Dr Amitha Hewavitharana

Honorary Senior Fellow

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Senior Research Fellow

Room 7048, Level 7, Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence Phone:+61 7 334-61898; Fax: +61 7 334-61999 Email: a.hewavitharana@pharmacy.uq.edu.au

Amitha obtained her B.Sc. from the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka), M.Sc. from the university of Victoria (B.C., Canada) and PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Alberta (Canada). Following that, she held brief research positions at the Massey University (New Zealand) and NZ Leather Research Institute. She then held a research scientist position at the NZ Dairy Research Institute (NZDRI, currently Fonterra Research) for 4 years before moving to Australia in 1997.

In Australia, she commenced her career as a lecturer in analytical chemistry at the University of Western Sydney, and then at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) until 2001. Following that, she held research positions in CSIRO (food science) and in QHSS (investigative chemistry) before joining the school of pharmacy in 2004.

Research Interests

  • Research Interests
    Please refer to the complete list of publications, in the link below, to get an idea of Dr Hewavitharana's research focus: https://akhcv.wordpress.com Stemming from PhD in analytical chemistry, Dr Hewavitharana's research is focused on solving fundamental analytical problems as well as developing analytical methods for a variety of applications such as: metal speciation (free/ionized calcium, and magnesium) and metabolite analysis (eg. pseudouridine, paracetamols, endorphins, dynorphins) in biological fluids, water and waste water, nutrients (eg. vitamins), antinutrients (eg. lysiniolanine) and antioxidants (eg. carotenes, tocopherols, tocotrienols) in dairy foods and meat products, nutraceuticals in tropical fruits (eg. carotenes, quercetins, mangiferin, anticancer compounds) psychoactive compunds (THC), marker compounds such as isoprostanes, sinistrin, fluconazole, pindolol, p-amino hippuric acid and creatinine, drug discovery (antibiotics and anti-cancer compounds from marine sponge bacteria and tropical fruit), drug delivery (dendrimers) and drug assay (BAY-11-7082, paracetamol, endorphin), Disease markers (eg. Sarcosine in prostate cancer), Fat and Water soluble analogues of vitamin D, Trace metals in food, Ion suppression effects in mass spectrometry, Challenges in method validation. Over the past 31 years, her research outcomes were achieved using a wide variety of instrumentation such as, HPLC -MS-MS, -PDA, -fluorescence, -EC etc, IC, GC-MS, HPCE, AAS, NIR, FTIR, FIA. Her interests also include method validation and laboratory quality assurance in line with ISO 17025. She provides her expertise as a technical assessor to NATA and IANZ, in ISO accreditation of food and water laboratories in Australia and New Zealand.


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Chemistry, University of Alberta


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Hewavitharana, A. K. and Gomes, F. P. (2015). Cholecalciferol: Properties and Determination. Encyclopedia of Food and Health. (pp. 42-46) Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier . doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-384947-2.00148-3

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Dr Amitha Hewavitharana is not currently available to take on new students.

Completed Supervision