Design and synthesis of polymers/nanoparticles for molecular imaging and drug delivery applications

​After finishing her BSc (Honours) degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka she moved to Australia to conduct her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2016 under Prof Kristofer Thurecht. Her PhD work was based on the development of polymeric theranostics using bioorthogonal chemistry. After finishing her PhD, she started working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in a collaborative project between UQ and University of Wollongong. This work was based on non-invasive drug delivery across blood-brain barrier for motor neurone disease treatment. She then joined the group of Prof Andrew Whittaker at UQ to work on stimuli-responsive and low-fouling protein-polymer conjugates for cancer therapy. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Researcher Fellow under Prof Kristofer Thurecht and her research focuses on using click chemistry to develop polymer-based theranostic platforms that can enhance the precision of cancer treatment.


Ediriweera, G. R., Chang, Y., Wang, Q., Gong, Y., Akhter, D. T., Pang, H., Han, F. Y., Chen, C., Whittaker, A. K. and Fu, C. Stimuli-responsive sulfoxide polymer-protein conjugates with improved pharmacokinetics and tumour delivery. Chemistry of Materials, 2023 (

Wang, Q., Yu, Y., Chang, Y., Xu, X., Wu, M., Ediriweera, G. R., Peng, H., Zhen, X., Jiang, X., Searles, D. J., Fu, C. and Whittaker, A. K. Fluoropolymer-MOF Hybrids with Switchable Hydrophilicity for 19F MRI-Monitored Cancer Therapy. ACS Nano, 2023, 17, 9, 8483–8498.

Chang, Y., Wang, Q., Xu, W., Huang, X., Xu, X., Han, F. Y., Qiao, R., Ediriweera, G. R., Peng, H., Fu, C., Liu, K., and Whittaker, A. K. Low-Fouling Gold Nanorod Theranostic Agents Enabled by a Sulfoxide Polymer Coating. Biomacromolecules, 2022, 23, 9, 3866–3874.

Ediriweera, G. R., Chen, L., Yerbury, J. J., Thurecht, K. J., and Vine, K. L. Non-Viral Vector-Mediated Gene Therapy for ALS: Challenges and Future Perspectives. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2021, 18, 6, 2142–2160.

Ediriweera, G. R., Simpson, J. D., Fuchs, A. V., Venkatachalam, T. K., Van De Walle, M., Howard, C. B., Mahler, S. M., Blinco, J. P., Fletcher, N. L., Houston, Z. H., Bell, C. A., and Thurecht, K. J. Targeted and Modular Architectural Polymers Employing Bioorthogonal Chemistry for Quantitative Therapeutic Delivery. RSC Chemical Science, 2020, 11, 3268-3280.

Simpson, J. D., Currin-Ross, D. L., Ediriweera, G. R., Schirra, H. J., Fletcher, N. L., Bell, C. A., Arno, M. C., and Thurecht, K. J. Cyanine-5-Driven Behaviours of Hyperbranched Polymers Designed for Therapeutic Delivery Are Cell-Type Specific and Correlated with Polar Lipid Distribution in Membranes, Nanomaterials (Basel), 2021, 11(7), 1745.

Simpson, J. D., Ediriweera, G.R., Howard, C. B., Fletcher, N. L., Bell, C. A., and Thurecht, K. J. Polymer Design and Component Selection Contribute to Uptake, Distribution and Trafficking Behaviours of Polyethylene Glycol Hyperbranched Polymers in Live Breast Cancer Cells. RSC Biomaterial Science, 2019, 7, 4661-4674.

Simpson, J. D., Monteiro, P. F., Ediriweera, G .R., Prior, A. R., Sonderegger, S. E., Bell, C. A., Fletcher, N. L., Alexander, C., and Thurecht, K. J. Fluorophore Selection and Incorporation Contribute to Permeation and Distribution Behaviors of Hyperbranched Polymers in Multi-Cellular Tumor Spheroids and Xenograft Tumor Models. ACS Applied Bio Materials, 2021, 4(3), 2675-2685.