Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna

Department of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine started its teaching programme in 1984 when the Faculty started to teach students from the first year (I.e. from the 6th batch onwards). First five batches of students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna had their pre-clinical study programme completed either in the Faculty of Medicine of University of Colombo or Peradeniya. Professor Colvin Goonaratna was the Founder Professor of Physiology. He resigned from the post in 1990 to take up the post of Professor of Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Professor Susirith Mendis was appointed as the Professor of Physiology in 1995. He served as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for three terms and was a Vice Chancellor of University of Ruhuna. Professor Anoja Fernando was the first Head of Department.
Chair professors of the Department of Physiology


(L to R) Professor Susirith Mendis, Professor Colvin Goonaratna, Professor Sampath Gunawardena


Heads of Department

  • Professor Colvin Goonaratna
  • Professor Susirith Mendis
  • Professor K G Somasiri
  • Professor Sampath Gunawardena
  • Dr D C Wijewickrama.
  • Professor R S J Lenora
  • Dr S P Hewawasam

Physiology Department has a student laboratory and several tutorial rooms for its teaching activities. In addition, there is a large lecture theatre which is maintained by the Department of Physiology. Teaching activities of the Department take place in the form of lectures, traditional tutorials, small group discussions, problem-based learning, student seminars and practical classes. Some of the areas in the curriculum is integrated and conducted with the participation of other preclinical as well as paraclinical and clinical Departments (e. g. neuroscience, blood, diabetes mellitus and thyroid gland).
Department has been providing service functions to patients from the teaching hospitals Karapitiya and Mahamodara as well as from the private sector. These service functions include nerve conduction studies, lung function tests, perimetry, audiometry, measurement of serum and urine osmolality. Academic staff of the Department has been involved in research in many different areas such as thyroid Physiology, nerve conduction in leprosy, determination of bone age in normal individuals and patients affected with cleft palate, behavior of pulmonary vagal afferents in pulmonary venous congestion, spinal cord pain transmission, biomedical informatics, medical education, renal function in pregnancy, osteoporosis and bone metabolism and gastrointestinal Physiology.


Source- 25th anniversary souvenir, Physiological society of Sri Lanka
Professor Sampath Gunawardena
Professor of Physiology
Faculty of Medicine
University of Ruhuna