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Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, Sri Lanka-born doctor at forefront of Oxford coronavirus vaccine in the UK

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While the world is racing against to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the role of a Sri Lanka-born doctor, Maheshi Ramasamy, is not known to many people in the community.

Her findings regarding the Oxford COVID vaccine have previously been published in the medical journal The Lancet. Dr Ramasamy came into international limelight after the publication.

Born to a scientist couple, Dr Ramasamy has a deep-rooted family background in academics and science. Her mother, Prof Mantri Smaranayake, an ethnic Sinhalese, was the first Sri Lankan to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Her father, Ranjan Ramasamy, was a Tamil scientist who went to Cambridge University for post-graduation.

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She holds a bachelor's degree in medicine from Christ College, Oxford University, and specializes in infectious diseases and clinical medicine at the Oxford and London Medical Institutes. She is currently a University Lecturer, serving for the NHS Foundation Trust affiliated to the University of Oxford. Accordingly, she serves as the Principal Lecturer at Megan Medical College.

She is a Principal Investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group and an award-winning Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Maheshi Ramasamy is the daughter of two scientists. Her mother is Prof. Manthri Samaranayake Ramasamy. An alumnus of Visakha College, Colombo, Samaranayake received a first class honors degree in Zoology from the University of Colombo and later came to the University of Cambridge on a Commonwealth Scholarship. She then became the first Sri Lankan to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. She married Ranjan Ramasamy, a Tamil scientist who had come to Cambridge University from Sri Lanka for postgraduate studies. They also have got married in Colombo.

They later worked at the University of San Diego in the United States and Queen's University in Australia. Prof. Samaranayake Ramasamy maintained her relationship with Sri Lanka and in 1999 became the Secretary-General of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS). She died in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2016, according to an article in the Sunday Leader, which said she was extremely proud of her only daughter, Maheshi. Her selection to the Cambridge University Medical Faculty is said to be a dream come true for Professor Manthri Ramasamy.

Maheshi Ramasamy, a mother of three, is gaining international recognition for her research on the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine. We are publishing these details about her family history to emphasize that we should be wholeheartedly proud of this Oxford student because of her Sri Lankan origin

Her Sinhala-Tamil fusion reminds us again and again that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country. Therefore, we as a country should be proud because she is a Sri Lankan daughter of a Sri Lankan mother and father.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy Joins 'Good Morning Britain' on ITV

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