Nadira Karunaweera is Professor and Chair, Head of Department, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Nadira is a medical graduate who started research in the field of malaria in 1989 when she joined University of Colombo as a lecturer. The title of her PhD thesis was ‘clinical disease and immunity in Plasmodium vivax malaria’. Following completion of the PhD in 1993 she spent two years at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom and continued studies on malaria with Richard Carter. Nadira was a Fellow, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University in 2005/2006 during which time she studied genetic diversity of P.vivax parasites in the laboratory of Dyann Wirth at the School of Public Health, Harvard University where she continues to hold the position of visiting scientist. Nadira also has carried out pioneering work in the field of leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka.