Staff profile: Dr Shani Amarasinghe

Staff profile: Dr Shani Amarasinghe

Illuminate newsletter index page, December 2018
December 2018


Dr Shani Amarasinghe analyses gigantic files of data for
extra-long DNA/RNA sequences, and feels like a
detective trying to solve the mysteries of the human body.

Dr Shani Amarasinghe

Postdoctoral fellow

Describe your research. I analyse gigantic files of data for extra-long DNA/RNA sequences. My research helps us understand how our genetic architecture changes with different external or internal factors. We can target these structural or chemical changes for better bio-medical solutions.

Why do you enjoy what you do? The human body itself is a huge mystery. I feel like a detective trying to solve that mystery. I have access to a wealth of information that can be dug up only by being an expert in bioinformatics. At the end of the day I know I’m doing my part in science to make this world a better, safer place to live.

What is your favourite thing about the Institute’s culture? That everyone considers collaboration and networking as important parts of successful research. And how there is a substantial amount of flexibility to explore new avenues and discover more.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I played the violin from when I was seven years old.

What was your professional highlight of 2018? Finishing my PhD and getting to work at the Institute, most importantly with Matt Ritchie.