infectious diseases
micro & molecular biology
pathogens core

Manjula Gunawardana

Senior Scientist – Microbiology & Molecular Biology

B.S., University of California Los Angeles, 2000, Microbiology

M.P.H., University of California Los Angeles, 2001, Molecular Genetics

Principal Research Interests

  • Isolation and amplification of DNA and RNA from highly contaminated sources (e.g., asphalt pools) and biological specimens (e.g., vaginal specimens from human and non-human primates) and deep sequencing of the corresponding metagenomes and metatranscriptomes using next-generation sequencing technologies
  • Development of innovative sustained systems for the delivery of bio-molecules
  • Epidemiology survey of infectious diseases using nucleic acid techniques
  • Study of pharmacokinetics and toxicity using tissue culture models
  • Manipulation of bio-synthetic pathways, gene design and construction for over-expression of proteins
  • High throughput screening of stability and activity for enzyme panel development and qPCR arrays

Representative Publications

  • Baum MM, Ramirez CM, Moss JA, Gunawardana M, Bobardt M, Gallay PA. Highly synergistic drug combination prevents vaginal HIV infection in humanized mice. Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 3;10(1):12995. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69937-5. PubMed PMID: 32747682; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7400648.
  • Gunawardana M, Remedios-Chan M,Sanchez D, Webster S, Galvan P,Fanter R, Castonguay AE, Webster P,Moss JA, Kuo J, Gallay PA, Vincent KL,Motamedi M, Weinberger D, MarzinkeMA, Hendrix CW and Baum MM(2020) Multispecies Evaluation of a Long-Acting Tenofovir Alafenamide Subdermal Implant for HIV Prophylaxis. Front. Pharmacol. 11:569373. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.569373
  • Vincent KL, Moss JA, Marzinke MA, Hendrix CW, Anton PA, Gunawardana M, Dawson LN, Olive TJ, Pyles RB, Baum MM. Phase I trial of pod-intravaginal rings delivering antiretroviral agents for HIV-1 prevention: Rectal drug exposure from vaginal dosing with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, and maraviroc. PLoS One. 2018;13(8):e0201952. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201952. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30133534; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6104940.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Hyde, E. R.; Lahmeyer, S.; Dorsey, B. L.; La Val, T. P.; Mullen, M.; Yoo, J.; Knight, R.; Baum, M. M., Euphorbia Plant Latex Is Inhabited by Diverse Microbial Communities. Am. J. Bot2015102 (12), 1966-1977.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Remedios-Chan, M.; Miller, C. S.; Fanter, R.; Yang, F.; Marzinke, M. A.; Hendrix, C. W.; Beliveau, M.; Moss, J. A.; Smith, T. J.; Baum, M. M., Pharmacokinetics of Long-acting Tenofovir Alafenamide (GS-7340) Subdermal Implant for HIV Prophylaxis. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother201559 (7), 3913-3919.
  • Wu, S.; Li, X.; Gunawardana, M.; Maguire, K.; Guerrero-Given, D.; Schaudinn, C.; Wang, C.; Baum, M. M.; Webster, P., Beta-lactam Antibiotics Stimulate Biofilm Formation in Non-Typeable Haemophilus influenzae by Up-regulating Carbohydrate Metabolism. PLoS One 20149 (7), e99204.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Chang, S.; Jimenez, A.; Holland-Moritz, D.; Holland-Moritz, H.; La Val, T. P.; Lund, C.; Mullen, M.; Olsen, J.; Sztain, T. A.; Yoo, J.; Moss, J. A.; Baum, M. M.., Isolation of PCR Quality Microbial Community DNA from Heavily Contaminated Environments. J. Microbiol. Methods 2014102, 1-7.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Mullen, M.; Yoo, J.; Webster, P.; Moss, J. A.; Baum, M. M., Sustained Delivery of Commensal Bacteria from Pod-intravaginal Rings. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother2014, Epub ahead of print Feb. 3.
  • Ursell, L. K.; Gunawardana, M.; Chang, S.; Mullen, M.; Moss, J. A.; Herold, B. C.; Keller, M. J.; McDonald, D.; González Peña, A.; Knight, R.; Baum, M. M., Comparison of the Vaginal Microbial Communities in HSV-2 Seropositive Women Receiving Medicated Intravaginal Rings. Antiviral Res. 2014102, 87-94.
  • Baum, M. M.; Gunawardana, M.; Webster, P., Experimental Approaches to Investigating the Vaginal Biofilm Microbiome. Methods Mol. Biol. 2014, 1147-1185.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Mullen, M.; Moss, J. A.; Pyles, R. B.; Nusbaum, R. J.; Patel, J.; Vincent, K. L.; Wang, C.; Guo, C.; Yuan, Y.-C.; Warden, C. D.; Baum, M. M., Global Expression of Molecular Transporters in the Human Vaginal Tract: Implications for HIV Chemoprophylaxis. PLoS One 20138, e77340. PMCID: PMC3797116.
  • Keller, M. J.; Malone, A. M.; Carpenter, C. A.; Lo, Y.; Huang, M.; Corey, L.; Willis, R.; Nguyen, C.; Kennedy, S.; Gunawardana, M.; Guerrero, D.; Moss, J. A.; Baum, M. M.; Smith, T. J.; Herold, B. C., Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Acyclovir in Women Following Release From a Silicone Elastomer Vaginal Ring. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 201267, 2005-2012. PMCID: 22556381.
  • Gunawardana, M.; Moss, J. A.; Smith, T. J.; Kennedy, S.; Kopin, E.; Nguyen, C.; Malone, A. M.; Rabe, L.; Schaudinn, C.; Webster, P.; Srinivasan, P.; Sweeney, E. D.; Smith, J. M.; Baum, M. M., Microbial Biofilms on the Surface of Intravaginal Rings Worn in Non-human Primates. J. Med. Microbiol201160, 828-837. PMCID: 21393449.
  • Vedha-Peters, K., Gunawardana, M., Rozzell, J.D. & Novick, S.J., Creation of a Broad-Range and Highly Stereoselective D-Amino Acid Dehydrogenase for the One-Step Synthesis of D-Amino Acids. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006128, 9122-9126. PMID: 16910688.