Professor Indu Waidyatilaka having obtained his MBBS degree in 1996 with first class honours continued his clinical practice in many different capacities in various hospitals in Sri Lanka from 1996 to 2008. Having joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as a Lecturer in 2008 he completed his PhD in 2014. He received training in body composition and stable isotope methodology for nutrition at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, St John’s Research Institute, Bangalore, India, the regional centre for isotope work in nutrition, and Monash University Melbourne, Australia. His current research work has been built on this foundation, and has extended to energy expenditure, physical activity and energy balance studies using gold standard methodology such as calorimetry and doubly labeled water determined through Isotope Ratio Mass Spectroscopy (IRMS) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). As an International Society for Advancement of Kinanthropometry accredited level 1 anthropometrist, he undertakes both training as well as quality assurance for research. Committed to development of research quality in the faculty he has undertaken many roles including as the secretary and committee member of the research and higher degrees committee.
He has obtained multiple research grants and trained both Master’s and Doctoral students in the fields of biochemistry and nutrition and he conducts research through multi-disciplinary work both nationally and internationally. On the strength of his publications in science citation (SCI) indexed journals and many communications in international fora, he was invited by the global dietary database of the Freidman school of public health and the Harvard University to contribute to their collaborative research effort. His International and National research awards of note include the Nutrition Investigator award for the established researcher at the Asian Congress of Nutrition held in Yokohama, Japan, the President’s award for excellence in research publication, the award of the President of the National Research Council and awards from all premier professional medical and scientific organizations in Sri Lanka.
Professor Waidyatilaka has served in many National committees, professional associations, colleges and societies. Being an active member of the Non-communicable diseases steering committee of the Ministry of health and Food labelling sub-committee of the Food advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and in numerous committees and technical groups including the development of food based dietary guidelines for Sri Lankans, food fortification, nutrient profile model to regulate marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children and food labelling, he has contributed to nutrition advocacy. He has undertaken commissioned reports for WHO country office and South East Asia Regional Office. He is a fellow of the Academy of Higher Education (India) and a member of many national professional associations including the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Institute of Biology, College of Endocrinologists, College of Biochemists, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Science (SLAAS). He has served as the secretary of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka and as a member of the communicable and non-communicable diseases subcommittees of the Sri Lanka Medical Association.
Professor Waidyatilaka is an accredited teacher in higher education from the Staff Development Association (SEDA). He has served in the committees of various streams and modules in the faculty and currently the chairperson of the Endocrine and Metabolism module and the coordinator of the post graduate master’s course in the Department. He contributes significantly to postgraduate teaching of Biochemistry and Nutrition in extension courses in the Faculty and to teaching for medical graduates at the Post graduate institute of Medicine (PGIM).
He strongly believes in active engagement with the community for improving public health awareness and has organized and contributed to many awareness programmes, and community workshops in many parts of Sri Lanka and contributes to print and electronic media.