Dr Medhavi Ranatunga
I completed my BSc (Hons) in Biomedical science at the University of Greenwich. For my undergraduate research, I studied the “Effect of GFP expressing Leishmania parasites in host cell apoptosis”. Leishmania research led me to a profound interest in microbiology and immunology. Which made me progress towards an MSc by research degree and a PhD in the same university. For MSc by Research, I studied the “Intracellular trafficking of GFP expressing Leishmania aethiopica in terminally differentiated THP-1 cells”.
My PhD research, led to identification of a novel cells that associate with Leishmania parasites. For my PhD research laboratory experiments, I worked with human blood, and the main research was carried out on purified Lymphocytes. As a part of the research, I studied the Leishmania infection in whole blood and subtypes of immune cells. Throughout my research career, I used flow cytometric analysis to study the percentage of infection, immunophenotyping and extracellular cytokine studies via CBA. Moreover, I used qPCR to study intracellular cytokine expression, Immunofluorescent and scanning transmission electron microscopy to confirm the novel host type and parasites assosiation.
Currently, I work as a Postdoctoral Academic researcher in the Biosciences department at the University of Greenwich. As an academic, primarly I conduct laboratory teaching for all students, including PhD students, designing BSc and MSc project and supervising postgraduate projects. As a researcher I still continues Leishmania researches and collaborate with the University of Greenwich pharmacy research team in anti-cancer drug testing.