Expert Details

Expert in Forensic DNA Testing

Expert ID: 729158 Canada

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• Head of the Forensic DNA typing division of Genetech, which is the major provider of forensic DNA evidence to the Government of Sri Lanka. Responsible for the performance DNA typing in over 1100 forensic cases.
• Presentation of DNA evidence in Courts of Law as an expert witness for the State Prosecution.
• Technical manager for the ISO 15189 laboratory quality system.
• Scientist in charge of DNA typing services for Civil and Criminal case work, for private individuals, Public Prosecutors as well as Law enforcement authorities and armed forces.
• Actively involved in public relations, especially with the judiciary and child and women’s welfare groups, to promote and facilitate the use of DNA typing in Sri Lanka.
• Training of over 3000 Law enforcement personnel in collection, storage and transportation of DNA evidence.
• Headed research at Genetech for the development of methods in DNA extraction and Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis that were relevant to Sri Lankan conditions.
• Development of a population database for Short Tandem Repeat (STR) data for the Sri Lankan population.
• Performed the first test of parentage analysis by DNA typing in Sri Lanka.
• Performed the first test for the determination of the identity of an individual in a criminal case in Sri Lanka.
• Performed DNA typing tests in cases involving mass murder, mutilated bodies,
• Development of Mini STR systems to enhance sensitivity and amplification efficiency of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to aid analysis of degraded DNA evidence in Sri Lankan case work.
• Whole Genome amplification as a method of enhancing the sensitivity of detecting forensic DNA from miniscule samples.
• Development of in-house differential extraction methods to separate male and female cellular fraction in sexual assault samples.
• Developing a low-cost in-house Y-chromosome STR system.
• Research in molecular anthropology of the Sri Lankan population. The analysis of mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA markers of the aboriginal veddah population of Sri Lanka with a view to connecting this population with prehistoric out of Africa migration of early humans via the ‘coastal route’.
• Developing population genetic databases for Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat loci and mitochondrial HV1 and HV2 haplotypes for the Sri Lankan population. The research also involves the analysis of Y-chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms.
• Development of a population database for Short Tandem Repeat (STR) data for the Sri Lankan population. This study was done at the ethnic group level. It was the first Sri Lankan population database. And it is currently used in all statistical calculations needed for reporting of DNA evidence in Courts of Law.
• Assessed various STR systems for their suitability to be used in the Sri Lankan population and generated statistical parameters which are descriptive of these STR systems, and compared Sri Lankan population data with databases established for various other populations.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2005 Degree: Post Doctoral Research Subject: Molecular anthropology Institution: Stanford University, USA
Year: 2002 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Molecular forensics Institution: University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Year: 1997 Degree: B.Sc.(Honors) Subject: Plant Sciences Institution: University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Year: 2001 Degree: B.A.(Honors) Subject: English Institution: University of Peradeniya

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2006 to 2010 Employer: Genetech Title: Chief Executive Scientist Department: Molecular Diagnostics Responsibilities: He was chief administrative scientist overlooking 12 scientists and 5 nonscientific personnel, and was the head of the Forensic DNA typing division of Genetech, which is the major provider of forensic DNA evidence to the Government of Sri Lanka. Responsible for the performance DNA typing in over 1100 forensic cases.
He was also responsible for the presentation of DNA evidence in Courts of Law as an expert witness for the State Prosecution.
He was also the technical manager for the ISO 15189 laboratory quality system in Genetech
Years: 2002 to 2006 Employer: Genetech Title: Senior scientist Department: Molecular diagnostics Responsibilities: He was the scientist in charge of DNA typing services for Civil and Criminal case work, for private individuals, Public Prosecutors as well as Law enforcement authorities and armed forces.
He was actively involved in public relations, especially with the judiciary and child and women’s welfare groups, to promote and facilitate the use of DNA typing in Sri Lanka, which included training of over 3000 Law enforcement personnel in collection, storage and transportation of DNA evidence.
He also headed research at Genetech for the development of methods in DNA extraction and Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis that were relevant to Sri Lankan conditions.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
He is a member of the following associations

• Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences –Life member
• Institute of Biology of Sri Lanka- Life member
• Indo Pacific Association of Law, Medicine and Science (INPALMS) - Life member
• Fulbright Alumni Association-member
Awards / Recognition
he has been honored with the following awards
• TOYP- ‘The Outstanding Young Persons’ of Sri Lanka award (2008) For Medical Research. Presented by HSBC JCI (Junior Chamber International, Sri Lanka).

• Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Fellowship award, 2004. Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, USA (2004-2005).

• The National Science Foundation Merit Award 2004 –certificate of commendation (made annually to Sri Lankan Scientists for research work of outstanding merit carried out with NSF supported grants).

• Presidential Bonus Research Award for International Scientific Publications cited in World Science Citation Index in 2002.
Publications and Patents Summary
He has 24 publications in the field of forensic DNA analysis, and has been the principle supervisor for the research projects of three post graduate students.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
He was the principle signing authority for reporting of DNA evidence in around 2600 cases of disputed parentage and 1100 cases of forensic DNA identification.

He stood as an expert witness whenever he was summoned to Courts.This included Magistrate's Courts, District Courts and High Courts.

He worked with State Prosecution Counsels in preparing and delivering evidence in criminal casework.
Training / Seminars
He was actively involved in public relations, especially with the judiciary and child and women’s welfare groups, to promote and facilitate the use of DNA typing in Sri Lanka.He conducted numerous workshops for Lawyers, Judges,and Judicial Medical Officers with a view to educating them about DNA evidence in simple terms.
He was also involved in training of over 3000 Law enforcement personnel in collection, storage and transportation of DNA evidence.
He also taught the following three courses at Genetech for Police Officers and Medico-legal personnel;
•‘DNA Typing and its applications’ (3 hours)
•‘Identification, collection, handling and storage of DNA evidence’ (2 hours)
•‘DNA sampling in mass disasters’ – for Judicial Medical Officers (3 hours)

Vendor Selection
As the head of the DNA testing laboratory, he was the chief decision maker in sourcing of chemicals, consumables and equipment.
He liaised directly with the manufacturers or their agents for procurement.
Other Relevant Experience
He was an expert consultant in the panel of the Sri Lanka Ministry of Justice, which was drafting a new enactment on the use of DNA testing in parentage determination. He was consulted on issues such as the giving of consent, identity verification methods, test methodology, laboratory standards and reporting standards.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English He was a four-year degree where he majored in English, and did sociology and western classical culture as minors. His entire tertiary education has been in the English medium. He is extremely proficient in all forms of communication in English.
Sinhala/Sinhalese His secondary education was in Sinhala. He has a working ability in this language.

Fields of Expertise

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