Professor Panduka Karunanayake is a specialist in General (Internal) Medicine, with an interest in clinical infectious disease. He has published original research on leptospirosis, dengue, visceral leishmaniasis, and brucellosis.
Panduka is a SEDA Recognised Teacher and has won the Faculty’s Teacher Excellence Award. In the past he has been chairperson of the Infectious & Parasitic Disease Module; secretary of the Curriculum Development & Evaluation Committee; Faculty Student Counsellor; secretary of the board of study in Medicine at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine; co-editor of University of Colombo Review; and director of the University of Colombo Staff Development Centre.
He has an abiding interest in postgraduate medical education. He has been an examiner in several specialties in the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, secretary of the board of study in Medicine, a member of several boards of study, and contributed to curriculum design of several programmes. At different times, he has served as the chief examiner of every component at both the Medicine Selection Examination and the MD Medicine Examination. He has also been an examiner in the MRCP (UK) PACES Examination.
Panduka also has an interest in medical ethics (both research ethics and clinical ethics), and the interphase between medicine and the social sciences and the humanities. He had been the joint-secretary of the Faculty of Medicine Ethics Review Committee, as well as held membership in its clinical trials subcommittee and the ethics review committees of Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Law.
He was president of the Ceylon College of Physicians in 2018, vice-president of the Sri Lanka Medical Association in 2019, and vice-president of the Colombo Medical School Alumni Association in 2022. He has delivered the Carlo Fonseka Oration of the Physiological Society of Sri Lanka, and 5 keynote, commencement or inauguration speeches.
Panduka has been a frequent contributor to the national press on issues relating to higher education and healthcare and as a book reviewer. A compilation of his articles and lectures on education was recently published (Ruptures in Sri Lanka’s Education, Sarasavi Publishers), and it was nominated for the State Literary Awards (academic & research category) in 2022.