A. D. De Silva

About Me

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  • Experience:
    26 years

I obtained my B.S. degree in Biology from Truman State University, Missouri , USA (1994) and my PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, USA(2000).  I have over 10 years of overseas experience working at top –level infectious disease and immunology laboratories and over 50 international scientific publications.

Currently I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paraclinical Sciences and am Head of the Biomedical Laboratory-2 at the Faculty of Medicine, KDU. I hold an Adjunct Associate Professor position at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, California, USA.  I lecture in Immunology & Biotechnology at KDU and am a visiting lecturer in Immunology at IBMBB, University of Colombo. In addition I have served on various Scientific evaluation panels (Biotechnology & Technology Committee) at the National Science Foundation and served as Chairman of the Working committee on Biotechnology from 2019 to 2020. I was the former Director and a Senior Scientist at the Genetech Research Institute from 2008 to 2017.

I have run a research lab in Sri Lanka over the last 10 years and conduct research with grants from foreign and local funding agencies to study Dengue, Tuberculosis, COVID-19 & the pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. I have received a National Award for Science & Technology Achievement (NASTA) in 2014.

Academic & Professional Qualifications

  • Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, USA)
  • B.Sc. (Truman State University, Missouri, USA)

Working Experience

  • 1994 - 2000 Microbiology & Immunology PhD research program (USA) - Study of antigen presentation by the immune system
  • 2000 - 2007 Post-doctoral Research (USA) - Study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Immunology
  • 2008 - 2017 Head of Research Lab (Sri Lanka) - Studies in Dengue, Tuberculosis, Melioidosis & Immunology
  • 2017 to date Head of Research Lab & Senior Lecturer - Studies in Dengue, TB, COVID-19, Melioidosis & Immunology

Professional Affiliations

Teaching Areas

    Immunology, Molecular Biology & Parasitology

Research Groups

    Dengue Research group

    Melioidosis Research group

    Tuberculosis Research group

    COVID-19 Research group

Research Interest

    I have been involved in biomedical research for more than two decades, with a focus on deciphering the body’s immunologic response to disease. My work has focused on understanding how the human immune system responds to infections such as dengue, tuberculosis, COVID-19 and melioidosis. I serve as Head of a research lab, managing a research staff of over 10 individuals. My current work includes identifying the currently circulating dengue serotypes in Sri Lanka (and studying their phylogeography) as part of the dengue surveillance, and identifying dengue T cell epitopes that may be important in protection against severe disease. My post-doctoral research involved studying the immunology of tuberculosis and I received training in a BSL-3 laboratory. Current work includes understanding the prevalence of Latent TB in Sri Lanka, plus identifying the immune signatures of TB patients. We also study the rare disease melioidosis (in patients) and the causative agent Burkholderia pseudomallei in Sri Lanka. More recently we have started research to evaluate the immune response in SARS-CoV2 exposed patients.


    2014               Presidents Award for Scientific Publication in 2011, award received in Oct 2014

    2014                Invited Speaker, Department of Hygiene, Microbiology & Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria Dengue – Epidemiologic situation in Sri Lanka & further insights into the immunologic mystery” – Special Invitation 1 hour talk

    2014                Plenary Speaker, Medical Research Institute (MRI, Sri Lanka), Research Day “Dengue in Sri Lanka: Where are the new strains coming from?” 30th July 2014

    2014                National Award for Science & Technology Achievements (NASTA) for Harnessing advanced technologies through international collaborations. The award was received from H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka in February 2015.

    2015                Presidents Award for Scientific Publication in 2013, award received in Nov 2015

    2016                Presidents Award for Scientific Publication in 2014, award received in Nov 2016

    2016                Invited Speaker, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Maryland USA “Melioidosis in Sri Lanka: Uncovering an Iceberg” 16th Feb, 2016

    2016                 Resource person/Speaker, “Workshop on Interdisciplinarity in Scientific Research: Commercialization and Technology Transfer” Organized by SLAAS. Title; “Harnessing Biotechnology Research and Innovation for National Development”, 28th June 2016

    2017                Invited speaker, 2nd South Asian Melioidosis Congress, “Immune responses in B. pseudomallei infection” 29th Augu


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