Dr Dulantha Ulluwishewa is a Postdoctoral Scientist in the Food Nutrition & Health team at AgResearch. He received his PhD in 2013 after having studied as a Riddet Institute CoRE PhD scholar based at AgResearch Grasslands, with his thesis research focusing on the characterisation and validation of a novel in vitro model of the intestinal barrier. Prior to this, Dulantha was a Research Associate at Slipstream Automation, providing lab automation services and support for large-scale genetic screening projects. In 2018 Dulantha returned to AgResearch following a stint as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute in Western Australia, during which time he investigated the host-microbe interaction pathways involved in the development of respiratory infections, and worked towards the production of a whooping cough vaccine.
Dr Ulluwishewa’s research interests focus on unravelling the molecular interactions which occur in the crosstalk between bacteria and their human hosts. He has investigated how human cells respond to commensal bacteria, as well as how pathogenic bacteria respond to their hosts at the molecular level. Currently he is working on multi-disciplinary projects jointly funded by AgResearch and the Riddet Institute, aimed at understanding how food structures in the gastrointestinal tract impacts the microbiota-interactions in a complex ecosystem.