Naila Pachani, a nurse from Karachi, Pakistan is committed to enriching the lives of others through the ever-evolving field of clinical research in fighting debilitating diseases such as Cancer. Naila recently completed a postgraduate degree from Monash University, Australia and is currently working as a Cancer Clinical Trials Coordinator at Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Victoria.

Naila is also trained as an AlWaez and enjoys teaching, and conducting faith-based educational sessions. She loves reading books, travelling, singing and dancing.


Tell us about your journey…

Born in a middle-class family in a developing country like Pakistan, my education has been a driving force in my life for which I am most proud and never take for granted. Since my early school days, I learnt to embrace my vulnerabilities, taking courage to step out of my comfort zone and venturing into unknown areas expanding my knowledge by borrowing books from adults.

What has been the impact of your achievements on family, or society or community?

My work as a Cancer Clinical Trial Coordinator involves shaping the cancer care plan for patients utilising the full breadth of my nursing knowledge, clinical skills and therapeutic communication to enhance the care they receive.

In my work as an Alwaez with the community enables me to utilise my knowledge and understanding of the beliefs, traditions, history , and cultures of the Ismaili Jamat within the broader context of Islam.

If you were to name one woman who is a source of inspiration to you, who would that be and why?

Whilst there are a lot of figures that are a source of inspiration for me, my mother has to top that list! A teacher by profession, she raised me to be a compassionate individual and instilled in me the importance of helping others. My desire to keep on learning and sharing my knowledge with others has been instilled by her since I was very young.

What advice would you like to give to other members of the Jamat?

If there is one piece of advice, I would give (including myself) is to be a lifelong learner! Never stop learning, questioning, and improving. As the great philosopher, Nasir Khusraw said, “knowledge is a shield against the blows of time. It dispels the torment of ignorance and nourishes peace to blossom forth in the soul”.