Profile image of Rasika Samarasinghe

Dr Rasika Samarasinghe





Faculty of Health


School of Medicine


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Learning and Teaching, Deakin University, 2019
Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2014


Dr Samarasinghe completed her PhD in Medicine in 2014 at Deakin University and joined Prof. David Ashley's laboratory as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2015, where her work involved understanding epigenetic mechanisms regulated in major diseases such as cancers and degenerative disorders and to identify novel targets and therapies. Her work contributed to the initiation of a Victoria based clinical trial on aggressive childhood brain cancers, which used a new combination of chemo and epigenetic drugs as alternative therapy options. In 2018, she joined the School of Medicine as an academic and established her laboratory, Translational Epigenomic Research and Therapeutics.

Her group investigates how the epigenome regulates mechanisms in diseases such as childhood and adult cancers, mental health and degenerative disorders. Using different molecular and genome based technologies together with 3D cell culturing, stem cells and organoid techniques, her lab aims to understand these genetic and epigenetic changes in diseases, with a view of identifying novel targets for diagnosis and therapeutics.

Read more on Rasika's profile

Research interests

Epigenetic mechanisms and therapeutics

Cancer, mental health and degenerative disorders



Australian Epigenetic Alliance (from 2020)

Inflammation Research Association (from 2010)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (from 2010)

Golden Key International Honour Society (from 2008)

Teaching interests


Medical Biotechnology




Units taught

HMM102: Principles of Gene and Genomic Technology, Unit Chair: 2018- current

HMM103: Cell Technology, Unit chair: 2018 - curent

Guest lecturer:

HMM101: Introduction to Medical Biotechnology

HMM202: Molecular Diagnostics

HMM302: Innovation in Medical Biotechnology

HMM301: Priciples of Pharmacology

HBS400: Research Methods

Knowledge areas

Epigenetics, Cancer, Bone and Inflammatory disorders, Mental health, Drug and Cell therapy


  • Lorne Cancer Conference, Lorne, 2021
  • Childhoo cancer symposium, Melbourne, 2019, 2020, 2021.
  • 3rd Australian Cancer & Metabolism Meeting, Sydney, 2019
  • 14th Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology (ASNO) Meeting, Osaka, Japan, 2017.
  • 10th COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting: Tailoring Therapies for Brain Tumours: Challenges and Opportunities, Melbourne, Australia, 2017.
  • 13th Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting/ 9th COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting, Sydney, Australia, 2016.
  • Barwon Health Research Week, Geelong, Australia, 2015.
  • Weizmann symposium – Future directions in cancer biology & targeted therapeutics, Melbourne, Australia, 2015.
  • 17th International Inflammation Research Association Conference, New York, USA, 2012.
  • 3rd Sydney International Nanomedicine Conference, Sydney, Australia, 2012.
  • 2nd Sydney International Nanomedicince conference, Sydney, Australia, 2011.


  • Best ECR research contribution, Cancer Metabolism (Sydney, 2019)
  • COGNO-Bristol-Myers Squibb Young Investigator Award nominee (Brisbane, 2017)
  • Scientist Prize – Most Outstanding Research Presentation - Barwon Health Research Week, Geelong (2015)
  • Early Career Researcher - Best Top 5 presentations - Weizmann symposium – Future directions in cancer biology & targeted therapeutics, Melbourne (2015)
  • Publication Scholarship - Deakin University (2013)
  • Best PhD poster presentation - 17th International Inflammation Research Association Conference, New York, USA (2012)
  • Best 3rd/4th year PhD oral presenter - Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), Annual Research Conference (2012)
  • Best 1st year PhD oral presenter, Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), Annual Research Conference (2009)


Filter by


Triple-negative breast cancer brain metastasis: An update on druggable targets, current clinical trials, and future treatment options

M Nakhjavani, R Samarasinghe, S Shigdar

(2022), Vol. 27, pp. 1298-1314, Drug Discovery Today, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Anticonvulsant use and bone health in a population-based study of men and women: cross-sectional data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study

V Chandrasekaran, J Pasco, A Stuart, S Brennan-Olsen, M Berk, J Hodge, R Samarasinghe, L Williams

(2021), Vol. 22, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, England, C1

journal article

Augmented reality in medical education: students' experiences and learning outcomes

P Dhar, T Rocks, R Samarasinghe, G Stephenson, C Smith

(2021), Vol. 26, Medical Education Online, United States, C1

journal article

Antibodies, nanobodies, or aptamers-which is best for deciphering the proteomes of non-model species?

