Interdisciplinary Centre for Innovation in Biotechnology and Neurosciences

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The Centre would facilitate an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to conduct research in biotechnology and neurosciences through solution, idea, invention, innovation, product, patents; by sharing human resources, accommodating common technological instrumentation and infrastructure. This will be made available to undergraduates, postgraduates, post-doctorates, academic and nonacademic, external organizations both local and international, and industries. The Centre will recruit faculty across wide-ranging disciplines to establish a strong program in basic biotechnology, natural product/ Ayuarveda based nutraceuticals, molecular genetics and neuroscience. At the same time, the Centre will develop strong links with international research centres in order to introduce an element of translational research which will be directly support the advancement of science, engineering, medicine (Western and Ayuarveda) and technology in upward nations and will offer Joint/Split Bilateral Double doctoral MPhil/ PhD. Programmes for national and international students through meaningful effect to the MoUs with;

1. European Graduate School of Neuroscience (EURON), Maastricht University (World Ranking- 98) from Netherlands, Associated Partner status to the Faculty of Medical Sciences, USJP within the EURON

2. Two MoU with University of Chinese Academy of Science, China

3. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science (AIST), Japan – DAILAB@USJP

4. Northern Kentucky University(NKU), USA

5. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

This would pave the way for Double Doctorates (DD), and the Centre hopes to develop into an income generating, selfsustaining entity by focusing on strong links with industry enabling future innovations that can be taken to market driven benefits to the society.

Vision

Our vision is that to bridge the gap between basic and translational research, through international and industrial collaborative interactions with innovation and added value from unique data/natural resources with a strong focus on the exploitation of the fundamental mechanisms of aging and brain diseases in order to foster multi- and inter- trans-disciplinary research excellence, and to recognize and encourage the inventive and innovative talents of postgraduates to motivate them to create new innovation to patent; towards scientific value addition to economic and health development and wealth creation in Sri Lanka.

Mission

  • To development of a community and to enhance communication and collaboration among investigators in this multidisciplinary area;
  • Encourage and coordinate research and academic programmes in biotechnology, natural product, Ayuarveda based nutraceuticals and neuroscience
  • Acts as a focal point for interaction with the biotechnology, natural products and neuroscience; community at large such as national/ international organizations and programmes at other universities
  • Develop and coordinate academic training programmes to foster interest in biotechnology, natural products, Ayuarveda and neuroscience; at the undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels
  • Foster collaborative research between and among basic and clinical scientists; and provide a resource to the local community on neuroscience-related issues

Objectives

a. To develop human resources through international collaborations

b. To offer Joint/Split Bilateral Double Doctoral MPhil/ PhD through already signed MOUs between Europe, China, Japan, USA, Australia and USJP

c. To generate income by undertaking service based research and providing laboratory training

d. To form strong, strategic partnerships with industry through international collaboration for academic entrepreneurship, commercialization of intellectual property and adding value to traditional/indigenous/ unique natural resources

Advisory Panel

Prof. Ranil Silva (Director) – Department of Anatomy, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Dr. S.A.A.M. Subasinghe – Faculty of Engineering, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Dr. Rajitha Gunaratne – Department of Biosystems Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Ven. Dr. Medagampitiye Wijithadhamma – Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Mr. M.V.S.S. Udayanga – Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Prof. B.G.D.N.K. De Silva – Department of Zoology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Dr. M.R.P.H. Liyanage – Department of Anatomy, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Prof. S.B. Navaratne – Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Facilities Available

Gel electrophoresis apparatus – vertical and horizontal, Gel documentation system with CCD camera, Phosphoimager (Molecular Dynamics), Tissue culture hood, -20C Freezer, +4C Freezer, Autoclave, PCR machine, Fully Automated Chemistry Analyzer, Florescence Spectrophotometer, Four Colour Flow Cytometer, Spectrophotometer Eppendorf Bio, UV Visible Spectrophotometer, Floresence and Bright field microscope, HIGH Performance Liquid Chromatography, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, Furrier Transform In-fared, Analytical Balance, Shaking Incubator, Gas Chromatography, Top-loading Autoclave, Zeiss Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (LSM700) with Imaris Software, Zeiss Observer.Z1 with ApoTome & Live Imaging System, Zeiss Axiovert 200M with automatic scanning System, Axiovert 135 with Eppendorf Micromanipulator 5171, Keyence BIOREVO BZ-9000, Panasonic Multi-gas incubator, ATTO Kronos Dio (AB2550) Luminescence Monitoring (live) System, Nikon Super Resolution Microscope.

