Sirimali Fernando, a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka, is Professor and Chair of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Having started her career as a medical graduate in 1982, she shifted to an academic and a research career in 1985. She worked as Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Registrar in Virology at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, UK, from 1989 – 1993.
She took up Science administration with her appointment as the Chairperson of the NSF-Sri Lanka in 2004 where she served till 2013, and was reappointed to that post in June 2015. In 2006 she was also appointed as Science Advisor to the Minister of Science and Technology, Sri Lanka.
She played key roles in the National Nanotechnology Initiative that established the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) in 2008, and in developing the first National Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Sri Lanka in 2010.
She is a founder member of the STI Advisory Board to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).