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Keynotes

Prof. Deepika Udagama

Prof. Deepika Udagama , Professor of Law, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya is an academic internationally recognized for her expertise on human rights law as well as for her human rights advocacy work. She has also served as the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka from 2015 to 2020. Prof. Udagama commenced her academic career at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and served as the Head of the Department of Law before moving to the University of Peradeniya. At University of Perdeniya she helped establish a new Department of Law in 2009 including the launching of a cutting-edge interdisciplinary curriculum. Prof. Udagama was the Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, the establishment of which she spearheaded 30 years ago in 1991. Internationally, she has served the UN in several capacities including as Sri Lanka’s Alternate Member to the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights(1998-2001), and also the UN Sub-Commission’s Co-Special Rapporteur on Globalisation and its Impact on Human Rights.

Prof. Udagama has specialized in the field of International Human Rights Law and holds LLB and LLM Degrees from the University of Colombo and LLM and JSD (Doctor of Juridical Science) Degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Along the way she has taught overseas, contributed to a number of research projects, journal articles and book chapters and her work has been recognized locally and internationally with a number of honors and awards including a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award tenable at the Harvard Human Rights Centre.

Prof. Brad Day

Prof. Brad Day, MSU Foundation Professor, is the Director of the Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate Program in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU). He has served as the associate chair for Research in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. He is a member of the MSU Plant Resilience Institute. He joined the faculty at MSU as an assistant professor in 2006 and was promoted to professor at MSU in 2017.

His lab focuses on the molecular-genetic and biochemical processes associated with the interaction between plants and pathogens. His group was the first to identify a link between the function of the actin cytoskeleton and gene-for-gene resistance. Research in Day’s lab is supported by The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (OVPRGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).