Prof Rita Isaac

Director of Population Research

Rita Isaac, Director of Population Research, Karkinos Health Care & Former Senior Professor at Christian Medical College, Vellore is an internationally recognized expert in cervical cancer prevention and control in low resource settings in India. For more than 2 decades, she has been devoted to establishing models of care in low resource settings for non-communicable diseases with special focus on cervical and oral Cancer and also diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases through translational research in collaboration with international universities and organisations. She has extensively researched community factors that facilitate or hinder cervical cancer screening uptake and significance of stakeholders’ engagement in rolling out effective cancer screening programme in low resource settings. She currently leads the implementation science research at Karkinos Healthcare Pvt Ltd. Mumbai, India. She also directs community cancer outreach programs for underserved populations in the service area of the organisation.

As faculty at Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, her research focused on developing cancer screening strategies and ensuring their effectiveness in resource limited settings. For equity and promotion of early detection of cancer and other non-communicable diseases, she has adopted the strategies like decentralized cancer/NCD care, task shifting to trained frontline health workers to engage the communities and serve as patient navigators which has revolutionized patient care and reduced health disparities. She has championed efforts to decrease smoking and implement other cancer risk reduction programs, as well as to provide critical support to cancer patients and concentrate on cancer control efforts in areas where they could be most effective.