Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD
Photo: Nasia Safdar



Elected 2021

Nasia Safdar, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Medicine and a physician-scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Safdar completed her medical school training at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed a residency in internal medicine, fellowships in infectious diseases and women’s health and a PhD in clinical investigation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her area of research focus is the prevention of healthcare-associated infections, particularly Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). Dr Safdar leads a large and growing research group focused on patient safety and infection prevention in health systems. She has brought novel methods from the discipline of health systems engineering to address this critical problem. Her original scientific contributions include discovering the role of multiple components of the health system in the spread of CDI, and identifying novel barriers to CDI reduction such as the complexity and challenge of reducing environmental contamination. She has employed interventions using system design principles to improve hand hygiene among healthcare workers and developed and validated mathematical simulation models to rapidly and efficiently test combinations of interventions. She has further shown that community-onset CDI is a growing threat and that recurrence rates are higher with community-onset CDI than hospital-onset CDI. Her findings have been adopted by many health systems seeking to reduce CDI. She is a recipient of the United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Her passion for and work in improving the outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated infection has been recognized by the John Q Sherman Award for excellence in patient engagement, awarded by the National Safety Foundation.