Dr. G.A.S. Premakumara received his primary education from Royal College, Colombo & entered the University of Colombo in 1983. He pursued his BSc in Biological Science and graduated in 1987. He obtained his PhD in Natural Products Chemistry & Chemical Biology from University of Colombo in 1996 for his multidisciplinary research on Pharmacologically active marine natural products carried out at the Departments of Chemistry & Zoology of University of Colombo, WHO Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi and Department of Marine Biochemistry, University Pertanian, Malaysia. He received his Post-doctoral training in Nutrition Biochemistry & Health Food Biotechnology in Japan in 2001-2002 under STA Post-doctoral Fellowship & JSPS Invitation Fellowship. He has Charter in both Biology and Chemistry which he received in 2004 & 2012 respectively.
He served in the Temporary Academic & Research staff of Departments of Chemistry & Zoology of the University of Colombo from 1987 to 1992 & 1995-1997, Visiting Research Fellow to HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, the University of Karachi in 1993 and University Pertanian, Malaysia in 1994.
He Joined the Natural Products Development Group of CISIR (now ITI) in 1997 and pursued his career as a Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, Principal Research Scientist & Research Fellow in this premier R&D institute in Sri Lanka. Then he became the Additional Director General – R&D in 2012 and Director General in 2013 in which capacity he served until he joined the academic staff of Faculty of Nursing in 2018 as a Senior Lecturer attached to the Basic Science & Social Science department.
Dr.Premakumara holds/had held several key positions in National committees, Ministerial Committees, Governing Boards, Professional bodies & International committees, Faculty boards, University Examination panels as an examiner, Reviewing panels and contributed immensely to the academia and the R&D sector in the country. Further, he had been appointed by HE the President of Sri Lanka to National Research Council and to National committee on women. He is also an appointed member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Herbal Practice & Technology.
In recognition of his S&T activities he has been awarded Presidential Research Publication Awards, National S&T award, Industrial Technology Institute best innovative technology award, Professor Chandrasena Memorial award of Institute of Chemistry (Lifetime award), Talented Scientist Award from University of Thirupathy, India and WAITRO World Innovation Award – 2016 and several fellowships including prestigious JSPS invitation fellowship of Japan.
He has over 275 national and international research publications & scientific communications, 2 books, 4 book chapters and 2 commercialized patents. He has nearly 30 years of Academic & Research experience in the area of Bioactive Natural Products. His pioneering work to the Kithul sector has helped to restore the dying traditional industry and develop it to an export-oriented industry. Further, his research on health food properties of traditional rice has induced re-cultivation of traditional rice in the country. Under his R&D projects, he has produced 9 MScs, 2 MPhils and 6 PhDs and 6 Ph.D. students are reading for their PhDs under his supervision.
He is instrumental in establishing Sri Lanka’s largest bioactivity testing facility and Proteomic Assisted Drug Discovery Programme at Industrial Technology Institute (CISIR).
He is a member of several learned societies in the country and life member of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, Institute of Biology & Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka. He is a Fellow of Institute of Biology (IOB) and was the President of Institute of Biology, Sri Lanka in 2007/2008 and founder chairman of Ethics Review Committee of IOB.