Sithija completed his undergraduate studies in microbiology at The University of Queensland where he studied the activity of Sulfoxide reducing metalloenzymes of Haemophilus influenzae for his honours thesis at the Ulrike Kappler lab. A few years later in 2019 he continued his studies with a Master of bionformatics at the UQ in order to follow his passion in computational sciences. During his masters he undertook a summer project with Dr. Patrick Harris at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research in collaboration with A.Prof Michelle Hill group where he worked on machine learning classification methods to distinguish Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase producing antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli based on Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy data, with the aim of developing an inexpensive point of care rapid diagnostic approach for the identification of bloodstream infections and susceptibility testing. Following this, he joined Beatsonlab for his masters major project on genome centric analysis of marsupial fecal microbiome.
Since the completion of Masters, Sithija has since been working as a Research Assistant at the Beatson lab, working on a number of projects analysing Whole genome sequencing and Shotgun metagenomics data. Sithija intends on starting his PhD program at ACE supervised by A.Prof Beatson and Prof. Hugenholtz in January 2022, where he plans to explore the possibility of associating mobile genetic elements, and in particular antibiotic resistance genes and virulence factors, extracted from shotgun metagenomics datasets with the population genome of their origin, further improving the use of metagenomics in the on pathogenomics and epidemiological surveillance.
An avid fishkeeper, Sithija enjoys tending to his aquariums and ornamental fish breeding projects during his leisure time, as well as developing his skills in photography and baking.
- Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Microbiology major, The University of Queensland
- Master of Bioinformatics, The University of Queensland
Wijesinghe, H., Hare, D., Mohamed, A., Shah, A., Harris, P. and Hill, M., 2021. Detecting antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli using benchtop attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and machine learning. The Analyst.
Nasreen, M., Dhouib, R., Hosmer, J., Wijesinghe, H., Fletcher, A., Mahawar, M., Essilfie, A., Blackall, P., McEwan, A. and Kappler, U., 2020. Peptide Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase from Haemophilus influenzae Is Required for Protection against HOCl and Affects the Host Response to Infection. ACS Infectious Diseases, 6(7), pp.1928-1939.
Dhouib, R., Othman, D., Lin, V., Lai, X., Wijesinghe, H., Essilfie, A., Davis, A., Nasreen, M., Bernhardt, P., Hansbro, P., McEwan, A. and Kappler, U., 2016. A Novel, Molybdenum-Containing Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase Supports Survival of Haemophilus influenzae in an In vivo Model of Infection. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7.