Combating Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases in Clinical Trials by Harnessing Innovative Technologies

January 20, 2016 - January 20, 2016 | 12:00 - 13:00 Add to Calendar
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About This Event

This webinar will highlight the challenges of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as MTB, HIV, MRSA, and Ebola.

This presentation will also provide case studies on how innovative technologies like NGS are utilized to provide a deeper understanding of the pathogen and drug resistance pathways and thus provide better insights into developing diagnostics and therapies that are efficacious against the target pathogen and its resistant variants with improved safety.


Ayaskant Pany, MD
Tropical Diseases/Microbiology

Dr. Pany is the Sr. Medical Laboratory Director for the Q2 Solutions Laboratories located at Edinburgh, UK & Centurion, South Africa. He also serves as the Scientific Advisor for Microbiology/Tropical Diseases as part of the Medical and Scientific Affairs teams of Q2 Solutions. His primary responsibility include scientific and technical management of the laboratories and its employees. He also oversees developmental activities for TB and microbiology at Q2 Solutions. Dr. Pany started with Quintiles Clinical Trials Laboratory, Mumbai, in charge of the setting up and operation of bacteriology/molecular biology and mycobacteriology laboratories at Mumbai and Centurion facilities, respectively. Dr. Pany has an MD in microbiology from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute and an MBBS from MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, Odisha. He holds a life membership of Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists (IAMM) and is also registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). He has more than 17 years of experience in the medical field in various capacities – scientist, academician, clinician and surgeon with around 7 years within the clinical trial diagnostic industry. His areas of special interest are infectious diseases clinical trials especially tuberculosis, laboratory management, biosafety, assay development and diagnostics. He has experience as a Research Scientist and coordinator for R&D services at R&D Division (advanced genomics, proteomics and molecular biology), Super Religare Laboratories Ltd., Mumbai, and as Lecturer, Mycobacteriology Section, Department of Microbiology, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore. He has presented and published original research and reviews in reputed conferences and journals. Dr. Pany also served as a College of American Pathologists (CAP) Inspector in the fields of microbiology, immunology and molecular biology.

Sorika van Niekerk, MSc, UP, SA
Senior Director/General Manager, Central Laboratories South Africa

Sorika van Niekerk joined the Clinical Research Industry in 1999 and her expertise covers all therapeutic areas with a specific focus on anti-infective diseases.  Whilst being Executive Director Clinical operations she was the main driver behind developing and implementing a strategy to expand Clinical Operations to the rest of Africa.  The outcome of this strategy was the opening of office in both East and West Africa.  She has a passion for development of people and as such she took responsibility for development of an apprenticeship within the South African context with the aim to increase the availability of well –trained individuals within the clinical trial industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

She participates as a member on various Industry led initiatives / committees such as the South African Clinical Research Association, Industry Clinical Trial Focus Group comprising of CRO, Pharma and Site representatives, Department of Health Import /export permit committee etc.  She also acts as a mentor and promoter of post graduate students specific to the field of research at various Academic institutions. 

In 2012 she moved into the role of Senior Director Laboratory Operations & General Manager,  for Sub-Saharan Africa with a special interest and focused strategy to increase the infectious disease footprint for the laboratory and establish the laboratory as a Centre of Excellence for Infectious diseases within the region.   Sorika continues to focus on the development and expansion of clinical trial & laboratory infrastructures in Sub Saharan Africa.