Dr Jayantha Dassanayake is a chronic disease and physical activity epidemiologist (qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis), with a strong background in chronic disease prevention and management through lifestyle change.

Jayantha obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in August 2009 from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic & Analytic Epidemiology, within the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Medicine. He has completed a 12-month post-doctoral fellowship (PDF) within the Health Policy, Ethnicity & Health Research Program at the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology Research Centre, University of Alberta, Canada. He has substantial work experience in research related to public health and social science health research with a special focus on population subgroups.

Jayantha's research interests are migrant and refugee health, health literacy, health promotion, physical activity measurement and sports medicine.

Refereed journal articles

Higginbottom, G.M.A., Myfanwy, M., Dassanayake, J., Eyford, H., Alexandre, M., Chiu, Y., Forgeron, J. & Kocay, D. (2012), Immigrant women's experiences of maternity care services in Canada: A protocol for systematic review using a narrative synthesis. Systematic Review Journal.

Dassanayake, J., Dharmage, S.C., Gurrin, L., Sundararajan, V. & Payne, W.R. (2011), Are Australian immigrants at a risk of being physically inactive? International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Dassanayake, J., Dharmage, S.C., Gurrin, L., Sundararajan, V. & Payne, W.R. (2009), Are immigrants at risk of heart disease in Australia? A systematic review. Australian Health Review.

Dassanayake, J., Gurrin, L., Payne, W.R., Sundararajan, V. & Dharmage, S.C. (2008), Is country of birth a risk factor for acute hospitalization for CVD in Victoria, Australia? Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.

Dassanayake, J., Gurrin, L., Payne, W.R., Sundararajan, V. & Dharmage, S.C. (2009), Cardiovascular disease risk of immigrants: What is the evidence and where are the gaps? Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.

Keynote conference presentations

Dassanayke, J. (2012), Physical activity, chronic disease management, and South Asian communities. International Conference on Sports Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Dassanayake, J., Gurrin, L., Payne, W.R., Sundararajan, V. & Daharmage, S.C. (2008), Is being an immigrant a risk factor for CVD in Australia? The World Congress of Cardiology, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Circulation 108.18987, The American Heart Association.

Professional memberships

  • Global Physical Activity Network
  • Australian Epidemiology Association
  • Sports Medicine Association of Sri Lanka
  • Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)

Industry experience

Jayantha has 20 years of experience working as acting director, tertiary teacher and co-ordinator of the sports science education programme in the National Institute of Sports Science, Sri Lanka. He taught courses in sports and cardiovascular nutrition, exercise physiology, theory of training, physical activity and health for the National Institute of Sports Science Sri Lanka. In addition his teaching experiences are epidemiology, physical activity epidemiology, behaviour medicine, health promotion, health literacy, research methodology, and study design at tertiary level. In 2009 he also developed the curriculum for the Exercise and Health Science Degree programme for the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Jayantha has a strong network with public health and medical professionals and institutions in South Asia, West Asia, Canada and USA.

Areas of expertise

  • Chronic disease epidemiology
  • Global health
  • Health promotion
  • Migrant and refugee health
  • Physical activity epidemiology

Contact details