About us

Overview of ASTRA

Formed in 2018, ASTRA is an international group, comprising experts from six UK universities and six institutions from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

The Chief Investigator is Professor Kamran Siddiqi at the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK.

ASTRA’s Co-Director is Prof. Ravi Mehrotra, from the India Cancer Research Consortium (ICRC), New Delhi.

Our UK partners include Brunel University London, King’s College London (KCL), University of Warwick, University of Birmingham and University of Edinburgh.

Our South Asian partners include the ARK Foundation (Bangladesh), National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) (India), Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) (India), Aga Khan Medical University (AKU) (Pakistan), Khyber Medical University (KMU) (Pakistan) and HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) (India).

In addition, we are supported by key stakeholders including: WHO SEARO (India), Cancer Research UK, WHO Geneva (Switzerland), The Union/Vital Strategies (USA) and the National Cancer Institute (USA).

For information on ASTRA members, please click on ‘Meet the People.’

Meet the People

ASTRA is built on a network of partners who are committed to solving the problems caused by smokeless tobacco consumption in South Asia. We are a collaboration between researchers, healthcare workers and policy advocates from 12 organisations from the UK and Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Please click on the tabs below, to find out more.

University of York, UK

Prof Kamran Siddiqi

Chief Investigator (Director)

Prof Ravi Mehrotra

ASTRA Co-Director & Visiting Professor at York

Dr Anne Readshaw

Programme Manager

Dr Mona Kanaan

Lead Statistician and Co-Lead for Training and Capacity Building

Dr Masuma Mishu

Research Fellow

Faraz Siddiqui

Research Fellow

Prof Ray Croucher

Co-Lead of ASTRA-Cessation Study

Dr Omara Dogar

Co-Lead of ASTRA-Policy Study

Dr Cath Jackson

Qualitative Research Consultant

Dr Jappe Eckhart


Dr Zainab Kidwai

PhD Student

Dr Radha Shukla

PhD Student

Dr Suranji Dahanayake

PhD Student

Dr Lu Han

University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof Aziz Sheikh

Prof Linda Bauld

Co-Lead of ASTRA-Cessation Study
Brunel University, London, UK

Prof Subhash Pokhrel

Dr Kathryn Coyle

King's College, London (KCL), UK

Prof Ann McNeill

University of Warwick, UK

Prof Paramjit Gill

University of Birmingham, UK

Prof Richard Lilford

ARK Foundation, Bangladesh

Prof Rumana Huque

Dr Fariza Fieroze

Dr Abdullah Sonnet



Sushama Kanan

Research Fellow
Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), India

Dr Suneela Garg

India Lead for ASTRA-Youth and ASTRA-Sellers Studies

Dr MM Singh


Dr Ravi Kaushik


Dr Amod Laxmikant Borle


Dr Nidhi Bhatnagar


Dr Chetana Deshmukh

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Parag Bhardwaj

Research Assistant

Dr Amanjot Singh

Research Assistant

Ms Indu Bala

Data and Finance Manager

Ms Urvashi Bisht

Field Investigator

Ms Prashansa Tiwari

Field Investigator

Ms Yomri Dabi

Field Investigator

Mr Amit Raj Singh

Field Investigator

Mr Vinod Kumar

Technical Assistant
National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), India


Dr Shalini Singh


Dr Prashant K Singh

Research Associate

Ms Anshika Chandra

Project Co-ordinator

Dr Shikha Saxena

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr Surbhi Tripathi

Research Associate

Ms Varsha Pandey

Research Associate

Mr Santosh Srivastava

Data Entry Officer

Dr Monika Arora

India Lead for ASTRA-Policy Study

Dr Aastha Chugh

Research Fellow

Dr Neha Jain

Research Associate
Aga Khan Medical University (AKU), Pakistan


Dr Narjis Rizvi

Prof Javaid Khan

Dr Romaina Iqbal

ASTRA-Youth Study Lead and Co-Lead for Training and Capacity Building

Dr Madiha Beg

Research Fellow

Dr Laraib Mazhar

Research Associate

Dr Shehroz Shahid

Research Associate

Dr Aroosa Tariq

Research Associate
Khyber Medical University (KMU), Pakistan

Prof Arshad Javaid

Dr Zohaib Khan




Dr Safat Ullah

Research Associate

Dr Khalid Rehman

Research Fellow

Dr Fayaz Ahmad

Research Assistant
India Cancer Research Consortium (ICRC)

Prof Ravi Mehrotra

ASTRA Co-Director & Visiting Professor at York