Prof. Tharaka Dassanayake
Professor in Neurophysiology
 
Email

tharakad@pdn.ac.lk, tlag23@yahoo.co.uk

 
TP. Number Office: +94 (0)812396299 , Mobile:+94 (0)713236147  
Fax +94 81 2389106  
Office Address

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka

 
Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=I0hw25kAAAAJ&hl=en 
 
 
   
Educational /Professional Qualifications

M.B.B.S. (Sri Lanka), M.Phil (Sri Lanka), PhD (Australia)

   
Employment 

Present: 

  • Professor in Neurophysiology, and Consultant in Neurophysiology and Cognition Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (since April 2015)
  • Clinical Researcher, South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
  • Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Visiting Lecturer, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Dental Sciences and Faculty of Engineering University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

March 2009
April 2015: Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

April 2012
December 2014: Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia

August 2009
December 2011: Lecturer (Casual), School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, The University of Newcastle, Australia

February 2004 – March 2009:

  • Lecturer, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

August 2003 February 2004:
Intern Medical Officer: Paediatrics, Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

February 2003 – August 2003:
Intern Medical Officer: Surgery, Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

March 2002 – February 2003:
Lecturer (temporary), Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

 
Research Interests and technical experience
  • Research interests:
    • Clinical neurophysiology
    • Cognitive neuroscience
    • Neurotoxicology of pesticides
    • Drug effects on CNS and driving
  • Technical skills:
    • Clinical neurophysiology: evoked potentials, transcranial magnetic stimulation, peripheral nerve conduction testing, EMG
    • Cognitive neurosciences: Event-related potentials, Neuropsychological assessment.

  • Training and experience:
    • Advanced cognitive assessment (Neuropsychological and Neurophysiological techniques): Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, Australia (2008-2012)
    • Clinical Neurophysiology, Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (since 2002)
    • Functional neuroimaging laboratory, University of Newcastle, Australia (2008-2012)
    • South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (Since 2004).
   
Teaching Experience

Teaching medical and allied health sciences undergraduates since 2002.

   
Postgraduate Supervision
    1. Dr. Stewart Oxley (Doctorate in Clinical and Health Psychology, The University of Newcastle, Australia): Thesis “Influence of central nervous system depressant (CNS-D) drugs on driving performance and cognitive functions and recovery of cognitive functions following hospital treated deliberate self-poisoning with CNS-D drugs.” Completed.

    2. Dr. Chanaka Kahathuduwa (Master of Philosophy, University of Peradeniya): Thesis “Assessment of cognitive processing using reaction time, evoked potentials and event-related potentials and study of the effect of theanine on cognitive processing”. Completed.

    3. Dr. Chanika Alahakoon (Master of Philosophy, University of Peradeniya): Thesis “Development of a biomarker using single Fibre electromyography in organophosphate poisoned patients” – In progress
 
Invited Speeches 
  1. Role of Neurophysiologist in developing South Asia. Symposium speech at 5th Biennial Conference of South Asian Association of Physiologists 2016. Kathmandu, Nepal.

  2. Where does cognition meet vision? Neurophysiological Evidence of Attentional Enhancement of Visual Processing in Striate Cortex. Seneviratne Memorial Award Presentation at the 2015 Annual Sessions of the Physiological Society of Sri Lanka.

  3. Cognitive Functions: Principles, Assessment Techniques and Implications. 4th Biennial Conference of South Asian Association of Physiologists (SAAP-3) 2014, Dhaka, Bangladesh

  4. Application of Statistics in Medical Research. CME Short Course organized by the Kandy Society of Medicine 2014

  5. Cognitive Functions: Principles, Assessment Techniques and Implications, CME Lecture at the Postgraduate School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya 2014

  6. Introduction to Medical Research Design and Statistics, CME Short Course organized by the Kandy Society of Medicine 2013

  7. Use of event-related potentials  in the study of sub-clinical cognitive effects of organophosphates, 3rd Conference of South Asian Association of Physiologists (SAAP-3) 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka

  8. Effective use of resources in medical research, CME Lecture – Kandy Society of Medicine, 2012. Sri Lanka

  9. Cognitive functions and traffic accident risk in patients clinically recovered from central nervous system depressant drug overdose, Psychology Colloquium March 2012, The University of Newcastle, Australia
 
Awards and Scholarships
    • 2014:
            KN Seneviratne Memorial Award for Research in Physiology awarded by the Physiological Society of Sri Lanka

    • 2013:
            University of Peradeniya International Research Centre (InRC) Research Grant Award 2013
      for the research project Normative data for Cambridge Neuropsychological test Automated Battery (CANTAB) for Sri Lankans

    • 2013:
            Wadugodapitiya SI, Weerasinghe VS, Dassanayake TL. Assessment of functional motor disability in children with Cerebral Palsy: Neuroaxis 2013. 3rd place for best presentation

    • 2013 :
           ‘Australian Education International Endeavour Alumni Excellence Award’ at the Australian Alumni Excellence Awards 2013, organized by the Australian Trade Commission and Australian High Commission of Sri Lanka, held on 23rd February 2013 in Colombo.

