altProfessor Nilanthi de Silva
Dean and Professor of Parasitology
University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Professor de Silva earned her first degree in Medicine (MBBS) from the University of Colombo, and went on to earn a Masters in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1989 and a Doctor of Medicine degree, specializing in Medical Parasitology, from Colombo University’s Postgraduate Institute of Medicine in 1994.

She has lectured at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya since 1993, and has been the Professor of Parasitology there since 2003. She has over 60 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The main focus of her research has been on soil-transmitted helminth infections, particularly their epidemiology, treatment and control.

Professor de Silva has served as the Chair of the WHO Working Group on Access to Assured Quality, Essential Medicines for Neglected Tropical Diseases and as a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) of the Dept of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases from May 2009 to date. She is also a member of the WHO’s Foodborne Diseases Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) from March 2007 to date. She has been a member of the Mebendazole Advisory Committee, an independent group of experts which advises Children Without Worms and Johnson & Johnson on strategic and technical components of the program from 2006 to 2011; serving as Committee Chair in 2008/2009. She is currently Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College, London.