Meet our Early Career Scientist Grant Winner Gayan Abeysinghe

Meet our Early Career Scientist Grant Winner Gayan Abeysinghe
2 years ago

Meet our Early Career Scientist Grant Winner Gayan Abeysinghe

It’s time to meet another of our Early Career Scientist Grant winners! Gayan Abeysinghe of University of Tsukuba, Japan, is the latest life scientist to receive our monthly $500 grant awarded to a PhD or postdoc life scientist to help support their career. 

Gayan is a PhD student working under the supervision of Norio Takeshita PhD at the Graduate School of Science and Technology. He will use the grant to help fund his trip to the 16th European Conference on Fungal Genetics (ECFG16) in Innsbruck, Austria where he will present the findings of his PhD research: 'Exploring the Divergence of Interactions between Fungi and Bacteria'.

Gayan told us how he felt about receiving the grant:

I’m delighted and honoured to have received this grant for early career scientists and I thank Hello Bio for acknowledging my research efforts to unravel the mysteries of microbial networks. This grant will help me share our findings at the ECFG16 and explore the latest advances in microbial genetics and biology. Gayan Abeysinghe, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant winner


Congratulations Gayan! First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?

I am fascinated by how the diverse microbial species in the environment establish various modes of molecular interplay that lead to the formation of complex microbial communities. Our recent finding described the distinctive nature of the mutualistic relationship between the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans and gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis and we presented evidence to show the spatial and metabolic interactions that facilitate the communication between these species, enabling them to explore untraversed environmental niches and obtain nutrients. Confronting this interactive nature, I explore an array of environmental fungal species and bacterial species to further investigate the interaction dynamics which could impart insights to the ecological context of interactions of the environmental microbiota and also utilize the metabolic capacity of the chemically prolific microorganisms and facilitate the production of novel antimicrobials.


What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?

Us humans, we use words, signs/languages to communicate with each other. But aren’t we curious about how the microbes express their feelings when they meet or see or sense each other? It gets me excited to see these microbes in action and to think how the mediators of these interactions could be of benefit in other applications.


Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?

I admire all the scientists who are truly driven by curiosity and try to contribute to society to their fullest capacity whilst helping others around them.


What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?

I think one of the biggest challenges is the awareness of the general public as they tend to have no or less understanding of scientific discoveries. I sincerely hope there will be some effort to address this and increase their involvement.


And finally… what’s your favourite science quote?

“I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more” – by Jonas Salk


Thank you so much Gayan! We hope you have a fantastic time at the conference in Austria and wish you all the best with your future career.

Connect with Gayan:

You can also find out more about Hello Bio's antimicrobial peptides range here


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