Prof. Vajira H.W. Dissanayake, Director, Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was awarded the Yuji Murata Endowment Award – 2016 by the Asia and Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AOFOG) for the research work carried out by his team and the research paper titled “The microbiome of the placenta in preeclampsia supports the role of bacteria in the multifactorial aetiology of pre-eclampsia” published in the Journal of Obsteterics and Gynaecology Research 2015;41(5):662-9. doi: 10.1111/jog.12619. Epub 2014 Dec 10.
This award is awarded to the best paper in the field of fetal and maternal medicine published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research (JOGR) in 2015 and 2016. The other members of the research team were Dr. Ranmali Amarasekara, Prof. Hemantha Senanayake, Vidya Jayothi Prof. Rohan W Jayasekara. This paper described the discovery of bacterial colonies inside the placenta of a subgroup of women with pre-eclampsia for the first time in the world. Pre-eclampsia is a devastating condition that results in the sever maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality around the world.
The featured image shows the award being presented to Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake at the Opening Ceremony of the XXV Congress of AOFOG held in Hong Kong on 16 June 2017. The picture shows from (left to right) Minister for Health, Hong Kong – Dr. Ko Wing-man (seated); President of AOFOG – Prof. Joo-Hyun Nam (Korea); Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, Editor in Chief Emeritus of JOGR – Prof. Yuji Murata (Japan) (after whom the award is named), and Secretary General of the AOFOG Prof. Wilfredo Sumpaico (Philiphines).