Dr. Sashiprabha Manjari Vithanarachchi

Dr. Sashiprabha Manjari Vithanarachchi

Senior Lecturer

Department of Chemistry,
University of Colombo,
Colombo 00300,
Sri Lanka.
Room: 509
Work Phone: (9411) 2503 367
Work Fax: (9411) 2503 367
Email: sashimv@chem.cmb.ac.lk

Google Scholar Profile
ResearchGate Profile

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Degree: Ph.D.  in Inorganic Chemistry (2013)
    Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
    Thesis Title: Synthesis and characterization of new Gd3+-containing complexes as potential targeted contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Degree: B.Sc. Special Degree in Chemistry (First Class Honors) (2006)
    University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka;

Research Interests:

  • Fields: Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Development of lanthanide- and transition metal-based molecular imaging probes (coordination complexes and nanoparticles for luminescence and magnetic resonance imaging);
  • Study of lanthanide–small natural organic molecule interactions using lanthanide luminescence;
  • Development of lanthanide-doped and plant extract-based nanomaterials;
  • Investigation of  metal ions and complexes in medicinal plant materials.

Research Experience:

  • Postdoctoral fellow
    Uppsala University (Sweden); March 2014–March 2015
    Advisor: Dr. Eszter Borbas;  “Development of lanthanide-based tools for investigating nucleic acid structure and function”
  • Graduate Research (August 2008–December 2013)
    Wayne State University, USA
    Advisor: Dr. Matthew J. Allen; “Synthesis and characterization of new Gd3+-containing complexes as targeted contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging”
  • Undergraduate Research (January 2005–June 2006)
    University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    Advisor: Dr. Sujatha Hewage; “Development and improvement of biodegradable cowpea protein polymer film”
  • Intern (July 2006–September 2006)
    Government Analyst’s Department, Sri Lanka
    Supervisor: Mrs. S. Thennakoon (Deputy Government analyst); “Development of screening methods and qualitative toxicological analysis of biological samples”

Research Publications

  1. Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Foley, C.; Ewing, J. R.; Ali, M. M.; Trimpin, S.; Allen, M. J. Myelin-targeted, texaphyrin-based multimodal imaging agent for magnetic resonance and optical imaging. Contrast Media Mol. Imaging, 2016,11, 492–505.
  1. Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Kovacs, D.; Borbas, K. E. Synthesis and photophysical characterization of luminescent lanthanide complexes of nucleotide-functionalized cyclen- and dipicolinate-based ligands. Inorg. Chim. Acta.2017, 460, 148-158.
  1. Kochi, A.; Lee, H. J.; Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Padmini, V.; Allen, M. J.; Lim, M. H. Inhibitory Activity of Curcumin Derivatives toward Metal-Free and Metal-Induced Amyloid-Beta Aggregation. Alzheimer Res. 2015, 12(5), 415–423.
  1. Imperial, L.; Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Wager-Miller, J.; Mackie, K.; Allen, M. J.; Trimpin, S. A novel soft ionization process and applications in imaging mass spectrometry. J. 2014, 106, 1a. (Published Abstract)
  1. Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Allen, M. J. A Multimodal, β-Amyloid-Targeted Contrast Agent. Commun. 2013, 49, 4148–4150.
  1. Vithanarachchi, S. M.; Allen, M. J. Strategies for Target-Specific Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Current Molecular Imaging, 2012, 1, 12–25. (Review article)
  1. Averill, D. J.;* Garcia, J.;*  Siriwardena-Mahanama, B. N.;* Vithanarachchi, S. M.;* Allen, M. J. Preparation, Purification, and Characterization of Lanthanide Complexes for Use as Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  Vis. Exp. 2011, 53, e2844. (* co-first author)
  2. Hewage, S.; Vithanarachchi, S. M. Preparation and characterization of biodegradable polymer films from cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) protein isolate. Natn. Sci. Foundation Sri Lanka 2009, 37, 53–59.

Other Publications (Paper articles, Newsletters, Book chapters, etc.)

  1. Vithanarachchi, S. M. Trageted imaging probe from a natural compound in turmeric, Chemistry in Sri Lanka, September 2015, 32(3), 44–47.  (Guest Article)
  2. Vithanarachchi, S. M. Use of metal ions in diagnostic imaging, Chemistry in Sri Lanka, January 2017,  34(1), 1316.   (Guest Article)

Presentations/Conferences Attended

In USA

National

  1. 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition. Philadelphia, PA. August 19–23, 2012; Poster Abstract INOR-212.

Regional

  1. Ohio Inorganic Weekend 2013. University of Dayton, Dayton, OH. November 15–16, 2013; Poster.
  1. Ohio Inorganic Weekend 2012. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. October 19–20, 2012; Poster.
  1. Ohio Inorganic Weekend 2011. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. October 28–29, 2011; Talk.
  1. Ohio Inorganic Weekend 2010. The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. October 29–30, 2010; Poster.
  1. Ohio Inorganic Weekend 2009. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. November 13–14, 2009; Poster.

Local

  1. 15th Annual Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium 2013. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. September 28, 2013; Poster 
  1. 14th Annual Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium 2012. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. October 13, 2012; Poster 
  1. Graduate Exhibition 2012. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. March 6, 2012; Poster.
  1. Proteases and Cancer Program Annual Retreat 2011. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. December 1, 2011; Poster. 
  1. Schaap Chemistry Symposium. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. September 17, 2011; Poster. 
  1. 12th Annual Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium 2010. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. October 9, 2010; Poster.
  1. 11th Annual Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium 2009. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. October 3, 2009; Poster.

In Sri Lanka

  1. Chemtech 2007, International Conference. Bandaranaike Memorial Conference Hall, Colombo, Sri Lanka. June 20–23, 2007; Poster.

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants

  • University Research Grants (AP/3/2/2016/SG/18); Investigator: S. M. Vithanarachchi; Co-investigator: R. D. Wijesekera;  Title: Synthesis and evaluation of Cu(II)-selective fluorescence sensors; May 2016–May 2017  (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)
  • Recipient of Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (CTHE) by the University of Colombo and accredited by Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), UK: 2016
  • Wenner-Gren Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sweden: March 2014–March 2015 (Internationally competitive award)
  • Summer 2013 Dissertation Fellowship: May 2013–August 2013(Wayne State University)
  • ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Travel Award: 2012 (Nationally competitive award-USA) 
  • American Foundation for Aging Research (AFAR) Award: December 2010–November 2011(Nationally competitive award-USA)
  • Dharmachandra & Tamarasa Gunawardhana Memorial Gold Medal for Analytical Chemistry awarded by  the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka on the results of the B.Sc. special degree in chemistry: August  2006
  • Merit award for the inter-university chemistry competition by the Sri Lankan section of the Royal Society of Chemistry: 2006
  • Credit awards from Australian Chemistry Quiz and International Competitions for Schools Science by Royal Australian Chemical Institute and The University of New South Wales, respectively: 1999, 1998

Employment History:

  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka: 2015–Present
  • Visiting Lecturer of  MSc. Chemistry programs (Analytical Chemistry, Applied Organic Chemistry, and  Chemistry Education) in the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka: 2015, 2016
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden: 2014–2015
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA: 2008–2010, 2012
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA: 2011, 2013
  • Assistant Superintendant of Customs, Sri Lanka Customs: January 2008–June 2008 (resigned to pursue a PhD in Chemistry)
  • Assistant Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka: September 2006–December 2007