In PubMed as Principal Author

  • “Cytoskeletal Pathologies of Age-related Diseases between Elderly Sri Lankan (Colombo) and Indian (Bangalore) Brain Samples.” Current Alzheimer Research. 2016;13(3):268-80. Impact Factor 3.1. ( 59th of 192 of Clinical Neurology)
  • “Vascular contributions in Alzheimer related neuropathological changes: First autopsy evidence from a South Asian ageing population”. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. 2016; 54(4): In press. Impact Factor 3.9 (h-index of 85 (SCImago Journal Rank indicator)
  • International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) – Asia Pacific Regional Committee Neuroscience School – Colombo Sri Lanka 2015. Annals of Neurosciences 2016 Apr;23(2):122-23. De Silva R

Fellowship Awards
(International – Airfare & Logistics)

  • Nalaka Wijekoon – To attend the 4th AIST International Imaging Workshop to be held on January 15-22, 2017 at AIST Tsukuba, Japan
  • Lakmal Gonawala – To attend 3rd AIST International Imaging Workshop & PIKNIKH Series VIII “Bio-imaging with Beauty: Teachings, Tools and Technologies”, AIST International Imaging, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan January 18-23, 2016
  • Nadeeka Udawatte- To attend 14th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), 27-30 AUGUST 2016, Malaysia
  • Nalaka Wijekoon- To attend 14th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), 27-30 AUGUST 2016, Malaysia
  • Lakmal Gonawala- To attend European Huntington Disease Network (EHDN) 2016 Plenary Meeting from 16th to 18th September 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands.

International Poster Presentations

Six Research Posters were presented internationally ,

  • Can South Asian Diet lead to Healthy Brain Ageing. 14th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), 27-30 AUGUST 2016, Malaysia, The abstract has been published in the supplementary issue of Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience (Impact Factor: =4.609)
  • Banking the Brain and Blood: A Sri Lankan Emerging Era of Collaborative Research; what East can offer the West. 46th annual meeting of SfN’s (Society for Neuroscience), San Diego, USA, 12 – 16 November 2016. https://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2016
  • ACE I/D polymorphism and the risk of Ischemic Stroke: A Sri Lankan outlook. 14th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), 27-30 AUGUST 2016, Malaysia, The abstract has been published in the supplementary issue of Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience (Impact Factor: =4.609) (Won the Best Presentation award)
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Monozygotic Twins: First Follow up Study Worldwide. 14th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), 27-30 AUGUST 2016, Malaysia, The abstract has been published in the supplementary issue of Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience (Impact Factor: =4.609). (Won the Best Presentation award)
  • Analysis of CAG repeats in HTT gene among Huntington’s disease (HD) patients and normal population of a Sri Lankan cohort.3rd AIST International Imaging Workshop, AIST Tsukuba, Japan, 2016 (Won the Best Presentation award)
  • Neuropathology of the ageing brains across two genetically affiliated sample populations- India vs. Sri Lanka: Does the vascular risk factors play a role in evolution of Alzheimer related pathologies? EURON – European Graduate School of Neuroscience, 9th Annual Research Day 2016, School for Mental Health & Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Netherlands.

Invited Lectures (International)

  • The Neuroprotective Role of Tea, Coffee and Green Vegetables: A Sri Lankan Experience. Symposium Speaker: At the very prestigious FAONS Symposium (Symposium of the Federation of Asian and Oceanic Neuroscience Societies)  on  Brain Health – Hypes & Hope from Herbs at the XXXIV Annual Meeting of Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN) , October 19-21, 2016, at NBRC, Manesar, INDIA http://www.nbrc.ac.in/IAN2016/
  • Banking the Brain and Blood: What Sri Lanka Can Offer for Multidisciplinary Collaborative Research in Nutrigenomics and Nutraceuticals leading to Healthy Brain Aging. 8th Basic Science Colloquium at Punjab University, Chandigarh, India; 23rd – 30th October 2016
  • De Silva R,. Identify priorities and to help bridging the gaps in knowledge, investment and resources in the field of brain research in Sri Lanka,  Global  Advocacy Committee Meeting, 46th annual meeting of SfN’s (Society for Neuroscience), San Diego, USA, 15 November 2016. https://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2016
  • De Silva R, Banking the Brain and Blood: A Sri Lankan Emerging Era for  multidisciplinary collaborative Research; Northern Kentucky University, USA, 10th November 2016 http://www.sjp.ac.lk/news/prof-ranil-de-silva-receives-grant-award-for-brain-research-from-international-brain-research-organization/
  • De Silva R, Banking the Brain and Blood to bridge East and West through Multicenter Collaborative Research: What Sri Lanka could offer. The Center for Genetic Medicine, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC, USA 18th November 2016. http://www.sjp.ac.lk/news/prof-ranil-de-silva-receives-grant-award-for-brain-research-from-international-brain-research-organization/
  • De Silva R, Wijesinghe P, Shankar SK, Yasha T. Culture and lifestyle factors in cognitive screening and neuropathology of aging: a South Asian experience. World Federation of Neurology Research on Dementia group. Brain Ageing and Dementia in Developing Countries’ in Nairobi, 6-9 December 2016.

http://www.sjp.ac.lk/news/invited-lecture-at-brain-ageing-and-dementia-in-developing-countries-conference-in-nairobi-kenya-by-prof-ranil-de-silva/         http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/advascular

Invited Lectures (Local)

Invited Lectures (Iocal) by the Director,

  • De Silva R,  International Collaborations; University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Awareness Workshop organized by National Science Foundation (NSF) on 15th December 2016. http://www.sjp.ac.lk/news/invited-talk-at-awareness-workshop-national-science-foundation-by-prof-ranil-de-silva/
  • De Silva R,. Healthy Brain Aging. 3rd International Conference on Multidisciplinary Approaches, “High Impact Research towards Sustainable Development” Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, 12th – 14th October 2016