Pulani Lanerolle is the Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, and a visiting lecturer at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry with Nutrition from the University of Southampton, UK and a PhD in the field of Nutrition from the University of Colombo. She is a SEDA (UK) accredited teacher in higher education with her teaching portfolio being awarded the Best Portfolio prize in 2003.The many administrative posts held during her 25-year teaching career have enabled her to initiate, implement and evaluate biochemistry and nutrition teaching for undergraduate and postgraduate students of medicine.
Her international work is in developing nutrition guidelines and supporting the move towards sustainable healthy diets. She has served on the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) subgroup on diet and health of the World Health Organization since 2015, developing global nutrition guidelines for NCD prevention. She reviewed the Foresight 2 final report titled “Future Food Systems: for people, our planet, and prosperity” for the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. This report offers evidence-based policy solutions for improving food systems to deliver sustainable healthy diets and address food security on a global scale. She was a part of the FAO/ WHO joint expert consultation that developed the Guiding Principles on Sustainable Healthy Diet and has been an expert (temporary advisor) for WHO/FAO at the South East Asia inter-regional meeting to promote healthy diets through the informal food sector.
She serves on many national committees of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, responsible for the development of obesity guidelines, dietary guidelines, revision of the national nutrition policy, national nutrient profile model, infant and young child feeding, dietary recommendations, revision of hospital nutrition care guidelines, strategies for public education of dietary guidelines and the development of the health website for adolescents. Her supervision of research projects for doctoral and MSc degrees are in the areas of diet and lifestyle patterning, portion size estimation, intervention in Non-Communicable Diseases, double burden of malnutrition, body composition and energy expenditure using stable isotopes, funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the National Science Foundation and includes international collaborative work.
In addition to many international publications and serving as reviewer and editorial advisory board member for international journals she has undertaken commissioned reports for international agencies including the World Health Organization (country office and SEARO), World Bank, RUAF foundation, IDRC Canada and UNHABITAT, as well as the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka, in NCD related nutrition, landscape analysis of trans fatty acids in Sri Lanka, evaluation of the extent of commercial complementary foods in Sri Lanka, infant and young child feeding, food and nutrition security, reducing anaemia in South East Asia and the informal food sector in Asia. Distinctions for excellence in research have been from the International Congress of Nutrition, National Research Council, University of Colombo and the President’s Awards.