WIJITHA U. NILAWEERA, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Research interests

Cerebellum, thalamus, and cortex in control of motor behaviors

 

Education

2008 2016 - Ph.D., Arizona State University, USA  

1994 1997 - MD (Doctor of medicine), Kuban State Medical Academy, Krasnodar, Russia

1989 1993 - BS in medicine, Tashkent State University and Second Tashkent State Medical Institute, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

 

Professional experience

 

2008 2013 - Postdoctoral Associate, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

2006 2008 - Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

2001 2006 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

1999 2000 - Family Physician in Private Practice, Sri Lanka

1997 1998 - Physician-House Officer in Sri Lanka Army Headquarters Hospital, Sri Lanka

 

Publications

(A) Peer-reviewed articles

 

 

1.    Favorov OV, Nilaweera WU, Miasnikov AA, Beloozerova IN. Activity of somatosensory-responsive neurons in high subdivisions of SI cortex during locomotion. J. Neurosci., 35(20): 7763-7776, 2015. PDF

 

2.      Armer MC, Nilaweera WU, Rivers TJ, Dasgupta NM, Beloozerova IN. Effect of light on the activity of motor cortex during locomotion. Behav. Braim Res., 250: 238-250, 2013. PDF

 

3.      Marlinski V, Nilaweera WU, Zelenin PV, Sirota MG, Beloozerova IN. Signals from the ventrolateral thalamus to the motor cortex during locomotion. J. Neurophysiol., 107(1): 455-472, 2012. PDF

 

4.      Grozdanic S, Kecova H, Harper MM, Nilaweera WU, Kuehn MH, Kardon RH. Functional and structural changes in a canine model of hereditary primary angle-closure glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 51(1): 255-263, 2009. link

 

5.      Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Inactivation of cerebellar output axons impairs acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks. Brain Res., 1122(1): 143-53, 2006. PDF

 

6.      Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Inactivation of the brachium conjunctivum prevents extinction of classically conditioned eyeblinks. Brain Res., 1045: 175-184, 2005. link

 

7.      Bracha V, Nilaweera W, Zenitsky G, Irwin K. Video recording system for the measurement of eyelid movements during classical conditioning of the eyeblink response in the rabbit. J. Neurosci. Meth., 125: 173-181, 2003. link

 

(B) Manuscripts in preparation

 

1.      Nilaweera WU, Marlinski V, Beloozerova IN. Activity of lateral nucleus of cerebellum during visually guided locomotion.  

  

(C) Poster and oral presentations

 

  1. Beloozerova IN, Nilaweera WU, Viana di Prisco G, Sirota MG, Marlinski V. Sparse locomotion-related activity of cortico-cortical projection from parietal area 5b to motor cortex. Society for Neuroscience, 803.08 (2011). (poster)

 

  1. Armer MC, Nilaweera WU, Dasgupta NM, Rivers TJ, Beloozerova IN. Walking in the light: Responses of motor cortical neurons. Society for Neuroscience, 802.04 (2011). (poster)

 

  1. Favorov OV, Nilaweera WU, Miasnikov AA, Beloozerova IN. Profound activity of somatosensory responsive neurons in high subdivisions of SI cortex during simple locomotion. Society for Neuroscience, 178.15 (2010). (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Beloozerova IN. Neurons of lateral nucleus of cerebellum change their step-related frequency modulation when visual control of stepping is required. Society for Neuroscience, 367.25 (2009). (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Inactivating the cerebellar cortex with muscimol and tetrodotoxin: effects on the expression of classically conditioned eyeblink. Society for Neuroscience (2006). (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Unilateral inactivation of the lateral lemniscus does not impair acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks in the rabbit. Society for Neuroscience (2005). Program No. 197.11. (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Cerebellar cortical involvement in memory consolidation of classically conditioned eyeblinks. Society for Neuroscience (2005). Program No. 197.12. (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Irwin KB, Bracha V. Assessing diffusion of tetrodotoxin in the rabbit brain: suppressing conditioned eyeblinks by brachium conjunctivum inactivation, Society for Neuroscience (2004). Program No. 136.4. (Oral presentation)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Bracha V. Inactivation of the brachium conjunctivum disrupt the acquisition of classically conditioned eyeblinks in the rabbit. Society for Neuroscience (2004). Program No. 136.5. (Oral presentation)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Zenitsky GD, Irwin KB, Bracha V. Effects of inactivation of the superior cerebellar peduncle on extinction of classically conditioned eyeblinks in the rabbit. Society for Neuroscience (2003). Program No. 87.18. (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Irwin K, Zenitsky GD, Aksenov DP, and Bracha V. Are feedback loops involved in the cerebellar neuronal correlates of conditioned eyeblinks? Midwest Neurobiology Meeting (2003), Program No.P21. (poster)

 

  1. Aksenov DP, Zenitsky G, Irwin K, Nilaweera W, and Bracha V. Stimulus specificity of neuronal responses in the interposed nuclei during the expression of conditioned eyeblinks. Society for Neuroscience (2002). Program No. 79.5. (poster)

 

  1. Nilaweera WU, Irwin K, Zenitsky GD, Aksenov DP, and Bracha V. Are feedback loops involved in the cerebellar neuronal correlates of conditioned eyeblinks? Society for Neuroscience (2002), Program No. 79.6. (poster)

 

Awards and Honors

 

      Full scholarship from the Russian (former USSR) government to study human medicine in the Soviet Union. 1989-1993

      Full scholarship from the Russian government to study human medicine in the Russian Federation. 1994-1997

      The outstanding international student award in essentials in internal medicine, the Second Tashkent Medical Institute, Uzbekistan. (Fall semester 1992)

      The outstanding international student award in topographical anatomy, the Second Tashkent Medical Institute, Uzbekistan. (Spring semester 1993)

 

Memberships

 

         Society for Neuroscience (member)

         American Physiological Society (member)

         Midwest Neurobiologists (member-2003)

         Giving Friends International (an NPO) (treasurer since 2005)

         Sri Lanka Student Association, Kuban State Medical Academy, Krasnodar Russia (President, 1995-96)

         Sri Lanka Student Association, Second Tashkent State Medical Institute, Uzbekistan (President, 1993)

         Sri Lanka Soviet friendship youth circle, Colombo, Sri Lanka, (executive committee member, 1987-88)

 

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