Biden appoints Weeraratna as member of National Cancer Advisory Board

Sri Lankan born, Johns Hopkins scientist Ashani Weeraratna, a leading cancer researcher who specializes in melanoma and the effects of aging on cancer, has been appointed by US President Joe Biden to serve as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board. 

The National Cancer Advisory Board will compliment the Administration’s efforts to build on the spirit and learnings of the Cancer Moonshot, which President Biden led in the Obama-Biden Administration.

Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Lesotho in Africa, Dr. Weeraratna first came to the United States in 1988 to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

She earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the Department of Pharmacology of George Washington University Medical Center.

Weeraratna has also undertaken a global analysis of how the aged microenvironment promotes metastasis, using a unique resource of normal skin fibroblasts from healthy donors of differing ages, proteomics analysis, and animal models, and the clinical implications of these data may also result in a change in clinical practice, as they are finding age-related differences in responses to both targeted and immunotherapy.

She is President of the Society for Melanoma Research, and a fierce champion of and a mentor for junior faculty, people of color and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). (Colombo Gazette)


  1. We hear number of high profile jobs were given to Sri Lankans in the US, but not in Australia. My friends often mentioned to me that my life would have been totally different if I ended up in the US, instead of Australia. I could have resulted in the US to expose my struggles as a writer in Australia, but the US would not appreciate exposing one of the Five Eyes member countries. My job is difficult whether I live in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. South Asia is dangerous place for me, because it has utter fools, and they will do anything to please the foreign powers. China is not interested to occupy the moral high ground. A few times I travelled to South Asia and China, I was hoping those leaders would see the power of moral high ground, but I was wrong. I wasted my money and time by travelling to Asia. I regret now, because I did not try Russia before the Pandemic.

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