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  • IASCT 2021 Election


    About us

    About IASCT


    There has been a growing interest from international pharmaceutical companies and CROs to build programming and statistics groups in India. In last couple of years, these activities have expanded substantially with several large organizations setting up such groups in India to meet the increasing demand for programmers and statisticians in drug development.

    The Indian pharmaceutical industry has also started moving towards original drug research and not just the production of generic medicines. India serves as an important knowledge hub for providing statistical support activities in the clinical trial domain due to its potentially large talent pool and IT enabled culture.

    With the growing population of statisticians and programmers in India, representatives from various multinational pharmaceutical companies and CROs took the initiative to establish a framework for an organization to provide a platform for statisticians and statistical programmers to meet and learn and to share knowledge and experience.

    Hence the Indian Association for Statistics in Clinical Trials (IASCT) was founded in 2007.

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    To enhance awareness about the role of statistics in clinical trials in the medical community, health care institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, governmental organizations and educational institutions in India.

    To promote biostatistics and statistical programming in clinical research as career options for students of statistics and other technical disciplines in India.

    To enable professional development of statisticians and statistical programmers by organizing training sessions, meetings and conferences relating to statistical techniques used in drug development.


    To grow to an organization that is recognized globally for its role in promoting statistical thinking, and use of appropriate statistical methods in pharmaceutical research and development programs in India and abroad.


    To enhance awareness about the role of statistics in clinical trials in the medical community, health care institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, governmental organizations and educational institutions in India.

    To promote biostatistics and statistical programming in clinical research as career options for students of statistics and other technical disciplines in India.

    To promote biostatistics and statistical programming in clinical research as career options for students of statistics and other technical disciplines in India.

    Governing Council

    • Dr. Ashwini Mathur

      Founding Member

    • Dr. Debjit Biswas

      Founding Member

    • Dr. Jayanti Gupta

      Founding Member

    • Dr.Ashwini Mathur is currently Head of Data Sciences for Novartis Business Services based in Dublin. Ashwini has a PhD in Biostatistics from University of California, Berkeley, USA. He has several publications on collaborative medical research, book chapters and invited presentations. He is a member of DIA and ISCR. He is Adjunct Faculty at Department of Biostatistics, Manipal University, Manipal; Institute of Applied Biology and Bioinformatics, Bangalore and Institute of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, Bangalore. He is one of the founding members of the “Indian Association for Statistics in Clinical Trials”

    • Dr. Debjit Biswas is currently Senior Director and Head of Biostatistics and Data Management at Ablynx, a biopharmaceutical company based in Belgium. He is responsible for providing scientific and strategic inputs to the clinical development pipeline, governance of projects and initiatives, oversight of statisticians, statistical programmers and data managers, and selection and management of CRO partners. Dr. Biswas has more than 15 years of experience in medical and pharmaceutical research. He has previously held senior leadership roles at Piramal Enterprises Limited and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He has also worked as a Research Scientist with General Electric Global Research, as a Biostatistician at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. Dr. Biswas is a founding member of IASCT, and was its Secretary during 2010-2012, and Vice President during 2012-2014. He is also a member of the Board of Studies in Statistics at the University of Mumbai. Dr. Biswas received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

    • Dr. Jayanti Gupta is the founder of Parinita, an ecommerce venture for traditional sarees from Bengal. Prior to this, she was Vice President – Clinical Development at Semler Research Center, where she was responsible for driving the strategy, growth and business of the clinical development vertical. She has over 15 years of experience in statistical consulting, and working for major pharmaceutical companies & CROs on clinical development programs for drugs and vaccines. Previously, Dr. Gupta has worked at Merck Research Laboratories, USA, and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and ManipalAcunova, India.

      Dr. Jayanti Gupta obtained her PhD in Statistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Masters in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and Bachelors in Mathematics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She has coauthored several publications in reputed journals during her career.

    Executive Council

    • Dr. Vishwanath (Mahesh) Iyer


    • Jagannatha P.S

      Vice President

    • Surendra Yajamanam


    • Nishant Nalachandran


    • Mahesh is a co-founder of Sineflex Solutions LLP, a consulting firm focused on enabling and accelerating innovation in the healthcare space. He is also the domain mentor of the BIRAC funded med-tech accelerator located at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIIT Hyderabad. Mahesh Iyer has over 20 years of experience in research and development in healthcare. He has been responsible for guiding many products through the development life-cycle. Before co-founding Sineflex Solutions, Mahesh was at Novartis in various roles, including Site Head, Biostatistics at Hyderabad, and Global head for Exploratory Safety and Statistical Analytics. Prior to Novartis, Mahesh worked with Bristol Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim. Mahesh has been an active member of IASCT for the last 10+ years, notably with ConSPIC and most recently has been the Secretary of IASCT for the last 4 years.

