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  6. Jayaleka Amarasinghe, Ph.D.
  1. Commissioner's Fellowship Program

Jayaleka Amarasinghe, Ph.D.

 

 Jayaleka J. Amarasinghe, Ph.D.Jayaleka Amarasinghe, Ph.D.

Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center (WEAC)
Office of Regulatory Affairs
Winchester, Massachusetts 01890

Background:

B.S. (Biology) Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA
Ph.D. (Oral Biology) University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Postdoctoral Fellow (Infectious Diseases): New York State Department of Health
FDA experience: Since 2014
 

Research Interests

Dr. Amarasinghe’s research interests primarily focus on developing novel antimicrobial-free biofilm eliminating strategies to treat and prevent medical-device associated biofilm infections.

Proposed Research Project for FDA Commissioner's Fellow

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are the causative agent of recent global outbreaks of infections associated with Heater-Cooler Devices (HCD) during cardiothoracic surgery and tattoo-related skin infections. Evidence indicates that NTM are highly resistant to commonly used antimicrobial agents particularly due their ability to form robust biofilms. Novel strategies are required to overcome the limitation of traditional antimicrobial agents to successfully eradicate NTM associated device related biofilms.

In this proposed research project, the prospective commissioner’s fellow will spend considerable time characterizing NTM biofilms, designing and implementing novel research strategies to eliminate NTM bioburden on medical devices using in vitro and in vivo infection models. As a part of this project, the proposed FDA fellow will examine the ability of electrical stimulation in combination with a panel of commonly used antimicrobials and novel anti-biofilm agents to eliminate NTM bioburden on various device-related metal coupons using a multi-disciplinary approach.

The results of this project will assist FDA in recommending specific practices for proper decontamination of HCDs as well as recommending specific guidelines for device design changes that will ultimately eliminate biofilm formation and prevent transmission of NTM. In addition, the information resulting from this work will help FDA make scientifically sound regulatory decisions about potential approval of up and coming electrified antimicrobial coated consumer products.

Applicant Requirements

Ph.D. in Microbiology or a closely related field with a strong background in bacterial biofilms, microscopy and imaging. Experience in small animal models of biofilm infections is desirable. The Applicant should also possess solid written and verbal skills with good interpersonal skills.

Selected Recent Publications

1. Amarasinghe, J.J., Scannapieco F. A., and Haase E. M. 2009. Transcriptional and translational analysis of biofilm determinants of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in response to environmental perturbation. Infect Immun 77:2896-2907
2. Amarasinghe J.J., Scannapieco F. A., and Haase E. M. 2012. Novel iron- and Fur-regulated small regulatory RNAs in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. Mol Oral Microbiol 27: 327-349
3. Stringer A.M, Singh N, Yermakova A, Petrone B.L, Amarasinghe J.J, et al. 2012. FRUIT, a Scar-Free System for Targeted Chromosomal Mutagenesis, Epitope Tagging, and Promoter Replacement in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. PLoS ONE 7 (9): e44841
4. Amarasinghe, J.J., R. E. D'Hondt, C. M. Waters, and N. J. Mantis. 2013. Exposure of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium to a Protective Monoclonal IgA Triggers Exopolysaccharide Production via a Diguanylate Cyclase-Dependent Pathway. Infect Immun 81:653-664