Dr Nitika Pant Pai, MD., MPH., Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor at McGill University’s Department of Medicine, in the Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology, Experimental Medicine, and Infectious Diseases; and a Physician Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center. She is also an elected Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (2018 cohort) and was featured in the list of Canadian Women in Global Health twice – in 2018 and 2020.
Dr. Pant Pai has been working in the field of diagnostics (Dx) for the past 15 years, with research initiatives in four countries & health systems: United States, Canada, South Africa, and India. Her global implementation research program aims to inform domestic and global policies on point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for HIV/STBBIs (Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, HPV, bacterial STIs), particularly as it relates to digital health innovations that expand access, linkage, and retention, and manage the trajectory of care for patients living with these chronic conditions. Recently she has extended her research efforts to improve self-testing initiatives for COVID-19. Dr. Pant Pai develops integrated testing solutions that incorporate digital innovations, implementation science, Bayesian diagnostics, and artificial intelligence (machine learning solutions) in diagnostics. She generates innovative digital diagnostic strategies that plug health service delivery gaps.
Funded by Grand Challenges Canada, since 2009, she and her team developed the world’s first application-based solution for HIV self-testing – the HIVSmart! App – a portable, multilingual, global screening application and platform. It won the ASAP Innovation award from Google, PLOS and Wellcome Trust at the World Bank in 2013. She has evaluated the HIVSmart! strategy in South Africa/Canada successfully in 3650 different at-risk populations in large scale implementation studies.
Her AideSmart! App for co-infections, has been proven in India, and it is now being evaluated in Montreal and New Brunswick.
Her research work is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the FRSQ Quebec, Grand Challenges Canada, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health, MRC SHIP, South African Ministry of Health, and IC IMPACTS Canada.
She has been a recipient of many research and innovation awards: CIHR New Investigator award (2010), FRSQ Chercheur Boursier Junior 2 (2015), FRSQ Senior (2018), Grand Challenges Canada's Stars in Global Health Awards (2011, 2013, 2016), GCC's Transition to scale award (2015), and research excellence awards from McMaster University (Chanchalani Award for Global HIV research) in 2012 and McGill University (Maude Abbott Award for research excellence 2013 and Deanne Nesbitt Award 2010, 2012), among others.
Furthermore, she has contributed to international and national guidelines: ASLM/CDC/PEPFAR’s policies on quality of POCT, WHO’s global HIV self-testing guidelines and on the policy guidance on implementation of HIV self-testing for all low- and middle-income countries.
Medicine (Division of Clinical Epidemiology)
Medicine (Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health)