Expertise & Interests
Vulnerable populations (immigrants, incarcerated, injection drug users, sexually transmitted infections clinic attendees, students, pregnant women and infants)
HIV/AIDS and related Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections (STBBIs)
Clinical/Epidemiological Implementation research
Prevention and pragmatic randomized controlled trials
Applications of newer Bayesian methods in diagnostics
Observational cohort studies
Applications of causal models
Expertise in Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses
Digital health and developing digital innovative solutions (Internet of Things Solutions)
Virtual and augmented reality
After joining McGill University as faculty, I have focused exclusively on developing an implementation research program on point-of-care tests for HIV and related co-infections.
My research programs and strategies have been evaluated in diverse marginalized populations in domestic and international settings: incarcerated populations in the United States; immigrants, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men in Canada; sexually transmitted infections clinic attendees and pregnant women in India; and healthcare workers and township populations of South Africa.
My research mission is to develop novel strategies and programs with rapid point-of-care tests, so as to inform and ultimately help change policies in the country of research, as well as internationally.
My research vision includes developing innovative strategies and digital health interventions. I focus on developing integrated testing solutions with oral HIV rapid tests (which include self-tests) and simultaneous testing strategies using several rapid tests for HIV and co-infections (i.e. Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, CT, GC, Trich) so as to rapidly test, treat and link patients to care, and evaluate biomarker-based and DNA/RNA based multiplex testing strategies for HIV and co-infections. Recently I have extended my research efforts to improve self-testing initiatives for COVID-19 as well.
I develop integrated process and product innovations, and incorporate digital innovations, artificial intelligence, and implementation science with point-of-care diagnostics to serve marginalized populations and various health systems both nationally and internationally.
I have developed, innovated, and evaluated innovative strategies for in-home self-testing for HIV in South Africa, Canada, and India, and multiplexed programs (STI/HIV) synergized with mHealth (mobile health) for HIV related co-infections screening for Canada and India.
I have also been involved in knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation activities. I have conducted more than 30 systematic reviews and meta-analyses. These have helped inform global policy on point-of-care tests; most notably, those on oral HIV rapid tests, HIV self-tests, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis CD4 based point-of-care tests, and multiplexed tests.
Looking into the future, I will develop personalized programs of care for patients with HIV and co-infections focused on genetic screening, resistance testing with point-of-care assays, and wearables, to improve the cascade from access to retention and monitoring in care. I will also cross-boundaries into digital innovations for other infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and for sexual and reproductive health. These programs will be developed for many diverse groups: a) at-risk populations in high- and middle-income countries for HIV and co-infections, b) young women and menstruators, and their infants, in low- and middle-income countries for care through their reproductive years, and c) populations in need of more accessible testing and triage strategies to manage the COVID-19 pandemic