College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Physics
Dr. Rangika Hikkaduwa Koralege grew up in Sri Lanka and obtained her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on investigating the oxidative behavior of fullerene colloidal suspensions in water to evaluate the potential health and environmental risks of fullerenes. Following doctoral studies, she joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University as a postdoctoral fellow to work on targeted delivery of therapeutic proteins using polymeric nanoparticles. She joined the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Western Carolina University in fall 2017. Her current research is focused on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for biomedical applications and health and environmental impacts of water suspended fullerenes. She is a member of first-generation advocates at WCU. When not in the classroom or laboratory, she enjoys singing, listening to music, and baking.
Dr. Rangika Hikkaduwa Koralege’s teaching interests are primarily in the fields of physical and materials chemistry. She also enjoys teaching general chemistry. She likes bringing her research interests into the classroom by project-based learning activities. She is strongly committed to teach students through a multidimensional approach. Her teaching goal is to encourage students to understand the key concepts, and to develop independence, self-efficacy, and self-reliance as they tackle the challenging and wonderful world of chemistry.
Dr. Hikkaduwa Koralege is broadly interested in applications of engineered nanoparticles as versatile tools in the field of biomedical materials, particularly in the areas of biomedical imaging and targeted delivery of therapeutics. She is also exploring the potential health and environmental risks of nanomaterials. She has extensive experience working with fullerene colloidal suspensions, protein nanoparticles including, synthesis, characterization, surface functionalization, and cellular targeting. She is excited to mentor undergraduates and graduate students in all areas of her research.