Anushka Jayasuriya is responsible for working with pharma and biotech companies, particularly in North America, to understand how GlycoSyn's capabilities can support their research programs. He also works closely with GlycoSyn's team of scientists to prepare project proposals, coordinate timelines and budgets for projects, and help de-risk their clients’ drug development programs.
With a PhD and a strong research background, Anushka knows the ins and outs of scientific research but says working in business development means he has no shortage of exciting challenges to tackle, and that challenge - along with the variety of the role - satisfies his curiosity.
"I love the interdisciplinary nature of the work, and I think we are really spoiled for talent at GlycoSyn. I get to interact with world-class scientists to take on GMP chemistry manufacturing projects at GlycoSyn. In addition to this, I get to pull from the expertise of the wider Callaghan Innovation group to do enzymology, cloning, synthetic biology, natural product isolation, and lastly with our joint venture partners at the Ferrier Research Institute for discovery-oriented projects."
He is also excited to be working in such a key area for scientific research: "Carbohydrates are implicated in every major disease process, including cancers, autoimmune disease, rare disease, and bacterial and viral infectivity. We’re looking to address complex problems in complex systems, and so we attract multidisciplinary researchers with diverse backgrounds."
Before joining Glycosyn, Anushka worked at GlycoNet, a Canada-wide network of researchers and trainees, government laboratories, and industry partners, where he says he gained much of his training and research experience. He also obtained his PhD. from the University of Alberta in 2015 under Professor Todd L. Lowary with a focus on glycobiology and carbohydrate chemistry. He had the opportunity to gain an appreciation for broad, and multidisciplinary research approaches, and the value of networking and collaboration both in - and outside - the lab to see projects through to success.
In his spare time--and especially when traveling--Anushka enjoys discovering unique record shops for digging sessions and hitting the pavement or trails for long runs. Though he is no longer in the lab bench these days, he enjoys applying his chemistry and microbiology lab skills towards brewing beer.