Dr. Yamuna Deepani Siriwardana (MBBS, PhD) currently serves as the Head of the Department of Parasitology and the Head of the Parasitic Disease Research Unit of Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dr. Siriwardana is a past Commonwealth doctoral scholar (in UK) and holds the first Sri Lankan PhD on leishmaniasis, a recently reported health issue in Sri Lanka. She has pioneered several university and national level initiatives in the field of leishmaniasis including first national level awareness series on leishmaniasis conducted for professional and public sectors that established diseases awareness in the island, establishing and conducting the first diagnostic and patient care laboratory in leishmaniasis that offer full package of investigations and free follow up service to government and private sector patients over 18 years. She also designed and conducts the leishmaniasis laboratory diagnostic training program for technical officers of Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka. She serves as an authority in the field of leishmaniasis, provides supervision to undergraduate and post graduate research projects, serves as a teacher in undergraduate and post graduate training programs and serves as a member of national scientific and consultative committees on leishmaniasis.
Her research findings enabled the platform for National Action plan for leishmaniasis control (2009) in Sri Lanka. Her primary observations have also led to scientific discovery of many new findings on leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka. Research output has resulted in many novel findings and over 30 publications, patent submissions, several book chapters and over 80 abstract presentations to her credit.
She is a recipient of Dr. SC Paul oration of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (2014), one of the most prestigious among local orations, a young affiliate fellowship of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), many Presidential awards for scientific research and many other competitive international and local research grant awards including funding from World Health Organization, National Science Foundation, National Research Council and Commonwealth Universities Association. Her main research interest continues to be on clinical, parasitological and immunological aspects of leishmaniasis.
She has also pioneered establishment of first ever academic mentoring program for University of Colombo academic staff, and leads an on-going project on needs assessment of young academics in Sri Lankan Universities for the first time in Sri Lanka.