The team members at The Global Health Network Asia are passionate about research and improving the research landscape in their settings.

Critical to their role is designing and setting up a range of initiatives that strengthen the research culture, the skill base, and further career development opportunities for researchers. Giving an insight into their backgrounds and roles, please get to know the coordinators better by reading their bios below. If you would like to become a Regional Coordinator, please contact

Aliya Naheed

Scientist & Health Systems Specialist, Non Communicable Diseases, Nutrition Research Division, icddr,b

Dr. Aliya Naheed is a medical doctor and public health researcher with extensive training in epidemiology, public health, behavioral intervention, health system and policy research. She has a strong background in disease surveillance, laboratory based research, randomised control trial, experimental designs, case control study, longitudinal cohort, large scale nationwide surveys, qualitative study and economic evaluations. Her current research interests primarily focus on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases through strengthening the local health systems.

Salvia Zeeshan

Regional Manager - Asia, The Global Health Network

Dr. Salvia Zeeshan is a medical doctor and public health researcher. She received her medical training from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, and her Master in Public Health and postdoctoral fellowship from the Johns Hopkins University, USA. She has worked as a physician in India and has been supporting research and policy work since she got her public health and research methods training. In the past few years, she has developed or managed short-term global health projects in vaccine hesitancy (India), menstrual hygiene management (Sierra Leone), COVID-19 disruptions in children's health and education (Papua New Guinea) and improving access to care for women and children (Uganda). In her current role with The Global Health Network, she has been coordinating the regional team activities related to research capacity development and knowledge sharing in the Asia region. 

Saimul Islam

Senior Research Investigator, Non communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

Md. Saimul Islam is a statistician with more than 8 years of experience in public health research including noncommunicable disease, nutrition, and mental health. Mr. Islam focuses on the application of advanced biostatistics techniques, the designing of research methodology for epidemiological research, and national surveys for Non Communicable diseases. He is the co-principal investigator of the 2nd National Micronutrient Survey in Bangladesh 2019-2020. Besides, he is the co-investigators of several research projects on hypertension, diabetes, dementia, mental health, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Mr. Islam has already published ten research articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is working to integrate data science in public health research areas to drive better health outcomes and policy decisions. Under the Global Health Network-Asia, he will coordinate Data Science activities in Asia which is an open-access knowledge exchange hub for anyone working in data science, data management, data sharing, and data access within health research.

AKM Emdadul Haque

Assistant Coordination Manager, Non-Communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

AKM Emdadul Haque has agile project management experience for at least 20 years in managing large projects related to health systems research in national and international organisations. He has contributed to scientific management collaborating with national and international organisations. Besides working under the administrative wing of icddr,b, he has managerial service experience in Bangladesh Computer Council under the Ministry of Science and Information Technology and Bangladesh Korea Institute of Information and Communication Technology. Currently, he is coordinating the administrative activities of TGHN Asia and will be working with the administrative team in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and Caribbean region.

Mohammad Shawkat Jahangir

Data Management Officer, Non-Communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

Shawkat joined icddr,b as a Data Management Assistant in 2014, and joined Initiative for NCD as a Data Management Officer in 2014. Over the last eight years, Shawkat has thrived as a data management with an inquisitive mind and developed his expertise in different aspects of research, such as team coordination, data management, generating results and research capacity. Shawkat was a web page developer of one of the NIH-funded capacity building projects (D71) ( He has progressive experience managing relational database systems for research studies. He holds Master degree in Finance and currently pursuing another master in public health.

Saleh Mohammed Ikram

Research Fellow, Non-Communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

Dr. Saleh Mohammed Ikram is a medical doctor and public health researcher with extensive experience in both urban and rural healthcare settings. As a clinician for five years, he gained valuable insights into healthcare delivery. Driven by a passion for improving healthcare systems, he led a divisional team in assessing Special Care Newborn Units in Bangladesh for UNICEF, demonstrating exceptional data collection and management skills. Currently, Dr. Ikram serves as a Research Fellow at The Global Health Network Asia. He plays a crucial role as a resource person, fostering capacity building and collaboration among country centres. Additionally, he coordinates a pathfinder study on the WHO SEARO COBRA rural model. His research interests span Epidemiology, Non-communicable diseases, Health Economics, and Health Systems.

Samantha Neaz

Research Fellow, Non-Communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

Dr. Samantha Neaz is a medical graduate with an MBBS degree from Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She later obtained her MPH degree from the National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) under Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). During her MPH program, she focused on reproductive and child health. She also received hands-on research training over the course of her year-long thesis. Currently, she is working as a Research Fellow for TGHN Asia at icddr,b Dhaka. Being a part of TGHN Asia has helped her to develop a broader perspective on global health challenges and to understand the diverse contexts in which research is conducted. Her aim as a young researcher is to significantly contribute to the health research field and advance knowledge in non-communicable diseases.

Dewan Adnan Tareq

Admin Officer, Non-Communicable Diseases, NRD, icddr,b

Dewan Adnan Tarique joined icddr,b as Administrative Officer in the non-communicable disease department in 2023. He has experience working with the forcibly displaced Myanmar Nationals camps (Rohingya refugees) and host communities in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf with the Emergency Healthcare Acute Watery Diarrhea project as a senior finance officer. He holds an EMBA degree from University of Dhaka. Currently, in his role with The Global Health Network, he is overseeing office activities and operations to secure efficiency and compliance to icddr,b policies. Over the last six years, he has developed a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of running an efficient and productive office.

Joby George

Global Research Nurses Lead Coordinator - India

Mr Joby George is a Clinical Researcher by profession, with over 10 years of continued experience in both patient care and Clinical Research. Joby is currently practising as a Nurse Coordinator in clinical research at the Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesia, Medanta The Medicity, Gurgaon, India. In 2014, in consideration of his contribution to clinical research, Medanta The Medicity Hospital, has conferred him with the "Best Research Nurse Award". With experience in writing protocols, conducting investigator-driven studies and patient-centric projects, Joby has initiated the first point prevalence study on pressure ulcers and patient characteristics in India in collaboration with EPUAP, London. Joby has successfully collaborated with many international universities and organizations in conducting research studies in India and has authored national and international publications. With a deep interest in strengthening research capacityJoby has successfully organized skills-sharing workshops in major cities including Gurgaon, Mumbai, Gujarat, Hyderabad and Bhopal. Joby has led regional initiatives among student nurses to explore and nurture the research culture, and serves as the Lead Coordinator for the Global Research Nurses programme in India in collaboration with The Global Health Network, University of Oxford. Joby was the first Indian to serve as a board member of IACRN, USA for the year 2020. Additionally, he is a member of various non-governmental organizations at Delhi.

Farah Asif

Knowledge Exchange Coordinator, Pakistan

Dr. Farah Asif is a clinician with an MSc in Clinical Trials and has completed a fellowship in Research Ethics and Regulatory Science. In her 18-year role as Head of Clinical Research at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan, she has worked to enhance research capacity, and support the institution in leading contribution to cancer research. She oversees the Scientific Research Committee, Human Research Protection Program, and research monitoring activities. She has worked in various collaborative capacities with multiple international bodies, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At The Global Health Network, Farah is coordinating knowledge sharing and building capacity for research in Pakistan.