I was born in Sri Lanka and attended high school at Royal College in Colombo. In 1982 I left Sri Lanka to attend Vassar College in New York. After graduating from College in 1986 with a major in Biology, I joined the PhD program in the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut. At Yale I did my doctoral work with Ari Helenius on the folding, assembly and sorting of viral membrane proteins. After doing postdoctoral work at the University of Rochester and Yale University, I joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. In addition to my research interests in Lyme disease and dengue, I am interested in working with scientists and students from developing nations and helping to build scientific capacity in these countries.
I am married to Amy Weil who is a physician and an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. We have two sons aged 6 (Priyan) and 3 (Sunimal). In my spare time I play tennis, watch birds, fish with my sons, and sleep.