Department of Botany at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura the initiated postgraduate research collaborations with Mindanao State University of Philippines this year. Three of the postgraduate students – Ms. Dana Trono, Mabeth O Odechmar and Jhoan Rhea Pizon from MSU-IIT joined Department of Botany to continue their postgraduate research for a period of three months. The research work is based on the ethnobotany, which was considered as a lost trail but blooming in the field of Botany in recent past. Three postgraduate students worked under the guidance of Prof. Preeni Fernando for microbiological work and Prof. Sandun Senarath is the Co-advisor of their research. Dr. Olga M Nuneza from Department of Biological Sciences and Dr. Mylene Sijo Uy from Department of Chemistry, MSU-IIT are act as advisors of the student in Philippines.
Research work of those students are mainly focusing on the mass propagation of through tissue culture, screening phytochemicals, cytotoxicity and anti-microbial properties of those selected plant species. Foreign collaboration for postgraduate research is a part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between University of Sri Jayewardenepura and MSU-IIT which facilitate the student exchange, exchange of academic staff, research collaborations etc. The students are fully funded by the Government of Philippines and the living and research expenses are covered by the scholarship.