Professor de Silva is Senior Professor and Chair of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, and Consultant Physician, Colombo North Teaching Hospital. He was formerly Dean of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Chairman of the National Research Council of Sri Lanka. and a member of the University Grants Commission.
He holds degrees from the Universities of Colombo and Oxford. Professor de Silva has wide research interests, and holds several editorial appointments, including a Deputy Editorship of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has served on committees in health and research organizations including the WHO, Wellcome Trust and National Institute of Health Research, UK. He is a recipient of the titular national honour Vidyajyothi, the nation’s highest award for Science.