Who's who? Course Team Leaders

Prof. (Dr) Tahmina Shirin
Director, IEDCR

Graduated from Mymensingh Medical College (Bangladesh), obtained M. Phil in Virology and PhD in Immunology, currently working as Director in Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR). This is a mandated institute of the Bangladesh Government to conduct health surveillance and disease outbreak. The institute has been conducting influenza surveillance since 2006 and also designated as National Influenza Center (NIC) by WHO in 2007. Besides, IEDCR is the focal institute of IHR 2005. This institute has been working with the US CDC since 2006 through different cooperative agreements such as Influenza Preparedness (IP), Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The director of IEDCR acts as the Program Director (PD) of different collaborative projects between IEDCR and US CDC.

In addition, have experience in working in the field of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and immunology focused on innate immune responses. Involve in Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi), Dhaka (Bangladesh) as honorary executive board member.

Dr. Ahmed Nawsher Alam
Principal Scientific Officer and Head, Virology Laboratory, IEDCR
Dr. Nawsher currently in charge of Virology Laboratory. He graduated from Sir Salimullah Medical College, Dhaka; then completed post-graduation (MD) from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on Virology. He also completed MPH degree on Biosecurity. He was in charge of National Polio & Measles laboratory previously and worked as chemist in National Food Safety Laboratory at Institute of Public Health His lab is involved with detection of COVID-19 suspected cases, the quality control of newly established PCR lab in the country, and validation of PCR test kit, extraction kit and rapid antigen test kit as per request from office of the Directorate General of Health Services. As a regular activity, the laboratory has to perform testing of samples for different surveillance like Hospital Based Influenza Surveillance, Rota Virus surveillance, Nipah surveillance, and event base respiratory surveillance. He has to supervise all the activities of the laboratory. He published more than 10 publications in national and international journal.
Dr. Sayera Banu
Senior Scientist and Head, Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Dr. Sayera Banu is leading the Programme for Emerging Infections as a Senior Scientist in the Infectious Diseases Division at icddr,b. She completed her graduation in Medical Sciences in 1989 and obtained a Master’s in Microbiology in 1997, and PhD in 2003. She had postgraduate training in mycobacteriology at Pasteur Institute under the direct supervision of Prof. Stewart Cole, a leading scientist in mycobacteriology. She also worked as a Visiting Scientist with Prof. William Jacobs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA in 2007 on TB diagnostics. She also contributed to the development in the field of TB and leprosy research at icddr,b and helped to set up a mycobacteriology laboratory. She also contributed to many sophisticated work, which includes both microbiological and molecular biological techniques. She published a number of papers on her research work in various peer reviewed journals. She also supervised a good number of students, both local and international, who completed their thesis work in the laboratory or were placed in the laboratory as interns. Currently, many of the USAID funded icddr,b and government entities’ COVID-19 response activities are ongoing under her supervision.
Mustafizur Rahman, PhD
Senior Scientist and Head, Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Mr Rahman is currently holding a position of Senior Scientist and serving as Head of Virology Laboratory in icddr,b. He is also an Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at North South University in Dhaka. He has a broad background in infectious diseases for more than 15 years with specific training and expertise in viral epidemiology, genetics, vaccine and drug trials. Mr. Rahman and his lab colleagues have been comprehensively involved in Government effort to COVID-19 pandemic responses. His team is supporting DGHS to establish new COVID-19 testing laboratories all over the country and strengthen the capacity of laboratory staff and biosafety standards of the newly established laboratories. He is also a member and advisor of the GoB COVID-19 emergency committees. On top of that he is involved in several ongoing research studies on COVID-19 including vaccine and drug trials.
Dr. Syed Mohammad Mazidur Rahman
Assistant Scientist, Mycobacteriology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Dr. Rahman is currently working as Assistant Scientist in the Mycobacteriology Laboratory, icddr,b. He completed his graduation in Veterinary Medicine in 2002 and has obtained M.S in Veterinary Parasitology in 2004, and PhD in 2011 in Medical Sciences. He has expertise in developing and evaluating various molecular and immunological diagnostics for sensitive and specific detection of infectious diseases for more than 10 years. Since 2012, he is involved in various research works for early detection of tuberculosis and its drug resistance, as well as molecular typing and transmission analysis of tuberculosis. He is now actively participating in various activities to strengthen the capacity of laboratory staff and ensuring the biosafety and biosecurity of newly established COVID 19 RT-PCR laboratories. Moreover, he is involved in different ongoing researches for rapid and early diagnosis of COVID-19.
Md. Safiullah Sarker, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Dr. Sarker has a broad background in the field of HIV/HCV for more than 25 years with specific training and expertise in viral diagnosis, epidemiology, genetics and drug trials. He is acting as a National Coordinator on behalf of UNFPA to support Government effort to COVID-19 pandemic responses. His team is validating new test kits to support DGHS to provide rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 in remote areas where sophisticated laboratory facility is not available. He is actively involved to provide training and prepare training materials to strengthen the capacity of laboratory staff and biosafety standards of the newly established laboratories. He is involved in several ongoing research studies on COVID-19, HIV and HCV.
Dr. Muntasir Alam
Assistant Scientist, Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Dr. Muntasir Alam began his research career in 2009 in icddr,b just after graduation from Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka. In 2012 with Japanese government scholarship he joined Kumamoto University, Japan for PhD research. His research focused on antiviral potential of neutralizing antibodies to combat against HIV-1. In 2017, he returned to Bangladesh and started working on antibiotic resistance and etiology of child death in Bangladesh.  Dr. Alam has over 6 years of laboratory experience of identifying etiologic agents of diseases using molecular methods such as Real-time PCR. He has received extensive training on biosafety and biosecurity to conduct research in BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratory and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice. From the inception of COVID19 pandemic Dr. Alam and his team are actively involved with “Training of Trainers” (TOT) for detection of SARS-CoV-2, development of national SARS-CoV-2 detection laboratory manual, contributed training of national experts for SARS-CoV-2 detection and other research activities.
Noorjahan Maliha, PhD
Senior Research Investigator, Virology laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b
Dr. Maliha is currently involved in medical doctors and technologists' training on COVID-19 detection using Real-time PCR in different government medical colleges and hospitals. She has visited more than twenty COVID-19 laboratories during this pandemic situation. She just completed her Ph.D. work on the genetic spectrum of Congenital Hypothyroidism in Bangladeshi children. Before that, she worked at the Virology laboratory for more than seven years on respiratory viruses. She completed her BSc. and MS at the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka. She has contributed to seven international publications.