Hasini Jayatilaka

Hasini Jayatilaka is a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University who studies mechanisms of relapse and metastasis in childhood cancers. Hasini grew up in Sri Lanka and pursued her B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Hasini discovered a novel mechanism that causes cancer cells to break away from tumors and metastasize.

01    CHANGE: A change you enacted with intention, or one that came from the outside.

I decided to switch off notification for emails on my phone. This was to help me to disconnect from work when I wasn’t supposed to be working such as spending time with a loved one. The change has allowed me to be more in the moment without hearing the beeps from my phone.

02    SIMPLE NOURISHMENT: What simply satisfied you? Maybe it was a ten-minute phone call with a friend. Maybe it was a perfectly timed bath. Maybe it was a sandwich.

Having brunch with two of my best friends and catching up after a challenging few months. Being surrounded by familiarity simply nourished me.

03    NEW TO YOU: What did you do for the first time, as a beginner or simply with a new sense of openness?

Made a Sri Lankan dessert that I had never attempted to make before because I thought it was too difficult. After watching many YouTube videos and going over the procedure many times in my head, I successfully made Wattalapam (Cardamom spiced coconut custard)...And it was delicious.

04    ABUNDANCE: What was plentiful?

Love and support from my partner.

05    LOSS: What was lost, what are you mourning? Maybe it is minor. Maybe it was more of a simplification than a “loss.”

Losing confidence in someone I thought I could always count on.

06    MYSTERY: Describe a mystery from the last month. What happened that you can’t explain?

I am unable to find my favorite T-shirt even though I ransacked my whole closet. I’m certain I didn’t take it with me while traveling.

07    FRONT BURNER LIST: What was read, watched, seen, listened to? Any colors, tastes, sensorial details that stand out?

Watching the Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. I felt ...sadness for what she went through / Admiration for her bravery / Anger for her loss of self and innocence / Gratitude that she came forward and shared her harrowing story which inspired others to share their own.

08    PROPORTION: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe, that you are part of a greater whole. An outdoor shower in the mountains. A particular drive at night. Reading a certain quotation at the right time.

An early morning drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Driving through the different landscapes, especially through the valleys, made me think about how much more there is to explore in the world.


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Wattalapam (cardamom spiced coconut custard)

Wattalapam (cardamom spiced coconut custard)