Rock climbing, project planning, and other adventures of Senior Program Officer Vidya Sagar Uprety

Sep 17, 2013


Janie Hayes
communications consultant, DefeatDD
Stephanie Ogden
Water For People Fellow in Innovation and Sustainability


Quest-driven, yet reticent, Vidya Sagar Uprety, Senior Program Officer, (Clinical Trials) of a rotavirus Phase III efficacy study, was always the school topper. From the calm and peaceful environs of the hill state of Uttarakhand, to the hustle bustle of the Indian capital, Delhi, Vidya accepts that the city has offered him great opportunities. In his day-to-day work, he still relies on skills that he once learned as a keen adventure enthusiast. He also firmly believes that a lot of hard work goes into resolving challenges.


Pur How did you choose clinical research as your career goal?  

I graduated from Kumoun University, Nainital in 1999 and came to Delhi to pursue higher studies in computers. While in Delhi, I learnt about a postgraduate course in clinical research, which I was told by my friends was a career oriented course and had a good future. I completed my studies from the Institute of Clinical Research in New Delhi and today I am happy to have taken this decision.

What do you find most exciting in your job profile in PATH?

Everything about clinical trials and the drug development process is exciting, because this is directly related to saving lives. You feel very proud and satisfied when the drug or vaccine that you have been working on is approved and available to help people. My job profile at PATH is special to me as I am involved in clinical operations for a large multi-centre community-based rotavirus Phase III efficacy study. It is a huge responsibility to oversee, manage, guide and assist sites involved in this trial and ensure that the highest international standards are followed and that they are in compliance with regulatory requirements and guidelines. 

My responsibilities include project planning, development of study operational documents, investigator site identification and selection and helping sites prepare for the trial. This also includes site management, oversight of the contract research organization, conflict management and so on. The most exciting part of my profile is identification and selection of good and potential investigator sites and ensuring they follow international standards during the trial.

Do you face any challenges? If yes, what do you think is the best way to tackle them?

As a person, I have a simple rule for challenges. I often step back and take time to personally engage with conflicting issues or personalities.

You have been an adventure enthusiast - can you tell us something about that? 

Yes, Uttarakhand is an adventure sport's haunt. I have been actively interested in parasailing, rock climbing, paragliding, snow skiing and river rafting since I was 16. I have been hurt during these endeavors, but I have learned a lot. In parasailing I learned to how to control, without even the basic protective gear! All this taught me to focus and follow instructions!

What are your future plans?

I want to stay in the clinical research industry.  In the course of my career, I have seen the complete development of a drug and I was very proud to be associated with something as exciting as this.