Dr Himaya Siddhihalu Wickrama Hewage

Adjunct Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience


I am a biochemist with a passion for exploring venom chemistry to develop medicinal tools. My main research focus is on the complex venom systems to elucidate structure-function of venom peptides for medicinal and biotechnological use. I have developed multidisciplinary state-of-the art approaches using proteo-genomics, pharmacology and behavioural studies to rapidly investigate venoms. This rational and systematic approch is used to unravel therapeutically valuable venom peptides while understanding the chemical evolution and origins of venom. Currently I am a lead scientist of the cone snail venom research program at IMB. I am deciphering new mechanisms of conotoxin diversification from ancestral species to relatively new lineages to establish evolutionary trajectories of venoms while investigating the structure and function of these highly optimised venom components as potential leads for treatment of pain.

Research Interests

  • Discovery of ion channel modulators from venoms
  • Developing proteo-genomic methods to understand complex venom systems
  • Understanding diversification, evolution and origin of venom peptides in cone snails
  • Developing cell based methods for detection of ciguatoxins in algal extracts


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Pukyong National University


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Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Ryu, BoMi, Himaya, S.W.A. and Kim, Se-Kwon (2015). Applications of Microalgae-Derived Active Ingredients as Cosmeceuticals. Handbook of Marine Microalgae: Biotechnology Advances. (pp. 309-316) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. London, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800776-1.00020-0

  • Himaya, S. W. A. and Kim, Se-Kwon (2015). Marine nutraceuticals. Springer handbook of marine biotechnology. (pp. 995-1014) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Berlin, Germany: Springer . doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-53971-8_43

  • Himaya, S. W. A. and Kim, Se-Kwon (2014). Functional proteins and peptides from fish skin. Seafood processing by-product: trends and applications. (pp. 197-205) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-9590-1_11

  • Kim, Se-Kwon and Himaya, S. W. A. (2013). Edible marine invertebrates: a promising source of nutraceuticals. Marine nutraceuticals: prospects and perspectives. (pp. 243-256) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. CRC Press: CRC Press (Taylor and Francis). doi: 10.1201/b13904-18

  • Himaya, S. W. A. and Kim, Se-Kwon (2013). Marine microalgal metabolites a promising source of pharmaceuticals. Chemistry and pharmacology of naturally occurring bioactive compounds. (pp. 459-469) Boca Raton, FL USA: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b13867

  • Himaya, S. W. A. and Kim, Se-Kwon (2013). Marine symbiotic microorganisms: a new dimension in natural product research. Marine microbiology: bioactive compounds and biotechnological applications. (pp. 295-306) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Wiley-VCH Verlag: Blackwell Wissenschafts-verlag Gmbh. doi: 10.1002/9783527665259.ch18

  • Kim, Se-Kwon and Himaya, S. W. A. (2012). Medicinal Effects of Phlorotannins from Marine Brown Algae. Marine Medicinal Foods Implications and Applications, Macro and Microalgae . (pp. 97-109) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Waltham, MA, United States: Academic Press (Elsevier Press). doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-387669-0.00008-9

  • Kim, Se-Kwon , Himaya, S. W. A. and Kang, Kyong-Hwa (2012). Sea Cucumber Saponins: Realization of Their Anticancer Effects. Marine Pharmacognosy: Trends and Applications. (pp. 119-128) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press (Taylor and Francis). doi: 10.1201/b13868-11

  • Kim, Se-Kwon, Himaya, S. W.A. and Kang, Kyong-Hwa (2012). Sea cucumber saponins: Realization of their anticancer effects. Marine Pharmacognosy: Trends and Applications. (pp. 119-127) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Boca Raton, Fl, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b13868

  • Kim, Se-Kwon and Himaya, S.W.A. (2012). Triterpene Glycosides from Sea Cucumbers and their Biological Activities. Marine Medicinal Foods Implications and Applications - Animals and Microbes. (pp. 297-319) edited by Se-Kwon Kim. Academic Press: Academic Press (Elsevier Press). doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416003-3.00020-2

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.