Chanaka Mannapperuma

-Senior Data Scientist in Bioinformatics

About me

I have more than 10 years of experience of developing Bioinformatics tools and designing them based on user experiences and HCI design principles. Currently I am working as Senior Data Scientist in Bioinformatics at AstraZeneca, Sweden and contribute to development of drug discovery platform. 

In 2015, I started PhD in Bioinformatics  under the supervision of Nathaniel Street and John Waterworth and successfully defended thesis titled Human-computer interaction principles for developing web-based genomics resources in 2020. During my PhD studies, I gained practical understanding of biological user behavior and needs, conducting different usability research and importance of participatory design approaches. At the same time, I managed to lead the development of Plant Genome Integrative Explorer (PlantGenIE) platform based on usability research and user experience.  

I started my professional path at University of Colombo, where I received a BSc in Computer Science in 2007. In 2009, after working as a software engineer in several outsourcing companies, I moved to Sweden to began graduate studies. I received MSc in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Umeå university in 2011. HCI program helps me to understand the importance of making usable and user-friendly tools. In 2011, I joined as a software designer and programmer at Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) to make web-based bioinformatics tools for researchers in biology. From 2011 till 2015, I worked as a software developer and designer at UPSC where I took the initiative to work with Bioinformatics.  

My main interest is designing usable and user-friendly systems based on micro frontends and microservices architectures while using the cloud services, message broker systems and container-orchestration systems. I am also interested to having one or more users in the design team to capture the real user requirements and use the iterative design cycle throughout the entire agile framework (AFe).

I have been living in Umeå more than a decade. Therefore, I am familiar and enjoying the cultural diversity and excellent atmosphere in Sweden.

I am confident that I can use my theoretical knowledge and practical research experience to improve the usability and user experience (UX) of products and services into the next level.  Here I listed some of the key publications which are based on mainstream research of making usable tools and conducting usability research. 

PhD Thesis:   
Human-computer interaction principles for developing web-based genomics resources  

Few selected publications: 

Designing Usable Bioinformatics Tools for Specialized Users  

PlantGenIE-PLAZA: integrating orthology into the resource using the PLAZA pipeline

The Plant Genome Integrative Explorer Resource:

Spatially resolved transcriptome profiling in model plant species

You can find some more on my Google Scholar profile or Umeå university website.   

Skills and Experiences

10+ years of experience in development of Bioinformatics tools.
Design and develop tools based on unique user demands.

BSc in Computer Science, MSc in HCI: UI/UX design and PhD in Bioinformatics.

Extensive experience in usability methods and design principles.

10+ years experience in academia collaborate with multinational teams.
Working in dynamic work environment with diverse social backgrounds
Build tools from idea to prototype to production, based on mainstream HCI practices.
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Experience In Academia & Bioinformatics

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Scientific Publications &  Bioinformatics Tools

Design and Development

How to build tools, from idea to prototype to production, based on mainstream HCI practices to gain biological insights in large-scale datasets?

HCI principles for developing web-based genomics resources