    • Dr. Chitra Lele is the Chief Scientific Officer and founding member of Sciformix Corporation, a scientific process organization that focuses on Biostatistics, Drug Safety, Scientific Writing and Regulatory Affairs. She has a PhD in Statistics from Stanford University, and over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to the inception of Sciformix, Chitra was with Pfizer for about 10 years, where she was Executive Director responsible for India operations of Pfizer Global R&D. Chitra established India’s first Biometrics Center providing services in clinical data management, statistics, programming and medical writing, and successfully grew it to a size of over 400 staff. Chitra’s previous experience includes work as a biostatistician in cancer epidemiology at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco and as a faculty member at the School of Statistics, University of Minnesota and the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.

    • Jagannatha.P S, Statistics General Manager, GSK India Bangalore has more than 25+ years’ experience as a Statistician with Technical Knowledge. Prior to joining GSK in 2003, he was with National Tuberculosis Institute, Min. of H&FW, Govt of India for a period of 18.6 years. He is also member of Board of Studies in different college in Bangalore. He has coauthored several publications in reputed journals during his career. Jagannatha is a founder member IASCT and has been actively involved with all IASCT activities for over 10 years. He started off as the event committee chair for 2 years, and for the last 6 years has held position of Treasurer. He is also a member of the IASCT Governing Council.

    • Surendra Yajamanam is currently working as Senior Manager in Biostatistics (India), GalxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He earned Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is associated with programming in Clinical Trials for 17+ years with experience across multiple therapeutic areas and software development. His interest is in generic software development to simplify Analysis and Reporting process of clinical data. He has 11 years of management experience and developed diverse teams in Clinical Statistics & Programming function of GSK. He has been actively involved with IASCT for several years, and serves in Governing Council of Indian Association for Statistics in Clinical Trials as Events Committee Chair.

    • Priya Venkatesan Iyer is a Director, Group Lead for Statistical Programming and Analysis (SPA) at Pfizer, Chennai. She is the Statistical Programming Lead representing India and Manila at the SPA LT. She supports and manages programmers working on End to end Standards, and other portfolio and brands including Biosimilar, Anti- invectives , Rare Diseases and Pfizer Consumer Health. Prior to joining Pfizer, Priya worked for Novartis, Hyderabad where she was working as an Associate Director of Statistical Programming. She had been with Novartis since 2006 she progressively elevated from Statistical Analyst, Senior Statistical Analyst, and Lead (Manager) Statistical Analyst. She has multiple trainings in statistics and SAS Programming and is involved in numerous industry conferences like ConSPIC and PhUSE. She has around 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a Bachelor and Master Degree in Statistics.

    • Ajay Sathe is CEO of the Indian operation of Cytel Inc. where he heads a growing team of about 500 people spread across Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Navi Mumbai. He is responsible for Cytel’s software product development and outsourced Biostatistics, Programming and Data Management services delivered out of India. His management experience includes applications development, product management and the supervision of outsourced analytics services. Cytel’sCliPLab is his initiative in professional Data Sciences training that is contributing to sizeable expansion of the skill pool in this domain. Ajay is also the Co-founder and Director on the board of Center for eLearning and Training, which is in the business of delivering online tutoring in Math, Statistics, Sciences, English Writing, and IT Skills to global undergraduate university students. Formerly (2014-2015) he was on the board of directors of PhUSE, as Events Director – Asia. Prior to joining Cytel, Ajay was Co-founder and Technical Director at Spectrum Business Support Ltd., where he led teams building WordMiner, an information retrieval library, and Jurix, a law information service. He is an occasional guest speaker at IIM Ahmedabad and other business schools on Data Sciences, Analytics and Quantitative Methods; and at numerous colleges and educational departments on careers in contemporary services businesses. Ajay studied Electronics Engineering at IIT (BHU), Varanasi, India, and received an MBA from The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.

    • Nishant Nalachandran have been in the industry since 2006. In my current role as a Director of Clinical Data Services, I lead a group of data analysts and programmers at Agati Clinical, prior to which I was leading the Biometrics business unit at Quartesian. I started my career at Quartesian as Statistical Programmer after which played various roles in different organisations and gained exposure to many global clients with a good understanding of cultural differences across different countries. I have a Masters in Computer Applications and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Development. Besides leading the Clinical Data Services business unit at Agati Clinical in India, I'm an active IASCT Events Committee Member and have been an enthusiastic participant in industrial events like PhUSE SDE and ConSPIC in India. I'm also passionate in building high performing teams, training and development, and have trained over 300+ programmers in the industry.