The Department of Pathology was established in 1997 under the able leadership of Professor Ranjith Withana who was the founder Head and Chair of the department. Over the past few years the number of permanent academic and non-academic staff members has increased to a total of twenty nine.

The main functions of the department are providing quality education for undergraduates and extending histopathology and haematology services to the professorial units of the Colombo South Teaching Hospital.

The word Pathology is derived from two Greek words,

  • Pathos - Suffering
  • Logos - Study

"Pathology is thus, scientific study of structure and function of the body in diseases".

For the student of any system of medicine, the discipline of Pathology forms a vital bridge between the initial learning phase of preclinical sciences and the final phase of clinical subjects.

Sir William Osler once said;
"Your practice of medicine will be good as your understanding of Pathology".

The subdivisions of Pathology are:

  1. Anatomical pathology - used synonymously with histopathology/surgical pathology. The study includes gross or macroscopic changes, and the changes detected by light and electron microscopy.
    • Histopathology
      Deals with the study of tissues removed from the living body (taught under 2 headings, general and systemic pathology)
    • Autopsy Pathology
      This includes the study of organs and tissues removed at pathological postmortem to determine the underlying cause of death.
    • Cytopathology/Cytology
      This includes study of cells shed off from lesions (exfoliative cytology) and fine needle aspiration (FNAC) of superficial and deep-seated lesions for diagnosis.
  2. Haematology
    Haematology deals with the diseases of blood.
  3. Chemical Pathology
    Analysis of biochemical constituents of blood, urine, semen, CSF, and other body fluids is included in this branch of pathology.




Our mission is to provide quality education for undergraduate students and to be ranked as one of the best university departments, in the South Asian region.





Participation in Undergraduate Training Programmes

We participate in the MBBS degree programme.

  • MBBS
  • B.Sc. (Human Biology) - General and Special
  • B.Sc. (Nursing)
  • B.Sc. (Pharmacy)
  • B.Sc. (Medical Laboratory Sciences)


Participation in Postgraduate Training Programmes

The department of pathology at University of Sri Jayewardenepura is a training centre recognized by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, (PGIM) University of Colombo, for the following training programmes:

  • Certificate Course in Basic Laboratory Sciences
  • Diploma in Histopathology
  • Diploma in Haematology
  • Diploma in Chemical Pathology
  • MD (Histopathology)
  • MD (Haematology)

Trainees for these programmes are allocated annually to the Department by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine.


Participation in Other Courses / Training Programmes

Postgraduate trainees of the Diploma in Legal Medicine programme undergo a 6 month rotation in the Department of Pathology.


Teaching Activities

Lectures, tutorials, practicals, CAL activities and small group discussions are conducted regularly by the academic staff members for the above mentioned degree programmes.



The Department is located on the ground floor of the Anatomy Block and consists of a student laboratory, pathology museum, tutorial room and a seminar room for the undergraduate students. The student laboratory is equipped with multimedia facilities, microscopes and an image projection system.

Two other laboratories for work in histopathology and haematology specialties are available, as well as a common computer room.



Services to the Community

  • Laboratory Services
    The department provides Pathology and Haematology services to the Professorial Units of Colombo South Teaching hospital.

    Annual sample load
    Histopathology - 2,500 samples per year
    Cytopathology - 2,000 samples per year
    Haematology - 1,500 samples per year

  • Clinics
    Regular clinics are conducted at Colombo South Teaching Hospital for Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology and haematological disorders.
    All consultant Histopathologists and Consultant Haematologists at the Department of Pathology contribute to the service component in addition to their academic workload.



Dr. I. Prematillake - was awarded the commonwealth scholarship in 2010 (United Kingdom)

Dr. B. Seneviratne - received a university research grant - 2011 (for the research project titled "Impact of the quality of formalin on receptor studies of surgical specimens removed for carcinoma of breast")