Nadira Karunaweera

Senior Professor and Chair of Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine
University of Colombo
Visiting Scientist
School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA

Region: Asia-Pacific

Country of residence: Sri Lanka

Contact me for

  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate

Diversity and representation


Nadira is the Chair and Senior Professor of Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and an honorary Visiting Fellow at the School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA.

She is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka (NASSL), elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries, the first Sri Lankan elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and as a Distinguished International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

She is the Chair of the Research Arm of the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka and remains as a board member of several policy making bodies that includes the Inter-Academy Partnership of The World Academy of Sciences, 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.

She has been a recipient of several research grant awards including Tropical Medicine Centre Award; R01; R03 NIAID, NIH, USA; Global Challenge Award for malaria and Research Development Award, Wellcome Trust, UK.

Fellowship awards received include Harvard University’s Senior Research Scholar Award; Fulbright Advanced Research and Lecturing Award; Annual Presidential Awards for excellence in research (awarded on successive years from 2000 onwards), National Apex Award for Professional Excellence and Zonta Woman of the Year Award.

She spearheaded the establishment of the Sri Lanka National Chapter of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), was the Founder President of that organization (2018-2020) and is the former  President of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists (2020-2021) and the current President, NASSL.

As an expert in tropical diseases she continues to serve on many national and international scientific review boards, consultative committees 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 33; i-10 index of 86 and has authored over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 4000 citations, large number of abstracts of presentations made at conferences, several book chapters and shares the ownership of 2 patents.