Ajith Nagahawatte, MD, MBBS


Galle, Sri Lanka

Teaching Hospital at Karapitiya

Ajith Nagahawatte, MD, MBBS

Professor of Microbiology, University of Ruhuna
Adjunct Professor, Duke Global Health Institute


Dr. Ajith Nagahawatte graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka as a Medical Doctor in 1992 and completed his residency at Colombo South General Hospital. He joined the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna in 1994 as a lecturer and obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Microbiology followed by the MD in Medical Microbiology from the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. His overseas training in Medical Microbiology was at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom and he was Board Certified as a Specialist in Medical Microbiology in 2002. Currently, he is a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna in Galle, Sri Lanka.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute.

Dr. Nagahawatte has been a key research academic member of the Duke-Ruhuna Collaboration since its inception in 2006 and served as its Head from April 2013 to January 2022. As part of the Hubert-Yeargan Center, he contributes as a great partner in capacity development and strategic planning between both institutions.

He has provided on site laboratory and field supervision and research mentorship for Duke trainees in Sri Lanka since 2013.

His research interests are tuberculosis, infection prevention & control and outbreak investigation, anti-microbial resistance, undifferentiated febrile illnesses, superficial fungal infections and epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. He served as a Co-Principal Investigator of the following HYC-funded research studies conducted under the Duke-Ruhuna Collaborative Research Centre: Optimal Detection of Causes of Acute Febrile Illness in Sri Lanka (2006-2010), Acute Febrile Respiratory Illness among Outpatients in Southern Sri Lanka (2013), Suspected Leptospirosis in Southern Sri Lanka (2014).

Dr. Nagahawatte is a recipient of research grants from the National Research Council Sri Lanka and the National Science Foundation Sri Lanka and received the Presidential Award for Scientific Publications in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 & 2018 and the National Research Council Merit Award in 2013 and 2017.

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