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Meet the Team | Dr. Nadia Mahmood, Real World Studies Director

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With over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and an expert on eCRF and study design for observational research, we hear from Cisiv’s Real World Studies Director, Nadia Mahmood, PhD as she explains what drives her passion for education, technology, and research.

Nadia has designed and delivered systems for a wide range of studies including Global post-approval safety studies, Health Outcome studies, registries, post-marketing studies and many others.

From establishing an early career in drug development to a role in sales, then making her move over 14 years ago to Cisiv, Nadia discusses how her background and passion reaches far beyond her clients – explaining the real impact that Cisiv’s technology, is having on targeting patient needs.


Nadia, can you tell us about your academic background?

If we observe my background, everyone I knew aspired to be a doctor or wanted a career involving science and healthcare. I was not the most academic in my younger years, however, I was always driven and motivated to be successful in my life. I wanted to prove to myself, and others, that there was more to me, and I could work my way through anything once I put my mind to it. After all, I am very tenacious and I carried this attitude with me as I worked my way towards my degree, and in the end, I was successful in securing a scholarship, in a subject I was told I would not succeed in.


“There’s a lot of emphasis on academic grades and success, but I believe with determination, passion and perseverance – there’s nothing you can’t achieve.”


What was it about research and healthcare that intrigued you? 

I think one thing I have always known is that I enjoy educating and sharing my knowledge with people. I started my early career in life sciences, as I was particularly interested in drug development. As my career journey progressed, I began to learn more about myself through different organizational roles that helped me understand where my strengths lie. I moved away from the laboratory setting and instead began to pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales, selling scientific instruments to researchers and drug companies.

As my interest in research and technology began to grow, I applied for a Project Manager role at Cisiv – I knew straight away this was going to be a role that would excite me, and within my first year, I became more closely involved with broader aspects of operational delivery within the organization, leading on the study design team. Fast forward 14 years, and my current role focuses on a consultative approach, guiding our clients, CRO’s and sponsors on how to design eCRF’s that lead to successful data collection and analysis through our bespoke technology platform, Baseline Plus.


What is it that you are most passionate about in your role at Cisiv?

Making a difference in the real world, and a patient-centric approach is my passion and the reason I love my job. However, in my early years, my research was in medical devices, diabetic research and developing blood glucose measuring devices. My research was interesting, but there was something I found fascinating about the technology that was driving research and making a real difference in patient lives.

I experience this daily as my son was diagnosed with type1 diabetes at the age of 10. Seeing the benefits of using medical technology (real time glucose measurements, automated insulin pumps) instead of the traditional methods of injecting insulin and taking blood readings, has further strengthened my passion for the development of technology to support health care, and I’m always asking myself the question, ‘what’s the best experience for the user to produce the best quality research?’ 

But not only do I love the work, but also the team. I have worked at Cisiv for over 14 years and my colleagues are a key reason I enjoy coming to work every day. As an organization, we are a close-knit team and for me, it’s the people around me who inspire me daily, again, because they are all incredibly passionate about what they do.


“I think I have always wanted to make a difference in my job, but I have also wanted to make a difference in the real world. The words ‘real world’ resonates with me, and it’s something I am proud to be a part of.”


Nadia, when not at work, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have 4 children that keep me busy outside of work. During lockdown, like many others, I took to running and walking, which I’m pleased to say I have kept up with, as being out amongst nature relaxes me.

I also started a YouTube channel at the beginning of lockdown. I used this platform to log and focus on my inner thoughts and share my experiences of lockdown with others. Talking about feelings of anxiety and general mental health is so important as was evident during the pandemic which inspired me. If I can help others by talking openly about feelings and mental health this shows people are not alone with their thoughts.


And lastly, Nadia, do you have a quote that inspires you? 

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I changed myself.” – Rumi.

Nadia has over 18 years of project management and consultancy experience within the pharmaceutical industry. Within Cisiv, she is the subject matter expert on eCRF and study design for observational research. She brings expertise and insight to CRO’s and sponsors on how to design eCRF’s that lead to successful data collection and analysis. She has designed and delivered systems for a wide range of studies including Global post-approval safety studies, Health Outcome studies, registries, post-marketing studies and many others.



By: Adam Martin

25 November 2021