Dr. Maya Gunasekera
Founder of Genetech
1961 - 2006
Dr. Maya Gunasekera founded Genetech in 2002 to develop the field of biotechnology in Sri Lanka. She pioneered the use of DNA testing in forensic casework in Sri Lanka, and was involved in almost all DNA typing tests done in Sri Lanka until the time of her death. Research teams led by Maya developed the first DNA probe for the malaria vector, Anopheles culicifacies, introduced a new molecular test for the early diagnosis of dengue, pioneered genetic work on the Sri Lankan elephant and resolved the taxonomic status of a fruit bat species complex. In 1999, Maya gave expert evidence on DNA typing for the Hokandara murder trial making history as the first court case to accept DNA evidence in Sri Lanka.
Owner of Genetech and Managing Trustee of Genetech Research Institute (GRI)
Dhammika Gunasekera is the Owner of Genetech after the demise of his beloved wife Dr. Maya Gunasekera, the Founder of Genetech. He is also the owner of Dienge purveyors of handcrafted silver, fine art, gems and jewellery.
Dhammika greatly values generosity and helps a large number of people and institutions financially. For example, he has given donations to the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, sponsored the Devapathiraja College (a school founded by his grandfather Sir Ernest De Silva) Rugby team in Rathgama, a rural area in Sri Lanka and met university tuition fees of students.
Head of Forensic DNA Typing and Parentage Testing
Nandika Perera joined Genetech in early 2004 soon after its inception and was part of the pioneering team led by late Dr. Maya Gunasekera, who introduced molecular diagnostics and DNA typing services to Sri Lanka. In subsequent years, he was promoted to the post of Senior Scientist and in 2010, he became the Head of the Parentage Testing Section. Currently, he is also the Head of Forensic DNA typing and has provided more than 2500 DNA typing reports to the Sri Lankan Judiciary.
He together with his team has established several in-house molecular diagnostic tests including a test for prenatal diagnosis of thalassemia disease.
Samudi Mohotti commenced her professional career at Genetech as a Scientific Officer at the division of parentage testing in 2004. In subsequent years, she was promoted to the post of Senior Scientist and currently oversees the entire process of parentage testing. She is one of the most experienced scientists in the field of DNA typing and has contributed to submit over 3,000 DNA test reports for civil and criminal cases to the Sri Lankan Judiciary. She took part in the development of an allele frequency databases of autosomal STR markers for Sri Lankans ethnicities and co-authored a journal paper in a high-impact journal, Forensic Science International: Genetics.