    • 2012:
            Best oral presentation at 3rd Conference of South Asian Association of Physiologists (SAAP-3) 2012 held in November 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka (for the presentation titled ‘Where does cognition meet vision? Neurophysiological evidence of attentional modulation of visual processing in striate cortex’)

    • 2008–12: Endeavour Postgraduate Award (awarded by Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations of the Australian Government) for PhD

    • 2011:
           Most Outstanding Postgraduate Research Presentation -2nd place (Honorary Mention) at University of Newcastle Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health Fourth Annual Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Conference. 30 November 2011

    • 2011:
           Travel Award from Calvary Mater Newcastle Special Purpose Trust Fund for Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research Conference. 5-8 Dec 2011, Dunedin, New Zealand

    • 2011:
           Travel Award
      from School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia for Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research Conference. 5-8 Dec 2011, Dunedin, New Zealand

    • 2011:
            Travel Award
      from School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia for 11th International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, 25-29 Sept 2011, Mallorca, Spain

    • 2010:
           Award for Outstanding Postgraduate Research Student Achievement, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle, Australia

    • 2010:
            Research Higher Degrees Conference Scholarship
      from Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle to attend North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology 7-12 Oct 2010. Denver, Colorado USA.

    • 2009:
            University of Newcastle International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (UNIPRS) International Tuition Fees Scholarship

    • 2009:
           President’s Award for Research Publication 2009

    • 2008:
            President’s Award for Research Publication 2008

    • 2008:
            Australian Leadership Award Scholarship
      (AusAID programme, AUSTRALIA, for the PhD programme) – offered

    • 2007:
           President’s Award for Research Publication 2007

    • 2004-7:
         Postgraduate Research Scholarship for MPhil awarded by the South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration (funded by Wellcome Trust and Australian NHMRC Grant no: GR071669MA)

    • 2007:
            Travel Grant from South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, University of Peradeniya to attend 6th International Congress of Asia-Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology 12-14 Dec 2007. Bangkok, Thailand

    • 2006:
           
      Travel Grant from South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, University of Peradeniya to attend XXVI International Congress of European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. April 2006. Prague, Czech Republic

    •  2003:
           Commendable Presentation
      at Peradeniya University Research Sessions 2003

    • 1996-2001:
      ‘Mahapola’ Higher Education (Merit) Scholarship

    • 1994:
            Bede Memorial Prize for “Best All Round Student: 1994, St. Anthony’s College, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
 
Research Funding Obtained 
 

Participation in Professional Development and Continuing Education Activities

  1. Organizer and resource person in the seminar on ‘An introduction to the concepts, methods and skills in inferential statistics in medical research’ conducted by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya. February 2013.

  2. Organizer and resource person in the workshop on ‘Effective use of resources in postgraduate research’ conducted by the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya. November 2012.

  3. Post-congress workshop on ‘Clinical Neurophysiological Techniques: EMG, Evoked Potentials and Magnetic Stimulation’, 3rd Conference of South Asian Association of Physiologists (SAAP-3) 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka – Resource person

  4. Workshop on Neuroscan® EEG Data Analysis: The University of Newcastle. June 2010

  5. 9th EEGLAB Workshop. Nov 25–Nov 27, 2009. Newcastle, Australia

  6. MATLAB Fundamentals organised by The MathWorks Training Services, University of Newcastle, Australia

  7. Workshop on Introduction to STATA programming organized by South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, 24-26 July 2006, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

  8. Workshop on ‘Agrochemical Poisoning’ organized by South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration – August 2005, Colombo, Sri Lanka

  9. Public Health Emergency & Disaster Management Training Course organized by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya in Collaboration with the World Health Organization 11-17 December 2005.

  10. Workshop on Clinical Research organized by Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya -  March 2005

  11. Research Promotion and Development Programme organized by The World Health Organization and Kandy Society of Medicine, 24 April 2004

  12. Workshop on Educational Technology organized by Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya – June 2004

  13. Workshop on Orientation to Research Methodology organized by Kandy Society of Medicine and World Health Organization – April 2004

  14. Workshop on Re-designing and Evaluation of the Physiology Practical Component, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya
 

Reviewer for Indexed Journals

  • Psychopharmacology – since 2013
  • Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology – since 2013
  • Psychological Medicine – since 2013
  • European Neuropsychopharmacology -  since 2012
  • Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research – since 2012
  • Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety – since 2013
  • Clinical Interventions in Ageing – since 2013
  • Neuropsychiatric diseases – since 2012
 
Membership in Professional Associations
  1. Life Member, Asia-Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology (APAMT)

  2. Clinical Researcher, South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

  3. Physiological Society of Sri Lanka – Executive Committee Member and Life Member

  4. Kandy Society of Medicine, Sri Lanka – Life Member

  5. Kandy Region Sports Medicine Association, Sri Lanka – Life member
 
Positions Held in the University and Professional Activities 
  1. Joint Secretary, Kandy Society of Medicine, Sri Lanka 2015-16.
  2. Member, Board of Study in Sports Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka: 2014-15
  3. Member of the Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka -  since 2012
  4. Member of the Infrastructure Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka -  since 2012
  5. Member of the Curriculum Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka – Since 2006
  6. Executive Committee member of the Physiological Society of Sri Lanka –2005 - 2008
  7. Executive Committee member of the Peradeniya Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association – 2005
  8. Steering Committee member, Training Course on Public Health Emergency and Disaster Management organized by Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya and World Health Organization – 2005
  9. Coach, Badminton Team, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka – Since 2002
  10. Member, University Sports Council – 1998
 
Extracurricular Activities / Interests 
  • Badminton:
    • Performed and won at college, university, provincial and national level in Sri Lanka with Colours at college, University and Provincial levels.
    • Individual event championships in Regional Open tournaments in Newcastle, Australia in 2010 & 2011.
    • The coach for the badminton team of University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2002-2007, 2012).
  • Painting
  • Hiking

 

   
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