Keynote Speakers

Prof. Priyani Ashoka Paranagama

University of Kelaniya,
Sri Lanka.

Professor Priyani Ashoka Paranagama graduated from the University of Kelaniya in 1986 with an honors degree in Chemistry. She joined the University of Kelaniya in 1990 as an Assistant Lecturer and proceeded to Industrial and Technological Institute to obtain her M.Phil degree in Organic Chemistry in 1991. She obtained her Ph.D. from University of Glasgow in 1994 in the area of Bio Organic Chemistry. After returning to Sri Lanka she initiated her independent research work on natural product chemistry. In 2003 she was promoted as a Professor and subsequently in 2011 as Senior Professor, 2012 to the Chair of Chemistry. She has completed 25 years of service to the University of Kelaniya.In 2005 she spent her sabbatical leave at University of Arizona, USA researching on Secondary Metabolites of endophytic fungi. From 2009 to 2012 she served as the Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Kelaniya. She is a fellow of Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon and Chartered Chemist (CChem), Royal Society of Chemistry. She is a member of several professional bodies in Sri Lanka.

She participated the conference organized by The World Academy of Science (TWAS) on shaping careers in Science in 2016 and Prof. Paranagama percolated this conference as one of the 40 outstanding scientists from developing countries who came to Trieste to discuss how that first bit of international funding propelled not just their careers, but science in their home countries. Moreover, she was awarded the Dr. C.L de Silva Gold medal for outstanding research in Chemical Sciences in 2015 and the M U S Sultanbawa gold medal for achievements in her research career in 2008. She is a recipient of several national and international research grants and got several honors and awards. She has published over 43 research papers in indexed journals, written or edited 7 books and published over 80 communications.

She has successfully supervised over 14 postgraduate students and is currently supervising eight postgraduate students in many different areas of chemistry ranging from isolation and characterization of natural products, analysis of spices and essential oils, value addition of natural products and toxicity of trace metals. Her research interests are isolation and characterization of bioactive natural products from plants and endolichenic fungi, development of biopesticides, value addition of natural products and toxicity of trace metals.

Dr. Gareth Williams
School of Pharmacy,
University College London

Scientific and societal developments in the 21st century offer a tremendous number of both challenges and opportunities in the development of new medicines. For instance, on the one hand it is now possible to sequence an individual’s genome both rapidly and cost-effectively, allowing unprecedented precision in the targeting of disease. In tandem, new technologies offer the tantalizing promise of cheaply producing small batches of bespoke medicines. However, at the same time the population globally is aging and the incidence of obesity is increasing alarmingly, requiring complicated and expensive dosage regimes at a time where healthcare budgets are increasing under pressure. The International Conference on Drug Discovery and Development 2017  will take a holistic approach to considering how new medicines can be developed for the 21st century. It will consider all aspects of medicines provision, including the discovery of new active ingredients, the use of pharmacogenomics to target therapies to the individual, the analytical and processing technologies required to convert a drug molecule to a medicine, and the needs of the patient and role of the pharmacist in prescribing. We hope that it will be of interest both to pharmaceutical scientists working in research and development and to practicing pharmacist, and warmly invite colleagues from around the world to participate. We hope to see you in Colombo in September 2017.! "

Dr. Rohini M. de Silva
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka.