Prof. Kosala Weerakoon is a Professor in Medical Parasitology, at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. His contribution to medical undergraduate/postgraduate teaching, innovative research, and administrative leadership, community activities, and public health, along with research/academic excellence, have been remarkable towards institutional, national, and public development. He continues to have interactions/communications with world-renowned scientists/groups, towards collaborative efforts on high-quality outcomes. He also is a Visiting-Scientist at QIMR-Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia, a Visiting-Lecturer at Faculty of Medicine, University of Wayamba, Sri Lanka, and a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, UK.
Professor Weerakoon completed his MBBS degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and he stepped into his professional career, as a temporary lecturer at the same University. During this period, he obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Statistics, and later with the completion of his medical internship, he joined as a Lecturer in Medical Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. Since the beginning, he had an interest in research on tropical infectious diseases and completed a Master of Philosophy degree in rickettsial infections, from the University of Peradeniya. He was later awarded an Australian Scholarship for his PhD studies where he continued to work on tropical infections and novel diagnostics at the University of Queensland, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
His research on tropical infectious diseases which runs over a decade has lead to over 40 peer-reviewed journal publications with more than 1100 citations. Further, he has contributed to editorials, book chapters, blog articles, and has been an invited speaker and a resource person for number of local and international scientific forums and workshops. He is also a reviewer to number of high-impact journals. His contribution to science has been appreciated in many of the national and international research communities. He has been the recipient of the President’s award by the National Research Council, Sri Lanka for scientific publications, multiple times since 2012.
His recent research mainly focuses on the development of novel molecular tools to improve the diagnosis of many tropical infectious diseases, with the particular emphasis on human rickettsial infections, undifferentiated fevers, schistosomiasis and intestinal parasitoses. With his local/global collaborations, currently, Kosala is leading multiple projects attracting funding support. To date, Kosala is leading his team as the Head of the Department of Parastology, continuing success in research, medical education, administrative tasks, and community contributions, amidst challenging circumstances with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.