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Dr. Chandani Udawatte

Senior LecturerStudent-50

Graduateship in chemistry, College of Chemical sciences
Ph.D. in Chemistry 2001
Argonne National Laboratory, IL / Loyola University of Chicago, IL

+94 11 2053148 (Office)
Adamantane House,
341/22, Kotte Road,
Sri Lanka.


  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology techniques: Cell culture – human, bacterial, primary, cell lines. Fermentation, Scale-up studies to ensure process viability, Protein purification & concentration determination – membrane, cytoplasmic; RNA interference; Dose dependent assays, Proteomics, Gene cloning, mutagenesis, PCR amplification and primer design, plasmid construction, restriction analysis of constructs, DNA sequencing, RT-PCR, In-vitro transcription of crna, transformation – chemical & electroporation; Gene expression analysis, Activity, Cell death assays, Radioactive and fluorescent enzymatic assays. Photo competency assays. High throughput assays and automated data processing, Gel electrophoresis – agarose, polyacrylamide, 2D gels, native; Western blots, Immunochemistry, ELISA. Calcium ratios, FRET; Chromatography
  • Chemistry: Synthesis & purification of organometallic compounds, Electrochemical Analysis, Electron transfer kinetics. Analytical Chemistry, Semi micro analysis, wet chemistry. Surface Chemistry -electrical conductivity of biologically active bilayers; Langmuir trough, STM
  • Technical Writing: Preparation of research proposals, course syllabi, scientific publications, safety plans, and protocols. Grant writing
  • Instrumentation: Spectroscopy -UV-Vis, CD, NMR & IR; HPLC, GC; Modified UV-Vis spectrophotometer for measuring quinone reduction rates; Robotics & lab automation, Microscopy and imaging – light, fluorescent, confocal; SELDI; Microinjection and recording of oocyte currents, CO2 analysis, Cyclic voltammetry, DPP. Nutrition – Effects of taurine, Conjugated linoleic acids as food supplements; Ophthalmology, Diabetes and Cancer Research.
  • Teaching: Senior Lecturer, Lead Faculty, Faculty Mentor, Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Laboratory Instructor.
  • Computer skills: Molecular modeling, Microsoft Office, Sigmaplot, High throughput data processing, Imaging software, Photoshop, Vector NTA, GCG, Microcal Origin
  • Other training: Leadership training, Safety Training – Invasive pathogens, blood born pathogens, Hazardous chemicals; Biological, radiochemical and chemical waste handling and disposal.


  • 09/11-Present     College of Chemical Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon. Senior Lecturer

Coordinate lectures in Biochemistry, Conductlectures in Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry;Labs – General,Organic, Physical Chemistry

  • 06/08-Present     University of Phoenix, Chicagoland campuses. Lead Faculty, Faculty Mentor

Certified to mentor science faculty, Certified to teach Sci 220 – Human Nutrition, Bio 101- Principles of Biology, Gen 101- Skills for Lifelong Learning 1, Gen  300 – Skills for Professional Development, Gen 480 – Interdisciplinary Capstone Course, Res 110 – Introduction to Research and Information Utilization, Res 320 – Foundations of Research, Res 100 – Paradigms of Health,  Sci 230 – Introduction to Life Science (Axia), Sci 256 – People, Science and the Environment, Sci 362 – Environmental Issues and Ethics

  • 05/08-04/10     Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL. Instructor

Cytokine expression as a function of Sphingomyelin levels in differentiated THP-1 cells and Macrophage. Effect of LPS, Myriocin; Growth / cell survival studies of the mutant CHO strain LY-B; LDL Oxidation by Endothelial cells determined in human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human arterial endothelial cells (HAEC); Sphingomyelin / PC ratio in raft and non raft fractions of cells grown in different growth conditions, in SPB-1 temperature sensitive CHO mutant cell line; Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) uptake in adipocytes – raft and non raft fractions, determined by GCMS; Radioactive glucose uptake in adipocytes – effect of insulin, CLA; Synthesis of CLA

  • 03/08-present     Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, UIC College of Medicine, Chicago Illinois

Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • 04/07-04/08     Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. Microbiologist

Adapt bench-scale reactions to financially viable industrial processes, Development of bio-based catalysts and fuels, Production of acetic acid from anaerobic fermentation. Large scale production of active catalyst from microbial fermentation of Z. mobilis, extraction of periplasmic proteins, activity assays.


