Dr Anushi Rajapaksa
Dr. Rajapaksa is an academic Biomedical Engineer and emerging early career researcher in the field of novel respiratory technologies. She graduated with first class honours from Monash University with double degrees in Bachelor of Science and Electrical Engineering.
Dr. Rajapaksa's PhD was awarded by Monash University in 2013. Her doctoral research developed the first non-invasive method of DNA vaccine delivery to the lung, using a novel aerosol nebulization system, a major breakthrough for aerosol gene delivery (two patents, three publications). This work is already being translated into clinical practice via a commercial partnership. In recognition, she was named Young Biomedical Engineer of 2010 by Engineers Australia. Since her commencement at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, she has established the molecular biology facility for neonatal research. The lab is equipped with state-of-the art molecular biology tools for examining ventilator induced lung injury at a regional level during the transition from birth in a lamb model of prematurity.
- 2014: Early Career Researcher Travel Award by The Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
- 2011: Young Biomedical Engineer of the Year of 2010 by Engineers Australia
- 2009: “Outstanding Research Contribution Award" by Monash University
- 2011: Best Student Paper for Advances in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics and AsianPacific International Symposium on Lab on Chip (Biopolis, Singapore)
- 2003: Medal for academic excellence in General Certificate of Education by Ed excel international – London
Dr. Rajapaksa's research interests are in advanced biomedical engineering and nanotechnologies for child health, particularly improving pulmonary function in sick infants.
Her vision is to improve the delivery of specific respiratory therapies directly to the target sites within the respiratory system using different novel non-invasive techniques. Through a coordinated research program at the Murdoch Childrens, and utilising her mentors and collaborations at RMIT and Monash University, she aims to provide evidence-based solutions to the key challenges facing non-invasive delivery of important respiratory therapies in infancy.
Dr. Rajapaksa believes that improving current clinical practices requires sound research questions driven by the collaboration of informed scientists, and investigated through the amalgamation of high quality basic science, translational and clinical collaborative research.
Her work addresses three critical areas in respiratory problems of early infancy needing research to improve outcomes; these being 1) delivery of surfactant non-invasively to preterm infants, 2) developing methods of delivering new stem cell therapies for debilitating neonatal conditions and 3) vaccination against influenza during the high risk period of infancy, where parental methods cannot be used. Her work has direct clinical applicability to the paediatric population in many environments, including intensive care, ED, ambulatory settings and the developing world.
- Delivery of surfactant non-invasively via aerosol pulmonary delivery to preterm infants
- Engineering non-invasive medication delivery designs for aerosolisation
- Developing methods of delivering new stem cell therapies to preterm infants
- Low-cost point-of-care tests for Blood measurement
- Pulmonary vaccination against influenza in children
Rajapaksa, A. E., Ho, J., Qi, A., Bischof, R.J., Nguyen, T.-H., Tate, M.D., Piedra?ta, D.M., McIntosh, M.P., Yeo, L.Y., Meeusen, E. N., Coppel, R.L. and Friend J.R. Effective pulmonary delivery of an aerosolized plasmid DNA vaccine via surface acoustic wave nebulization, Respiratory Research (2014)
Rajapaksa, A.E., Qi, A., Yeo, L.Y., Coppel, R. and Friend J.R. Enabling practical surface acoustic wave nebulizer drug delivery via amplitude modulation Lab on a Chip (2014) 10.1039/C4LC00232F
Qi, A., Chan, P., Ho, J., Rajapaksa A.E., Friend, J. and Yeo, L. (2011) Novel Template-Free Microfluidic Synthesis and Encapsulation Technique for Layer-by Layer Polymer Nanocapsule Fabrication , ACS Nano, 5, 9583-9591. *ACS Nano is a highly ranked journal in Nanotechnology (H Index: 99,IF = 12.062)
Rajapaksa, A.E., Ho, J., Qi, A., Yeo, L.Y., Friend, J.R., McIntosh, M.P. and Morton A.V. (2010) Microfluidic Apparatus for the Atomisation of a Liquid [International Patent granted] (PCT/AU2010/000548)
Rajapaksa, A.E., Qi, A., Yeo, L.Y., Friend J., and Tan M. (2013) Microfluidic apparatus for the atomisation of a liquid using surface acoustic waves (2013) [PCT Granted] (PCT/AU2013/000316)
- National Health and Medical Research Council
- ANZ Trustees