Meet Sri Lankan Researcher — Isuru M. Jayalath
What are you currently working on or worked on before?
I am currently working on developing cell permeability assays using proteins with FAST tag and FAST-based small ligands/PICCOs. In addition to this, I am working on developing COPA libraries for p53 DBD, a potential therapeutic target for cancer.
In my Ph.D. work, I worked on bio-inspired, chemical-fueled energy dissipative transient systems to control the geometry in time and space. The broad impact that I can make as a medicinal chemist/drug development scientist in other people’s lives encouraged me to pursue these researches.
What is the name of your current institute? (University name or research lab name)?
I’m currently attached to Scripps Research in San Diego, California.
Can you share with us some of your publications?
Yes. You can find my publications here.
- Chemically fueled covalent crosslinking of polymer materials
- Chemically Fueled Transient Geometry Changes in Diphenic Acids
- Substituent Effects on Transient, Carbodiimide-Induced Geometry Changes in Diphenic Acids
What lessons would you share with a budding researcher?
The harder thing in research is getting started, and finding an idea. Careful digging through the literature will potentially give you a direction to find answers to a question that has not been solved. Then the hardest part is going on that road you stepped in. Never disappoint in failures. Failures are hidden blessings. Take them as blessings to move forward.
In your opinion, what are the changes that the Sri Lankan education system needs to do, in order to meet the requirements of the international industry and academia?
The major change that needs to happen is all bachelor’s degrees in STEM should change to 4-year degrees instead of 3-year degrees. Most countries do not accept degrees that are completed in 3 years. The other turning point is introducing a more practical-oriented, application-oriented education system in both schools & universities than training Sri Lankan students to cram/memorize things that they will never use in their entire life.