P Dhar, R Samarasinghe, S Shigdar

(2020), Vol. 21, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Non-invasive delivery of therapeutics into the brain: The potential of aptamers for targeted delivery

B Bukari, R Samarasinghe, J Noibanchong, S Shigdar

(2020), Vol. 8, Biomedicines, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Dietary tryptophan and bone health: a cross-sectional, population-based study

J Cleminson, A Stuart, J Pasco, J Hodge, M Berk, R Samarasinghe, L Williams

(2020), Vol. 15, Archives of Osteoporosis, England, C1

journal article

Phenotyping neurons activated in the mouse brain during restoration of salt debt

C Smith, J Cross, I Eraslan, A Attawar, S Ch'ng, P Dhar, R Samarasinghe, L Gray, A Lawrence

(2019), Vol. 101, Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Multimodal nanomedicine strategies for targeting cancer cells as well as cancer stem cell signalling mechanisms

J Kanwar, R Samarasinghe, S Kamalapuram, R Kanwar

(2017), Vol. 16, pp. 1688-1695, Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Role of nanomedicine in arthritic disorders

R Samarasinghe, R Samarasinghe, R Kanwar, R Kanwar, J Kanwar, J Kanwar

(2015), Vol. 1, pp. 281-311, NanoBioMedicine Vol. 1: Nanomedicine, Houston, Tex., B1-1

book chapter

Cissus quadrangularis inhibits IL-1β induced inflammatory responses on chondrocytes and alleviates bone deterioration in osteotomized rats via p38 MAPK signaling

J Kanwar, R Samarasinghe, K Kumar, R Arya, S Sharma, S Zhou, S Sasidharan, R Kanwar

(2015), Vol. 9, pp. 2927-2940, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, [Auckland, N.Z.], C1

journal article

Antiarthritic and chondroprotective activity of Lakshadi Guggul in novel alginate-enclosed chitosan calcium phosphate nanocarriers

R Samarasinghe, R Kanwar, K Kumar, J Kanwar

(2014), Vol. 9, pp. 819-837, Nanomedicine, London, England, C1

journal article

The effect of oral administration of iron saturated-bovine lactoferrin encapsulated chitosan-nanocarriers on osteoarthritis

R Samarasinghe, R Kanwar, J Kanwar

(2014), Vol. 35, pp. 7522-7534, Biomaterials, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Nanotechnology based platforms for survivin targeted drug discovery

R Samarasinghe, R Samarasinghe, J Gibbons, J Gibbons, R Kanwar, R Kanwar, J Kanwar, J Kanwar

(2012), Vol. 7, pp. 1083-1092, Expert opinion on drug discovery, London, England, C1

journal article

The role of nanomedicine in cell based therapeutics in cancer and inflammation.

R Samarasinghe, R Samarasinghe, R Kanwar, R Kanwar, J Kanwar, J Kanwar

(2012), Vol. 1, pp. 133-144, International journal of molecular and cellular medicine, Babol, Iran, C1-1

journal article

Nano-lactoferrin in diagnostic, imaging and targeted delivery for cancer and infectious diseases

J Kanwar, J Kanwar, R Samarasinghe, R Samarasinghe, R Sehgal, R Sehgal, R Kanwar, R Kanwar

(2012), Vol. 4, pp. 31-42, Journal of cancer science & therapy, Westlake, Calif., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


Principal Supervisor

Jake Erich William Mazur

Thesis entitled: Natural therapeutics coupled with nanotechnology, advancing Glioblastoma Multiforme treatment efficacy.

MAppSc (Medicine) (High cost), School of Medicine

Tulika Basak

Thesis entitled: Targeting iron overload: A potential approach towards glioblastoma therapy

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine


Naznin Akhtar

Thesis entitled: Theranostic Applications of Zinc Ferrite Nanoparticles for Colorectal Cancer

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine

Associate Supervisor

Vinoomika Chandrasekaran

Thesis entitled: Bipolar Disorder, Associated Treatments and Bone Health

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine