Early Career Research Award Recipient: Dr. Kakkar

Early Career Research Award Recipient: Dr. Kakkar

Dr. Fatima Kakkar is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist and clinician-researcher, who began her research career studying perinatal HIV infection.

While tremendous gains have been made in the prevention and treatment of perinatal HIV, Dr. Kakkar realized that there are critical gaps in the knowledge, prevention, and treatment of other congenital infections, specifically CMV. She has since restructured her clinical and research activities to address CMV and co-directs the newly established Women’s and Children’s Infectious Diseases Center in Montreal.  
With the number of cases of congenital CMV now surpassing all other infections in this clinic, Dr. Kakkar is committed to optimizing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this infection. As a first step, she is working towards determining the best screening test for the province of Quebec, Canada, taking advantage of the unique urinary screening program that currently exists to compare the use of urine vs. dried blood spot, working towards developing new potential urinary biomarkers for screening.

This study could have major implications for universal screening programs for congenital CMV (cCMV). By determining the sensitivity and specificity of dried blood spot vs. urine filter paper for cCMV within an existing screening system, her team will be able to identify the optimal test to be used for a population-based screening program.

Dr. Kakkar was recently awarded funding from the Fonds de Santé Recherche Quebec to allow her protected time to support her congenital CMV research program.

Congratulations Dr. Kakkar, we look forward to witnessing your progress in Quebec!