Miss Hemavaruni Fernando, a final year Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) student of the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura won the People’s Choice award at ‘3 Minute Research Thesis (3MT®)’ competition held on 16th of October 2019 at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo during the SLAYS (Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists) conference. This competition was conducted under the guidance of the University of Queensland, Australia who developed 3MT®competition format. Miss Fernando presented her thesis ‘Antimicrobial Activity of Garcinol Mediated Metal Nanoparticles and Metal Complexes’ which was carried out under the guidance of Dr. Suneth Rajapaksha, Prof. Pradeep Jayaweera, Dr. Upul Kumarasinghe (Department of Chemistry, University of Sri Jayewardenepura), Prof. Neluka Fernando, Dr. Chinthika Gunasekara (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura), and Prof. Preethi Soysa (Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo).
Her research is mainly focused on the determination of in-vitro antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer activities of garcinol mediated metal nanoparticles and garcinol metal complexes. Garcinol is a chemical compound extracted from ‘Goraka’ plant, but possible applications have limited due to the lower solubility in water. The garcinol-metal combinations have shown increased water solubilities and remarkable antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer properties. Currently, Miss Fernado’s research work achieved three abstract publications in national and international conferences including the Best Poster Presentation at the 74th annual sessions of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS-E3) and one full paper publication in the journal of microbiology and biotechnology (JMB).