Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Functional Genomics of Immunity
Dysregulation of the innate immune response causes common and important diseases ranging from auto-inflammatory states to sepsis. Improved understanding of the role of genetic variants in modulating gene expression during innate immune response, and how they vary between individuals will provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of the disease. Furthermore, it will allow for better stratification of patients as well as lead to more effective treatment strategies such as precision medicine.
During this research I aim to define and characterise extreme innate immune response phenotypes in order to resolve functional alleles, gene regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic options.
I graduated from the University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) with a First-class honours degree in Zoology. I was then involved in academic teaching for three years as a university lecturer. During this time, I was awarded the Open PhD Scholarship for Biological Sciences from the University of Leicester. In 2011, I joined the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology of the University of Leicester, where I studied my PhD on epigenetics and evolution of genomic imprinting in a social insect system. In 2016, I joined the Academic Unit of Cancer Sciences of the University of Southampton as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and investigated the clinical utility of epigenetic biomarkers in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), using cohorts of patients entered into first-line chemotherapy and chemo-immunotherapy clinical trials.
I recently joined the Knight group where I will be investigating the functional alleles involved in the extreme innate immune response using a combination of genetic and transcriptomic approaches.