  • 2/03-09/06         Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL. Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Advisor – Prof. Harris Ripps; Responsible for investigating gap-junction mediated cell death, Effect of taurine in the retinal pigment epithelium and electrically coupled cells in protecting against apoptotic agents utilizing molecular biology techniques, microscopy and imaging. Diabetes research – comparison of protein expression in diabetic and normal rat retinal pigment epithelium utilizing SELDI

Achievements – Research resulted in scientific publications in Apoptosis, Molecular Vision.
Paper presentation at ARVO, poster presentations; ARVO NIH Travel Grant, ASBMB Travel Grant

  • 9/00-12/02         School of Science and Mathematics, Roosevelt University. Adjunct Professor

Responsible for teaching Biochemistry (upper division) and Human Biology (freshman); Class size-25, Lectures and labs; Designed course syllabus,Prepared handouts, lab protocols, Exams, Quizes; Ordered supplies for labs

  • 5/01-2/03         Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Maywood, Illinois; Post-Doctoral Research Associate

HOX gene expression analysis in cancer cell lines, Development of constructs for RNAi in mammals and human cell lines. Down regulated upstream HOX gene products by RNAi, observed changes in expression of down- stream HOX gene products.

  • 11/96-9/00         Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. Graduate Student

Construction, expression and purification of mutant reaction centers to enhance electron transfer via the naturally inactive B-branch, and decrease ET via the naturally active A-branch in R. capsulatus. Used novel detergent to purify mutant proteins in native state;
Biophysical studies to evaluate ET rates. Modified UV spectrophotometer to measure ET rates in mutant R. capsulatus RCs;Coordination of lab activities, waste management
Achievements – Graduated with a Ph.D. Laboratory Graduate Fellowship. Publication in Biochemistry

  • 8/97-9/00         Dept. of Chemistry, Loyola University of Chicago, IL Graduate Student

Modeling the photosynthetic reaction center of R. capsulatus
Teaching Assistant -General & Nursing Chemistry
Achievements – Graduated with a Ph.D. Graduate Student Fellowship, Loyola University of Chicago, IL.

  • 8/94-8/96         Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, CA. Graduate Researcher

1.Spectroscopic characterization of CuZnSOD -antioxidant enzyme. Cloned and expressed recombinant proteins. Expressed & purified yeast CuZnSOD in E. coli, Metal titrations, pH dependence, Metal substitution. Electron transfer rates as a tool to probe metal-ligand interactions, conformational changes. Collaboration project with Prof. Harry Gray’s group at Caltech, Pasadena, CA
2.Construction of Clamydomonas mutants for crystallographic studies. Transformed Clamydomonas mutant constructs by particle gun. 3.Effect of different detergents in purifying the bacterial light harvesting complex. Purified light harvesting complex for crystallographic studies. Achievements -Pre-doctoral Trainee Award, NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program, UCLA Access Fellowship

  • 9/92-7/94         Dept. of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA. Graduate Student

Surface analysis of bilayers;Investigated electrical conductivity of biologically active bilayers -Langmuir trough, electrochemical methods, STM -thin films on graphite.Teaching Assistant -Analytical (upper division) & General Chemistry; Taught a class of 15 students. Instrumentation – HPLC, GC, UV-Vis, NMR, IR; Troubleshooting;Achievements – Graduated with MS.

  • 8/90-9/92         Dept. of Chemistry, University of San Francisco, CA. Graduate Student

Investigation of long-range electron coupling through a hydrogen bond in model compounds. Second coordination sphere effects on electron transfer energetics. Synthesized & purified organometallic compounds, new metal adducts. Spectroscopy UV-Vis-near IR, IR, NMR; Electroanalytical methods -DPP, CV
Teaching Assistant – General, Nursing Chemistry
Achievements -Merit Fellowship, Member, Phi Lambda Upsilon -Honorary Chemical Society

  • 1/87-8/90        Dept. of Chemistry, TheOpen University of Sri Lanka. Demonstrator, Teaching Assistant

Conduct lectures and labs for students in a distant education program, class size varied from 25 to over a hundred. Majority of students were employed adult learners. Prepared final exams, assignments and lab protocols; Conducted exams and quizzes; Participated in student recruitment and counseling new students. Authored and edited course material that were published.


