Dr. Elagu V. Elaguppillai was born in Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Physics with a First Class Honours from the University of Ceylon. He subsequently obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees, in 1968 and 1970 respectively, from the Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario. His graduate research thesis was in the application of radioactive tracer techniques in medical diagnosis and therapy of skeletal disorders. Professor Elaguppillai taught Medical and Biophysics at the University of Penang, Malaysia, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia and University of Toronto. He developed a number of radioactive tracer techniques for the diagnosis a variety of medical disorders, such as iron deficiency anaemia among children, placenta praevia, thyroid disorders, blood clotting and splenomegaly. He served in a number of IAEA panels on nuclear science teaching in medicine and agriculture. He joined the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1975 as a Senior Scientific Advisor in Radiation Protection in uranium mines and mills, nuclear reactors and in radioactive waste management.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Elaguppillai was active in the investigation of health effects of low doses of ionizing radiation. He published several reports and analyses on the health effects of low doses of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. He was a member of the Canadian scientific team at the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) from 1992-1996. Professor Elaguppillai has developed a graduate course (75.528) in Radiation Protection at Department of Physics, Carleton University, Ottawa, and has been the instructor for the course since 1992. He joined the Institute for Research on Environment and Economy (IREE) in August 1997 to conduct an interdisciplinary research on the biological effects of low doses of ionizing radiation.