Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Samarasinghe, Ranmal, M.D., Ph.D.


Mechanisms of neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism


  • Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Neurology, University of California Los Angeles


We seek to understand the biological mechanisms that result in the formation of neural circuits and how neurological disease can result in circuit dysfunction. Our goal is to parlay a deeper understanding of neural circuit formation and function into improved treatments for some of the most devastating, and currently untreatable, brain diseases. To achieve this, we employ multiple cutting-edge approaches including novel 3D human stem cell-based in vitro structures called brain organoids, functional multiphoton and fluorescence lifetime imaging, electrophysiology, and transcriptomics.


  1. Premawardhena, A, Perera, C, Wijethilaka, MN, Wanasinghe, SK, Rajakaruna, RHMG, Samarasinghe, RANKK et al.. Efficacy and safety of deferoxamine, deferasirox and deferiprone triple iron chelator combination therapy for transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia with very high iron overload: a protocol for randomised controlled clinical trial. BMJ Open. 2024;14 (2):e077342. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-077342. PubMed PMID:38331857 PubMed Central PMC10860110.
  2. Satharasinghe, D, Jeyasugiththan, J, Wanninayake, WMNMB, Pallewatte, AS, Samarasinghe, RANKK. Patient size as a parameter for determining Diagnostic Reference Levels for paediatric Computed Tomography (CT) procedures. Phys Med. 2022;102 :55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2022.09.004. PubMed PMID:36126468 .
  3. Allison, T, Langerman, J, Sabri, S, Otero-Garcia, M, Lund, A, Huang, J et al.. Defining the nature of human pluripotent stem cell-derived interneurons via single-cell analysis. Stem Cell Reports. 2021;16 (10):2548-2564. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.08.006. PubMed PMID:34506726 PubMed Central PMC8514853.
  4. Samarasinghe, RA, Miranda, OA, Buth, JE, Mitchell, S, Ferando, I, Watanabe, M et al.. Identification of neural oscillations and epileptiform changes in human brain organoids. Nat Neurosci. 2021;24 (10):1488-1500. doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-00906-5. PubMed PMID:34426698 PubMed Central PMC9070733.
  5. Duminda, WD, Pathirana, KG, Fernando, MUJ, Samarasinghe, RANKK, Ananda, WDHA, Silva, KSP et al.. Ultrasonographic length of morphologically-normal kidneys in children presented to a premier tertiary healthcare setting of Sri Lanka. BMC Nephrol. 2019;20 (1):183. doi: 10.1186/s12882-019-1377-z. PubMed PMID:31117988 PubMed Central PMC6532158.
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