  • 2003      Laible, P.D., Kirmaier, C., Udawatte, C.S.M., Hofman, S.J., Holten, D., Hanson, D.K. Quinone reduction via secondary B-branch electron transfer in mutant bacterial reaction centers. Biochemistry 42, 1718-1730.
  • 2005Udawatte, C., Ripps, H. The spread of apoptosis through gap-junctional channels in BHK cells transfected with connexin32. Apoptosis, 10(5), 1019-1029.
  • 2008     Udawatte, C., Qian H., Mangini, N.J., Kennedy, B.J., Ripps, H. Taurine suppresses the spread of cell death in electrically coupled RPE cells. Mol. Vis.14, 1940-50.
  • 2010    Udawatte, C., Subbaiah, P. Role of Sphingomyelin in cellular oxidative processes. Work in progress, Manuscript in preparation

Udawatte, C., Subbaiah, P. Conjugated linoleic acid incorporation, and its distribution in the membrane of adipocytes, work in progress

Udawatte, C., Subbaiah, P. Role of Sphingomyelin in conjugated linoleic acid incorporation, and its distribution among lipid rafts, work in progress

Udawatte, C., Subbaiah, P. Role of conjugated linoleic acids in insulin mediated and non insulin mediated glucose uptake in differentiated adipocytes, work in progress


  • 2004             ARVO NIH Travel Grant Recipient
  • 2004             ASBMB Travel Grant Recipient
  • 9/98-9/00     Laboratory Graduate Fellowship, Argonne National Laboratory, IL
  • 8/97-8/98     Graduate Student Fellowship, Loyola University of Chicago, IL
  • 7/95-7/96     Pre-doctoral Trainee, NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program
  • 10/94-7/95   UCLA Access Fellowship
  • 8/90-6/92     Merit Fellowship, University of San Francisco
  • 1986             Merit Award, Institute of Chemistry
  • Member, Phi Lambda Upsilon – Honorary Chemical Society
  • Member, Chancellor’s Committee for the Status of Asian Americans, UIC
  • 10/08    Poster at Chicago Biomedical Consortium, Sixth Annual CBC Symposium “Frontiers in Molecular Imaging: From Promise to Practice”Chicago, IL
  • 11/05    Poster at Frontiers in Vision Science Poster Session, hosted by the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. “SELDI analysis of the RPE.”
  • 4/05    Poster at Assoc. for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual meeting 2005, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. “Biophysical characterization of mouse and human connexin 26”.
  • 11/04    Presented poster, Frontiers in Vision Science Poster Session, hosted by The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. “Gap Junctions in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium”.
  • 6/04    Travel award. Presented poster; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.
  • 5/04    Presented poster.25th Annual Midwestern Neurobiology Meeting, Chicago, IL.
  • 4/04    Travel award. Presented paper on “Gap-Junction-Mediated Cell Death”, Paper Session – Development, Death and Beyond; Assoc. for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • 10/03    Presented poster, Frontiers in Vision Science Poster Session, hosted by The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
  • 7/03    Presented paper on “Gap junction mediated rod-cone dystrophy”. Annual Residents Meeting, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
  • 9/99     Training Course in Molecular modeling, Informatics & Design, University of York, UK
  • 10/99    Archaeal Proteomics Workshop, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 12/98    Presented poster on “Probing the directionality of electron transfer in reaction centers of R. capsulates”. St. Albert’s Day Poster Session, School of Medicine, Loyola University
  • 4/92    Co-author – (1) Hydrogen bond mediated intervalence transfer spectra in mixed-valence adducts of rutheniumammine complexes. (2) Second coordination sphere complexation of rutheniumammine complexes by Lasalocid anion.203rd American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition program; San Francisco, CA.