Dr Mohamed Fahim Abdul Cader


Suicide due to pesticide self-poisoning is one of the major global burden contributing to over 200,000 premature deaths annually and most deaths are reported predominantly from rural Asia. Case fatality varies from 60-70% with some pesticides (aluminium phosphide, paraquat) to less than 1% for modern target specific pesticides.

South Asian Toxicology Research Collaboration (SACTRC) was established in 2004 at the, University of Peradeniya with the aim of reducing deaths from pesticide self-poisoning and capacity building in Sri Lanka through community based public health interventions and clinical trials. This collaboration worked with multiple partners, including universities across the globe and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, to support academic ventures by building research capacity and infrastructure in the island and its surrounding region. It was initially funded by a grant from the Welcome Trust. The Collaboration has since then been able to attract research grants from multiple competitive funders such as the NHMRC and NRC/NSF and many other local and international funders.

SACTRC has made a paradigm shift in research culture in Sri Lanka and more importantly, has been able to create a major impact in reducing deaths from pesticide self- poisoning. For example; reduction of case fatality from 20% to <3%. In addition, SACTRC has produced many PhD’s and MPhil’s over the period and has resulted in over 300 peer-reviewed publications in high impact international journals. These also include three largest phase 3 clinical trials conducted in the field of clinical toxicology. The collaboration also attracted other researchers from different discipline to expand the current area of research. These include feasible studies to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy services, research involving psychiatric intervention and reducing harmful use of alcohol. SACTRC has also developed and validated bedside tests to diagnose patients with self-poisoning in Sri Lanka and model for predicting early diagnosis of the disease.

Further, it has contributed to develop national guidelines on management of self-poisoning in Sri Lanka and developed postgraduate curricula to aid toxicology education as well. Evidence produced by SACTRC was instrumental in banning many highly toxic pesticides from the Sri Lankan market. SACTRC has built capacity in Sri Lanka in that many researchers have established research careers of substantial credibility. All the healthcare professionals are involved in the success of this collaboration. These scientists attract their own research grants and post graduate researchers and continue to publish in high impact journals. SACTRC portrays a very useful and a practical model that can be used in other areas of medical problems such as CKDu and pharmacy education in Sri Lanka.

Speaker Bio

Dr Mohamed Fahim Abdul Cader, BPharm, MAppMgt (Health), PhD, is a senior lecturer/HoD in pharmacology and toxicology with research interests in aetiology and biomarkers of acute and chronic kidney injury following nephrotoxicity, and clinical pharmacy and pharmacy education. Dr. Fahim has completed his PhD related to biomarkers of acute nephrotoxicity. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and also member of board of directors of South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration. Dr. Fahim is also recipient of Australian Postgraduate Award. In the past, he has worked at Department of Pharmacology of University of Sydney and University of New South Wales on a casual basis. He is a member of the International Society of Nephrology since 2014. He is also a full-time member of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology (also board member) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Sri Lanka. He was also awarded presidential Award for Scientific Research consecutively each year since 2003 to date by government of Sri Lanka. He also listed as an Early Career Researcher in one of the program grant (NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Translational Venom and Antivenom Research, Application ID: APP1110343). He is a co-investigator of research grants from NSF Sri Lanka. He also the recipient of many competitive travel grants.

About Seminar Series

The School of Pharmacy Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate, masters and honours students.


Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St, Woolloongabba