The Genetic Laboratory

The Institute for Research and Development  is equipped with a genetic research laboratory, which is capable of handling molecular genetic research.  The  laboratory was established in 2007 in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Twin Registry and King’s College London, UK. The lab was developed to support and collaborate with scientists and academics who wish to conduct their research within the country as the the Institute for Research and Development strongly oppose the export of  genetic material abroad for research purposes and promotes conducting all genetic research in the locale where the genetic material was collected from. The lab is available for genetic research to all academics and personnel with keen interest in molecular genetic research.

The genetic laboratory is well equipped to perform a range of genetic and molecular biology related multidisciplinary research. We have established an unique biobank containing DNA and serum of twins and singletons. We collaborate both nationally and internationally with well-established research institutes to carry out high quality result oriented research in the country.

  • Carry out research projects with national importance and policy impact
  • Bring together academicians and experts in molecular biology, biotechnology, and genetics
  • Establishing partnerships with local & international research institutions, universities & government organizations
  • Execute theoretical and practical education programs

We welcome highly motivated and career driven researchers to contribute to our work and to enhance their practical and thinking skills in Molecular biology and Genetics.

We encourage young budding scientists to come forward with their unique and novel research ideas to develop and carry out research projects with IRD genetics.

  • Through the Colombo Twin and Singleton Follow-up Study (CoTaSS 2) genetic testing for zygosity determination will be used to validate a questionnaire on zygosity determination. This questionnaire was  cross-culturally adapted and translated into Sinhala, and preliminary validation was done in the CoTaSS 1 study.Read the journal article.
  • Two projects on plant genetics which includes sex determination and DNA barcoding are in the planning and grant application phase.
  • Training courses for post A\L students, undergraduates, and professionals who wish to obtain hands on training related to molecular biology and genetics have been planned. These courses will be conducted by experts in the field and will consist of lectures and practical sessions.
The Biobank

The IRD biobank is a unique repository consisting of Genomic DNA and serum of twins (both monozygotes and dizygotes) and a matching comparison sample of non-twins in the developing world. To our knowledge this is the first of its kind biobank establishment in Sri Lanka.

It was established along with the Colombo Twin and Singleton Follow-up Study (CoTaSS 2). Ethical clearance for this purpose was obtained from the ethics committees of Sri Jayawardhanepura University and Kings College London.

Consent was obtained from twins and non-twins participating in the CoTaSS 2  to store their blood for future studies. However, the samples will not be used for any specific study without obtaining fresh ethical clearance for specific projects from relevant ethics committees.

The goal of the IRD biobank is to create a national repository of bio material of twins and higher order multiples. 3000 plus samples of extracted DNA and serum is being stored in a large -80 freezer, and this will continue to grow with future studies. Collected bio specimens will be used for cutting edge research which will give new insights into diseases burdening South Asia, leading to new methods of treatment and intervention in the future. Our plan is to establish capacity within the country to carry out these studies.