Search Close Search
Page Menu

New Faculty - Sumeda Nandadasa, PhD

Sumeda Nandadasa, PhD Assistant Professor, UMass Chan Medical School
Sumeda Nandadasa, PhD

Sumeda Nandadasa, PhD recently joined the Cell Biology and Imaging Research Division in Radiology. He was attracted to UMMS by the work of George Witman, PhD and the "excellent research CORE services." His research lab is on the 7th floor of the medical school and he has a secondary appointment in Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology. Learn more about his research on the Nandadasa Lab website.

Dr. Nandadasa describes his research: "The primary research interest of my lab is to investigate ciliopathies. A rare form of developmental disorders caused by the disruption of a cellular organelle known as primary cilia. My work has uncovered that ADAMTS9, a secreted metalloproteinase, is a crucial regulator of primary cilia biogenesis and when mutated cause the severe ciliopathies Nephronophthisis (NPHP) and Joubert syndrome (JBTS) in children. Ciliopathies arise when primary cilia, a key antenna-like cellular organelle involved in cell-signaling and made by nearly all cells, fail to form normally. One of the other key roles of primary cilia is to sense fluid dynamics in vessels, such as blood flow in blood vessels and urine flow in kidney tubules. NPHP is a devastating renal disease that arise in young children (3-5 years of age) due to ciliary dyskinesis in kidney tubules. NPHP patients develop medullary cystic kidneys and require kidney transplantation as the only remedy. JBTS on the other hand is caused by the dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, a nerve fiber bundle connecting the left and right brain halves, and is an extremely devastating condition diagnosed in infants. JBTS can cause loss of motor function, paralysis and death of the patient due to loss of breathing. Both NPHP and JBTS are rare diseases caused by mutations of a small subset of identified ciliopathy genes in the human genome. ADAMTS9 is one of the newest genes to be added to this short list. My lab will investigate the molecular mechanism of how loss of ADAMTS9 function results in these rare diseases."  

Previously he was in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland OH as a Morgenthaler endowed postdoctoral fellow 2012-2015, and Instructor in Molecular Medicine 2015-2020. Dr. Nandadasa earned his PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Research Foundation, followed by a Postdoc at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. His undergraduate degree is in Biotechnology and Biochemistry from Minnesota State University.

In his free time Dr Nandadasa says he's an avid cyclist, loves photography, painting and gardening. His wife Dr. Prabhani Atukorale, PhD, is also an investigator at UMMS, investigating Immuno-engineering based strategies utilizing nanoparticle for fighting cancer metastasis. They have a 4-year old daughter, Maya, who is very excited to move to Massachusetts.  

Dr. Nandadasa looks forward to establishing collaborations and learning about the amazing research conducted by other investigators at UMass Chan Medical School. 

Nandadasa Lab research image