​Our Team

Dr Zainab Samad

Chair, Department of Medicine & Founding Director, CITRIC-Health Data Science Centre

Dr Zainab Samad, a proud alumnus of the Medical College’s MBBS programme, is the Principal Investigator of the grant and the Founding Director of the newly established Health Data Science Centre. She has served as full-time faculty at Duke University where she worked with renowned clinical researchers and a large multi-disciplinary team to leverage local data to inform long-term outcomes of valvular heart disease. Dr Samad returned to Pakistan and has since been passionately pursuing a university-wide initiative to combine and make use of the University’s health data to estimate disease patterns and outcomes in the country.

Dr Zahra Hoodhboy

Assistant Professor, Paediatrics & Child Health

Dr Zahra Hoodbhoy is an alumnus of the AKU Medical College's MBBS programme and a final year doctoral student in Public Health. Her research interest lies in technology and artificial intelligence in improving maternal and child health indicators in low-resource settings. As part of the data science initiative, Dr Hoodbhoy and her team are leading the capacity-building arm that aims to develop a health data science program in Pakistan.  She will also work with the larger team to collate data from internal and external sources for enabling data-driven solutions for health issues unique to Pakistan and other LMIC contexts. ​

Ms Mushyada Ali

Manager, Medicine

Ms Mushyada Ali has over 14 years of experience in Information Technology with a background in business intelligence, business process reengineering, and software development. She completed her Bachelors in Engineering in Computer and Information Systems and is currently pursuing a Masters in Data Science from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).

As part of the project team, Ms Mushyada is supporting the collation of the internal data landscape. She is also looking at the data sets available in the university to understand and broaden the use of available data in the organization.​​

Dr M Imran Nisar

Assistant Professor, Paediatrics & Child Health

Dr Nisar completed his MBBS from Karachi University in 2005 and MSc in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from the Aga Khan University in 2011 and is currently completing his Ph.D. in population and public health from AKU. His area of work includes infectious diseases, maternal, newborn & child health, vaccine-preventable diseases, early childhood growth, development, and nutrition. He has various publications on Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimation with the Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation (IHME), Seattle, USA. 

Dr Imran Nisar has co-led multiple surveys for COVID-19 in the district east of Karachi during the pandemic year and is a principal investigator for a recently completed Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded study exploring transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Karachi.

Ms Sana Mahmood

Director, Strategy & Advancement

Ms Sana is Director, Strategy, Medical College and Lecturer, Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University (AKU).  Sana has a deep interest in systems-level strategic planning and has worked across AKU's education and health portfolios to develop roadmaps to advance priorities within the context of Pakistan's landscape.  Sana holds an Ed.M. in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. Honors and B.Ed from Queen's University in Canada. ​

Dr Aamir Abbas

Project Manager, CITRIC-Health Data Science Centre

Dr Aamir Abbas is a medical doctor, epidemiologist, and data scientist. He completed his MBBS from Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan. Immediately after completing his house job Dr Abbas did a Master's in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. Dr Abbas is a Fulbright Scholar and as part of this scholarship, he completed his second Masters in Health Care Analytics and Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. Dr Abbas has more than 15 publications to his credit. ​

​Dr ​​​Hasan Nawaz Tahir

Senior Instructor, Community Health Sciences

Dr Hasan Nawaz Tahir is a public health professional with expertise in digital health. He has graduated from Baqai Medical University with MBBS degree following which he completed his residency (FCPS) in Community medicine (public health) from Aga Khan University. He has been involved in grant writing for digital health and data science interventions in the context of LMIC's, the development of digital health solutions ranging from geo-spatial mapping, e​lec​​tronic disease surveillance system, hospital digitization, monitoring, and evaluation of digital health interventions. 

As part of the data science initiative, Dr. Hasan is involved in the development of the curriculum for the MS in Health Data Science.  He also conducted a feasibility survey to assess the need for the MS programme.


Ms Salma Tajuddin

Senior Instructor, Medicine

Salma Tajuddin is a data scientist, working as research faculty in the department of medicine. She holds a master's in computing from SZABIST. She has completed a range of Ph.D. courses from IBA including deep learning, stochastic modeling, and probabilistic reasoning.  She has been associated with IBA's Artificial Intelligence Lab. She has worked on medical datasets at Aga Khan University Hospital, using natural language processing and spatiotemporal analysis. She has also worked with clustering algorithms, predictive modeling, image processing, and network analysis. Ms Salma has worked in the industry on projects for various international companies and has​​ taught computing and analytics courses at IBA, AKUH, and SZABIST.​


Dr Bilal Ahmed Usmani

Assistant Professor & Section Head Epidemiology & Biostatistics, CHS​

Dr Bilal Ahmed Usmani is a mathematical modeler with an emphasis on infectious diseases epidemiology. Inspired by patterns and periodic phenomena in nature, he has gained rich experience in applications of modeling techniques on the analysis of big data, especially data pertaining to rare events. ​

Dr Bilal has been a part of multiple curriculum design and research committees in government institutions and will play a substantial role in the research and capacity building of the data science professionals from the initiative.

