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 subsequent deep sequencing of the corresponding metagenomes and metatranscriptomes using next-generation sequencing technologies including Roche 454 and Illumina
  • Development of innovative sustained systems for the delivery of biomolecules
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of polymicrobial communities in environmental and medical specimens, including those used in intravaginal rings, and correlation of images obtained using both techniques
  • High throughput screening of stability and activity for enzyme panel development and qPCR arrays
  • PCR amplification and gene manipulation, including synthetic gene design and construction for over-expression of proteins

Representative Publications

  • 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.