweera.

When the COVID pandemic affected Sri Lanka, he started working with the Colombo Medical School and other leaders in Colombo to develop plans to obtain essential medical items for patient care in Sri Lanka. He worked with the Sri Lanka Foundation very closely in fundraising and was involved in many Medical Webinars.

Prof. Jayaweera was appointed as the Executive Dean for Research and Research Education for the Miller School of Medicine in September 2015. Before this appointment, he was the Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Protection. Prof. Jayaweera has over 20 years of experience with HIV and serves as the Director of the HIV/HCV co-infection clinic. He has received grant support from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the National Science Foundation.

Prof. Jayaweera has been involved in emerging infections. He started working on HIV at the beginning of the pandemic and hepatitis C in 2000, Zika in 2018, and COVID-19 in 2020. Over the last 20 years, he has received research funding for all these diseases. He was the principal investigator for the University of Miami, funded by the National Institute of Health, on the Janssen vaccine, convalescent plasma for inpatients, and ACTOV-6 platform studies.

Sri Lanka Foundation International would like to Thank and Acknowledge Prof. Dushyantha Jayaweera for his dedication, thoughtfulness, and compassion for working tirelessly to save lives and to improve the healthcare industry to keep communities safe.