Prof. Sirimali Fernando

Prof. Sirimali Fernando

CEO, Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) and Chairperson of the Board, National Science Foundation, Government of Sri Lanka

For the past 25 years, since 1985 she has worked as an academic and a researcher working at Departments of Microbiology of Medical Faculties of Universities of Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenapura in Sri Lanka and at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, UK (1989-1993).

  • She started her academic career as a lecturer in Microbiology in 1985 in the Medical Faculty of University of Ruhuna and was subsequently promoted to senior lecturer in 1993.
  • She worked as a research Fellow and a Registrar/ Senior registrar in Virology at St Georges medical School, London, UK for 5 years since 1989-1993 where she completed her postgraduate studies
  • She joined University of Sri Jayewardenepura as a Senior lecturer in Microbiology and was later promoted to Professor in Microbiology on merit in 2002. She was appointed to the Chair of Microbiology at University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2004.
  • Her research interests include dengue, cytomegalovirus, HIV, hepatitis viruses and medical education. She has more than 55 peer reviewed research publications (including those in Journal of Medical Virology, Journal of Virological Methods, J Clin Virol., Ceylon Medical Journal, Transplantation Proceedings, Post Graduate Medical Journal , Protein Expr Purif., Medical Teacher, Clin Vaccine Immunol., Arch Dis Child, Quarterly Journal of Medicine, Indian Journal of Medical Sciences and International Journal of Immunogenetics, Dengue Bulletin) and communications.

As a medical practitioner

  • Sirimali Fernando started her career as a MBBS qualified medical practitioner in 1982.

As a Science Administrator

Sirimali Fernando has been chairing the Board of the National Science Foundation for the past 9 years since 2004. She has since 2006 spearheaded the National Nanotechnology Initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the private sector to set up a public-private company.

She significantly contributed to the revision of the National Science and Technology Policy in 2009.In 2010 she conceptualized, initiated and coordinated the development of the National Science Technology and Innovation strategy for 2011-2016. Since 2011 as the Sector Specialist for Scientific Affairs she has been working to set up a national platform to coordinate the implementation of activities of the National STI Strategy. This has resulted in the establishment under the Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs of a National Secretariat to coordinate and monitor Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) across ministries, institutions and the private sector in Sri Lanka.

She has represented Sri Lanka in more than 30 international and bilateral meetings and has led the Sri Lankan delegation to UNESCO Science Commissions, ICGEB Board of Governor’s meetings and SAARC S&T meetings.

At Present:

At International Level

  • Governor for Sri Lanka, to the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology – ICGEB (Since July 2004)
  • Chair of the STEPAN (Science and Technology Policy Asian Network) – Since 2009
  • Chairperson of the Sri Lankan Chapter of FABA (Federation of Asian Biotechnology Associations) – since 2009 At

National Level

  • Coordinator, National Nanotechnology Initiative of Sri Lanka – Since 2006
  • Member of the Council for Agricultural Research Policy in Sri Lanka (since 2004 todate)
  • Member of the Council of the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (2006 todate)
  • Chairperson of the Technical Advisory Committee on Medical/ Clinical Testing of the Sri Lanka Accreditation

Board (2007 todate)

  • Member of the Council of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (since 2004 todate)
  • Member of the Board of Management of the National Library and Documentation Centre (since 2004 todate)