Nadira Karunaweera is the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL). She is the Chair and Senior Professor of Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, adjunct Professor of Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi, India, and an honorary Visiting Fellow at the School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA. Trained as a Medical Parasitologist she is among the World’s Top 2% of Scientists in the list of outstanding researchers prepared by Elsevier BV, Stanford University, USA (since 2019).

Nadira is an elected Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and elected Distinguished International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 

She remains a board member of several policy-making bodies including the Governance Council of the Genomic Epidemiology of Malaria network, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and has served as a Consultant/advisor to the Strategic Research Steering Committee on Pathogenesis and Functional Genomics, World Health Organization, Geneva for over a decade. Nadira was a member of the IAP Policy (previously named Research) Board from 2018-2022 and has been an active member who has readily offered her services and contributions to all its activities.

Nadira spearheaded the establishment of the Sri Lanka National Chapter of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), was the Founder President of that organization (2018/2021), and former President of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists.

As an expert in tropical diseases, she continues to serve on many national and international scientific review boards, consultative committees influencing policy-related matters and editorial boards sharing her expertise in an honorary capacity. She has organized national and international conferences, workshops, and capacity-building programs and led the team that established the first-ever ‘Research Promotion and Facilitation Centre’ at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in 2013 that continues to provide training and promotes capacity-building of young local scientists. She has published widely with a Google Scholar h-index of 36 and i-10 index of 93 and has authored over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles with nearly 5000 citations, a large number of abstracts of presentations made at conferences, several book chapters, and shares the ownership of 5 patents.