Ms Salima Karani

Assistant Manager, Medicine

Ms Karani has been associated with the institution for the last ten years and with the department since the year 2019. Being a graduate of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, AKU, and the University of Nottingham, UK, she has served in diverse healthcare domains, including critical care nursing and management, quality improvement in healthcare, and administration. In the current role, she is serving as the Health Data Science's Initiative administrator that involves research administration, hiring, communication, record maintenance, and overall execution of the project.​​​​

Dr ​​​Kausar Parveen

Senior Research Coordinator, CITRIC-Health Data Science Centre

Dr Kausar Perveen's interest in the field of data analytics for healthcare was instituted when she was working as a Fullstack developer for a social media website for collecting family health history and predicting the risk of cancer. She believes Data Science provides an elegant solution to most problems in the healthcare industry and is committed to working on those solutions. Her interest lies in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Natural Language Processing.

Dr ​​​Ibrahim Munaf

Research Associate, CITRIC-Health Data Science Centre​

Dr Ibrahim completed his MBBS from The Aga Khan University in 2021 and is currently supporting the project as a Research Associate. 
Dr Ibrahim is optimistic that the insights we glean from this first-ever Health Data Science Initiative shall go a long way in enabling quality care and targeted interventions.


Dr Afshan Anwar

Research Associate, CITRIC-Health Data Science Centre

Dr Afshan Anwar has been associated with the institution for the last 3 years. She has completed her bachelor's in BDS (Dentistry) from Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine and later did her Masters in MSc HPM. She is currently serving as a research associate in the Department of Medicine for the Health Date Science initiative.​

Senior Advisors 

Dr ​​​Adil Haider​

Dean, Medical College

Dr Haider is the Dean of the Aga Khan University Medical College and a Professor of Surgery and Community Health Sciences. He is a Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon. Dr Haider is one of the world's foremost authorities on healthcare disparities and has previously created technology-based solutions to mitigate inequities in care in the United States. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers and has been PI on extramural grants worth more than 14 million USD including many projects on health data science. He continues to have an active R01 grant and is the Associate Editor of JAMA Surgery. 

Prior to being appointed Dean on Jan 1, 2019, he was the Director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health a joint initiative of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr Haider has won numerous awards for his research and advocacy work including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He will spend 5% of the total professional effort of which all will be in-kind contributions.

Dr ​​​Zulfiqar Bhutta

Professor, Pediatrics & Global Health

Dr Bhutta obtained his MBBS from the University of Peshawar and his Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

Dr Bhutta will provide​ access to large-scale population-based data from national and subnational surveys in South-Central Asia on maternal, child health, and nutrition as well as causes of death.​

Dr Sameen Siddiqi​

Professor & Chair, Community Health Sciences

Dr Siddiqi has a fellowship in internal medicine, a master’s degree and fellowship in public health from the UK, and a doctoral degree from Heidelberg, Germany.

His research focuses on health systems strengthening and development, health system governance, and health policy.

Dr Siddiqi is serving as a CO-PI, advisor on the health system and health policy for the Data Science Initiative.​


Dr Asad Latif​

Chair, Department of Anaesthesiology

Dr Latif is a graduate of The Aga Khan University Medical College and obtained a Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2012, focusing on Health Systems and International Health.

Aside from his active clinical responsibilities, his research interests lie in patient safety and quality improvement, with an emphasis on preventing hospital-acquired infections, improving patient outcomes and communication, and health system strengthening, particularly in developing countries. 

Ms Farhana Alarakhiya​

Chief Innovation Officer

Ms Farhana is a veteran in the world of Big Data analytics and AI and has spent the last decade building SaaS solutions that enable transformative outcomes by unlocking the power of data. She considers herself to be a DRIP destroyer, eradicating the problem for many of being “Data-Rich but Insight Poor"

As the Chief Data Innovation Officer at AKU, Ms Farhana is focused on coupling data with smart driven people to deliver social, economic, and environmental impact that can change the world.​​


Dr Ali Mokdad

Professor Health Metric Science, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington 

Dr Mokdad received his BS in Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his Ph.D. in Quantitative Epidemiology from Emory University. He is a ​PI for the monitoring and evaluation of the Salud Mesoamerican Initiative where he provides independent evaluation for the public-private partnership between Mesoamerican countries, private foundations, and bilateral donors. During his time at the CDC, he served on the International Health Programme, division of nutrition and physical activity, the national immunization program, the national center for chronic diseases prevention and health promotion. He has authored over 450 articles and has several awards. He will provide input on all aims. 


Dr Rumi Chunara

Dr Rumi Chunara is an Associate Professor at NYU, jointly appointed at the Tandon School of Engineering (in Computer Science) and the School of Global Public Health (in Biostatistics/Epidemiology). Her Ph.D. is from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and her research group focuses on developing computational and statistical approaches for acquiring, integrating, and using data to improve population-level public health. She is an MIT TR35, NSF Career, Facebook Research, and Max Planck Sabbatical award, winner.​

Dr  Ghazala Sadiq

Dr Ghazala Sadiq obtained 2 Masters and a Ph.D. from MIT in Aeronautics/Astronautics and Operations Research, and after two and a half decades of professional experience, she decided to go back to school again to upgrade her skills in the new sciences that had emerged.  She received a Masters's in Advanced Analytics from North Carolina State University. ​  

Dr Ghazala worked with Allscripts for 8 years where she helped make the EMR data analytics-ready, performed analytics, and helped data partners with their studies.  
Her skills include Operations Research, Predictive Modeling, Data Analytics, and AI.