Nitika Pai, MD, PhD

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine

Nitika Pai, MD, PhD
Contact Information

5252 DeMaisonneuve West, #3D.56
Montreal, QC H4A 3S9

Email address: 
nitika.pai [at]
514-934-1934 ext 44729
Global Health
Infectious Diseases

Dr. Pai is a tenured Associate Professor at McGill University, in the Department of Medicine, Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, and research scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.  Her research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, Grand Challenges Canada, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, among others.  She is the recipient of many research and innovation awards, including the CIHR New Investigator Award (2010), the ASAP Innovation Award (2013), the Maude Abbott Award for Research Excellence at McGill University (2013), GCC’s Stars in Global Health Award (2011 & 2013) and Transition to Scale Award (2015), and the FRQS Research-Scientist Salary Awards (2014, 2018, 2022).

In 2018, she was elected as a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

She serves technical advisory groups of the WHO, UNAIDS, FIND, CDC, PEPFAR, and ASLM, PSI among others, and has advised the Office of US Congress.

Her work has been featured in the national and international media: The EconomistMacleansThe Globe and MailThe Montreal GazetteTimes NowTimes, CTV, CBC, La Presse, Radio Canada, among others.

Current research: 
  • Global interdisciplinary research program at McGill is focused on innovation, implementation, and impact, with rapid point-of-care diagnostics for HIV and other sexually transmitted blood borne infections (STBBIs). She also synergizes qualitative research, meta-analyses, mathematical modelling and methodology in her research.
  • Develops and incorporates innovation, implementation science, and artificial intelligence to generate solutions aimed to plug health service delivery gaps across all upper, middle and low- income settings
  • Informs domestic and global policy on diagnostics and linkage programs for HIV/STBBIs
  • Strives to generate clinical, public health and social impact.

Innovations: Two flagship innovative programs owned by McGill University and Dr Pant Pai:

  • HIVSmart!:  app-based HIV self-testing program of care from access to linkage, evaluated in South Africa and Canada
  • AideSmart!: an app-based strategy for point-of-care testing by health care workers, being evaluated in India and Canada
Selected publications: 

PubMed Listing

Trainees and Students:

Angela Karellis, MSc, PhD – Project Manager, Former Postdoctoral Fellow
Angela is managing both a Canada-wide AideSmart! study and Canada-wide HIVSmart! clinical trial, evaluating these app-based multiplex and HIV testing strategies, respectively.

Apoorva Anand, BDS, MSc – Project Manager
Apoorva is leading a COVIDSmart CARE! clinical trial in South Africa, as well as curating a live systematic review for COVID-19 self-testing.

Roni Deli-Houssein, MSc, MD – Research Assistant
Roni has previously worked on HIVSmart! in its infancy and is currently developing and assisting in the evaluation of AnkaSmart! – a sexual and reproductive health internet of things (IoT) solution.

Fio Vialard, MSc – MSc Candidate
Fio is contributing to systematic reviews on CT/GC self-testing and COVID-19 self-testing, as well as overseeing the AideSmart! app-based multiplex testing evaluation in India.

Cindy Leung Soo – MSc Candidate
Cindy is working with secondary data from previous HIVSmart! evaluations and using Bayesian regression to predict HIV infection in the South African context.

Ashlyn Beecroft – MSc Candidate 
Ashlyn is transforming the HIVSmart! program into a Canadian indigenous focused iteration, to be used in its Canada-wide clinical trial, as well as drafting an updated systematic review on HIV self-testing.

Elizabeth (Liz) Woolhouse – Junior Research Assistant 
Liz is compiling content for the AnkaSmart! platform, while producing a qualitative systematic review for sexual and reproductive health digital interventions, in parallel.

Olivia Vaikla – Laboratory Coordinator
Olivia provides administrative support within the laboratory, and is contributing to the development and evaluation of AnkaSmart!.


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