Early Career Investigator Profile: Thushara Priyawansha
We’re excited to continue our G2MC Early Career Investigator (ECI) Series with our final interview of 2023. We’re speaking with Dr. Thushara Priyawansha from Sri Lanka, whom we caught up with in the UK where he’s attending the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, completing overseas training to work as a Consultant Pediatric Clinical Geneticist in Sri Lanka.
“It’s unbearably cold here in Manchester,” he notes.
Despite the winter weather, Priyawansha shows nothing but enthusiasm for the opportunity abroad. “It’s incredible, I am speechless about this opportunity to be a part of this prestigious team of geneticists,” he said. “The learning here in Manchester, I believe will escalate me to an unimaginable level in my career ladder with immense insight on genomic medicine.”
Priyawansha notes the center itself is a major player in genomics research, “This is a main centre for genomic medicine in the UK providing genomic service by counselling, guiding and testing, coordinating with other centres for various services, conducting vivid research, and providing training opportunities for all kinds of trainees in genomic medicine. Being in this centre is enlightening for my career as a geneticist.”
Especially noteworthy for Priyawansha is what this opportunity represents for himself and Sri Lanka.
“I am feeling great for being the first person from Sri Lanka to get an opportunity to be an associate in this centre of genomics in Manchester, UK,” he said. “I hope to complete my research and to take the opportunities to engage especially in clinical trials that establish hope for a group of children who have been neglected virtually for unavailability of treatment, helping uphold their quality of life.”
This aim to help Sri Lankan youth lead Priyawansha to specialize in pediatrics. “It was my passion to specialize in pediatrics, in particular, pediatric clinical genetics, and it brings me immense happiness to be a pioneer in Paediatric Genomic Medicine in Sri Lanka.”
Outside of this work, Priyawansha enjoys singing, writing, reading, and watching films. In particular, anything that, “encourages me to be resilient with my professional hardships.”
As a final note, he shares his excitement for the future in the field of genetics, the potential of which he believes will serve all disciplines in medicine.
“Dear friends,” he states. “Be vigilant in seeking possibilities in genomic medicine because your career and life could well ‘change the game’ in your healthcare field.”