Alumni Services

Rohan Harindra Wickramsinghe

Since graduating from Edinburgh in 1972, Rohan Wickramsinghe has enjoyed an esteemed career, and has been honoured by two international governments.

Name Rohan Harindra Wickramsinghe
Degree Course Ph.D. (Biochemistry)
Year of Graduation 1972
Rohan Harindra Wickramsinghe

Your time at the University

Before coming to Edinburgh, I had two satisfying years at the College de France, Paris doing biochemistry research.

However, student upheavals took place in the summer of 1968 and a friend suggested that I apply to Edinburgh to read for a Ph.D. I was very fortunate to get a place in the Department of Biochemistry and a grant from Glaxo Laboratories, for whom I had previously worked in Sri Lanka.

I could not have hoped for a better place in which to pursue research towards a Ph.D. The Department was extremely active and the faculty very helpful. Although some forty years have passed, I still correspond with several friends I made my time at Edinburgh - the non-academic staff was extraordinarily friendly.

The Festival and the Fringe were wonderful and other favourite places were the Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh Zoo and the National Museum. I also remember my mother coming from Sri Lanka on a visit. I rented a car and we had a marvellous two weeks driving round Scotland.

Although some forty years have passed, I still correspond with several friends I made my time at Edinburgh.

Rohan Harindra Wickramsinghe

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I first spent a few months in the Clinical Study Centre of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston followed by some years in Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and the University of Maryland at College Park. I followed this with a stay in the Institute for Pneumoconiosis and Occupational Health of the University of Muenster, West Germany.

I returned to Sri Lanka in 1981 and was invited to take up a position on the Board of the then newly established Central Environmental Authority, a government body. After around nine years there, I resigned to follow my personal interests in the wildlife and archaeology of Sri Lanka.

I am extremely proud that the French Government conferred on me the honour of Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms, and, more recently, that the Government of Sri Lanka made me a Justice of the Peace.

Alumni wisdom

We are living in an age of discovery and invention. For students with enquiring minds and the necessary application there are tremendous opportunities to be sought out which offer intellectual satisfaction together with the ability to earn ones creature comforts.