Sashika Kushlani Jayatilleke had her primary education at Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and her secondary education at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where she was appointed a prefect.
She received her MBBS degree in 1992 from the University of Colombo, with a Distinction in Microbiology. Subsequently she obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Microbiology from the PGIM, Colombo in 1998, followed by the MD in Medical Microbiology in 2001 from the same institution. She was board certified as a Consultant Microbiologist in January 2003. She completed her overseas training as an Honorary Specialist Registrar at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK and as a Locum for service Specialist Registrar in Microbiology at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.
On her return to Sri Lanka she was appointed Consultant Microbiologist at the Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala, followed by a posting to the National Institute of Health Sciences, Kalutara, where she also acted as the offsite consultant to the Kalutara General Hospital, Panadura Base Hospital and the Horana General Hospital. She has been the Consultant Microbiologist at the Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital since 2009.
Dr Jayatilleke has many years of experience in clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, bacteriology diagnostic services and laboratory administration. This extensive expertise has been recognized both nationally and internationally. In Sri Lanka, she is Member of the National Advisory Committee for combating Antimicrobial Resistance. She is a trained assessor for Accreditation of Medical Laboratories under ISO 15189 and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee and the expert committee to develop specific criteria of the Accreditation Board of Sri Lanka. She acts as the secretary to the Technical Committee for National Laboratory Based surveillance of antibiotic resistance and is a member of its steering committee. She is a member of the Task Force in Microbiology. Internationally, she is a Member of the Technical Steering Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva and a Member of the Guideline Development Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva.
She has been a loyal member of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for long period of time serving as the Joint Honorary Secretary in 2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 and as a member of the council over many years. She is a trainer and examiner for the Diploma and MD examinations and is a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology of the PGIM where she is presently the coordinator of the post-MD training programme. She has taken an active role in her profession by participating in the work of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, where she served as an Assistant Secretary. She is currently the Chairperson of the Expert Group on Healthcare Quality and Safety of the SLMA.
She is active in research in infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance and infection control and has 25 publications and 45 presentations to her credit. In this regard, she won a President’s Award for Scientific Publication in 2012. She is an Investigator for the Asian Network for Surveillance of Resistant Pathogens (ANSORP). She has supervised many MD projects and has served as a member of the Board of Examiners for MPhil and PhD examinations.
Her interests are not restricted to medicine and microbiology. She is a pianist who has passed the Grade 8 examination for the piano and she is a member of the Ethics Review Committee of Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda.