Fulbright Alum Ruwan Illeperuma wins a Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) Award for 2011.
TOYP awards are given annually by the Junior Chamber International (JCI)to ten young persons from Sri Lanka who have made outstanding contributions to society. Dr. Ruwan Illeperuma received his award for Scientific Development. He won a Fulbright Award in 2009 to research molecular forensics and population genetics at the University of Washington.
Dr. Ruwan Illeperuma is the most experienced scientist in Sri Lanka for DNA based criminal investigations. He has involved in more than
95% of all forensic DNA tests performed in Sri Lanka including all the landmark cases, Tsunami baby 81 case, Judge Sarath Ambepitiya assassination case, Royal Park murder case as the in-charge of Molecular Forensics unit of Genetech laboratory.
Upon completion of his research as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Washington, USA on Molecular Forensics and Population Genetics he obtained his doctorate from the University of Colombo in 2010. His research established two novel DNA analyzing technologies for Sri Lanka; the technology targeting male specific Y-chromosomal DNA to analyze DNA evidence of sexual crime and the mitochondrial DNA technology permitting successful analysis of extremely decomposed DNA evidence.
He has been responsible for training of all the Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO); the special Police CSI unit and more than 7000 police officers on handling DNA evidence. He established the first prototype of a criminal DNA database for Sri Lanka in 2011. His findings on genetic relationships among Sri Lankan ethnic groups and the aboriginal Veddas were widely published and addressed issues which promote efforts to strengthen ethnic harmony among Sri Lankans.