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About AVRI

The mission of AVRI is to aid in the development of more effective prevention and treatment protocols for animal envenomation (bites or stings from venomous animals) by mediating between involved parties, educating medical personnel and the public in order to reduce morbidity and mortality around the world.

The technology exists to improve pharmacotherapies, treatment protocols and quality of care, at an affordable cost, within the regions suffering most from animal envenomation. The underserved populations afflicted by animal envenomation are in dire need of external support to champion their cause and AVRI is the organization that can serve as their advocate.

Furthermore, AVRI emphasizes animal conservation principles, with regard for all local laws, to minimize human/animal conflicts and prevent ecological imbalances. Venomous animals, while potentially harmful to humans, are also the victims of fear, myth and misinformation often leading to their being killed unnecessarily. These animals play an important role in the natural environment and need to be preserved. Through education and awareness, AVRI hopes to dispel fears, prevent harmful conflicts and preserve biodiversity.
AVRI Executive Board of Directors
Executive Director,
Roy Malleappah

Herpetological Field Operations Specialist; Recipient of Humanitarian Service Awards from the Commando Regiment, Sri Lanka Army, for equipping a physiotherapy gym to help amputees in Sri Lanka, supplying prosthetics, and gel socks, Construction Engineer/General Contractor; Wildlife Conservationist.
Director of Field Operations,
Dana Savorelli

Founder and President of Midwest Tongs, Inc.; Founder of the United States Snakebite Research Team; Founder and Director of Monkey Island Rescue and Zoological Sanctuary, Inc.

Director of Finance and Planning,
Laki Wickremesinghe

President of Wick Associates-
Tax and management consultancy firm in California. Owns and manages various real estate holdings in California. Along with his wife, operates Montessori schools in Southern California. Graduate- University of North London, Waltham Forest College (U.K.), Isipathna College (Sri Lanka)

Institiuto Clodomiro Picado, University of Costa Rica
Antivenom Development and Production Consultants

ICP will be working with AVRI to produce a species, geographic specific antivenom for Sri Lanka and aid in transferring anitvenom development technology. The mission of the Institute is to contribute to solving the problem of envenomings due to animal bites and stings in Costa Rica and other countries, as well as to contribute to national scientific and technological development, by means of a group effort involving research, teaching, social action and production activities. 
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Principal Investigator,
Professor Indika Gawarammana, MBBS, MD, MRCP

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya; Consultant Physician at the Professorial Medical Unit of the Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Senior lecturer in Medicine; Senior lecturer in Clinical Toxicology; Conjoint Senior lecturer in Clinical Toxicology, University of Newcastle, Australia; Director of Clinical Research- South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research  Collaboration
Advisory Board
Envenomation Consultant,
Dr. Kolitha Sellahewa, MBBS, MD, FCCP, FRACP(Hon.), MACEP(Hon.)

Chairman Snakebite Expert Committee SLMA, Past President Ceylon College of Physicians; Wealth of experience and expertise in the management of snake bite in Sri Lanka; Published many peer reviewed articles on snakebite and conducted extensive clinical research on snakebite.
Environmental and Conservation Advisor,
Professor Sarath Kotagama, Ph.D.

Dr. Sarath Kotagama is Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, formerly Professor of Zoology, and is the current President of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS). Prof. Kotagama received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in ornithology. He is famed both in Sri Lanka and overseas for his initiatives on conservation, zoological education, and promotion of field biology. He is the recipient of numerous international awards. Aside from his academic work, Prof. Kotagama was once head of the Department of Wildlife Conservation which oversees all protected wildlands and wildlife in Sri Lanka.

Veterinary Consultant,
Dr. Douglas R. Mader, MS, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine

A graduate from the University of California, Davis and the co-owner the Marathon Veterinary Hospital, a referral hospital in the Conch Republic.  Dr. Mader is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice) and a Fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine. He is the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Zoo, the Key West Aquarium and the Theater of the Sea. He is an international lecturer and has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals, national magazines, and, is the author/editor of the Elsevier publication, Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Mader is the immediate Past President of the NAVC.

Veterinary Consultant,
Dr. Ashoka Dangolla BVSc., Dip. Veterinary Epidemiology, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya. Coordinates activities between Police Kennels Division, Sri Lanka Army and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth relic of Lord Buddha, annual processions of national importance in which elephants participate, with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. Holds positions on the Board of Directors in center for disaster management at the Faculty of Medicine, a member of the board of study in Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS) in Zoology, member of teaching panel in disaster management at the PGIS, and of the MVSc program.

Reptile  Husbandry,
Jim Harrison and Kristen Wiley

Directors, Kentucky Reptile Zoo

Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs
Bhante Dr. Walpola Piyananda

Abbot and President of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, Chief Sangha Nayake of America, President, Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada, President Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka on International Religious Affairs

Public Relations Advisor,
Asoka Yapa

Asoka Yapa trained as a zoologist, was Science Editor with the Canadian Forest Service, spent several years as a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency, and was Director of Communications with several departments of the Government of Canada. He is the principal author of the forthcoming 'An Illustrated Guide to the Mammals of Sri Lanka', a landmark publication that will be the first comprehensive review of the island's mammals since 1935.

Legal Counsel (USA),
Dennis Greene, JD, MBA

Currently in private practice with a concentration in civil litigation. Education: Pepperdine University School of Law, Oxford University, England, United States Air Force Academy; Former instructor of law. Military service in the United States Air Force, achieved the rank of Captain. Dennis served his country for two years as a pilot in the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Korat Airbase, Thailand, where he flew the F 4-E "Phantom II" and for the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron out of Clark Airfield, Philippines, flying the C-130 "Hercules".

Legal Counsel (Sri Lanka),
Nihal Jayamanne, President's Counsel

Member of the Advisory Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum for the Advancement of Human Rights, Chairman- Law College Foundation and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Judicial Infrastructure Maintenance Trust. He was also President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Vice President of SAARCLAW and Member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and the National Police Commission of Sri Lanka. On the Boards of Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd, Sri Lankan Catering (Pvt) Ltd and Seylan Bank PLC. Former Commissioner of the Telecom Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, Member of the Council of Legal Education.