Leadership Team

Paullette Azar-Tannous was appointed CEO of Sonic Clinical Trials Pty Ltd in 2017.

Paullette began her career as a medical laboratory scientist working in private and hospital laboratories in Sydney. Since joining Sonic Clinical Trials and Covance in 1997 she has held a diverse range of roles including Laboratory Management, Quality Assurance, Project Management, Client Support Services and Business Development.

Paullette was instrumental in establishing and developing central laboratory services in Australia and Singapore and has had extensive experience in regional Asia-Pacific management roles which have included responsibilities for Business Development, Corporate Training & Development, System Development and Clinical Trial Management.

As CEO, Paullette is responsible for all facets of the business, she is an accomplished leader and has proven executive management track record with over 20 years' experience driving innovation and growth in local and international markets. 

Dr Nick Taylor is Laboratory Director of Sonic Clinical Trials (SCT) and Director of the Chemical Pathology Automated Laboratory and supervising pathologist for the Macquarie University Hospital and Liverpool Laboratories of Douglass Hanly Moir (DHM) Pathology. 

Dr Taylor is a graduate of the University of New South Wales. He trained in chemical pathology at Westmead and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals. In 1991, he was appointed as Staff Specialist in Chemical Pathology at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, before moving into private pathology practice in 1994. He joined DHM and SCT in 2008.

Dr Taylor has served on the NSW Branch Committee of the Australian Association of Clinical Biochemists in different roles from 1988 to 1992, and from 2002 to 2004. He has also been a NATA medical laboratory assessor since 1992. Dr Taylor is available for consultation in all areas of biochemistry and endocrinology.

Malcolm has been working as a GP since 1993, with a special interest in aged care medicine and chronic disease management. He was practice principal at his own General Practice for 13 years, and merged his practice into the IPN network in 2014.

Malcolm’s interest in developing better chronic disease management programs in his Primary Health Network has been much enhanced with the resources he now has at his disposal at IPN.

Since joining IPN he has been part of the leadership group responsible for the development and implementation of their chronic disease programs CDMNet and WellNet, trying to develop better links with GPs in the Network, and managing change in Sonic’s GP data governance practice. 

In early 2016 was appointed to the role of Medical Director for Victoria, and Consultant Medical Director for Sonic Clinical Trials in 2018.

Nicole Gates is a natural leader, with over 20 years industry experience, driven to motivate teams to exceed business goals and targets. 

In addition to being one of the founding members responsible for the establishment of Sonic Clinical Trials central laboratory in 1996, Nicole is a qualified medical laboratory scientist and an experienced operations and project manager, obtaining skills with large and small Clinical Research Organisations both internationally and within the region. 

Nicole, as Head of Clinical Operations, has returned to Sonic Clinical Trials in 2017 to provide strategic input and innovative solutions for the development of Sonic Clinical Trials' Site Management Organisation as well as providing expertise to central laboratory operations. Utilising her industry experience she will lead the team in providing exceptional clinical research services within the primary care arena. 

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys travelling and spending time with her family.

 Simon has over 15 years of management and industry experience with a strong background in healthcare, medical diagnostics and clinical research in both commercial and not-for-profit sectors.
Having recently held senior leadership roles both at the National Heart Foundation of Australia and NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, Simon has successfully led and managed teams, driven sales and marketing initiatives; been involved in government policy development & implementation and formed robust business relationships with key internal and external stakeholders both nationally and internationally.
Simon has extensive experience in corporate governance, financial management & budget development, strategic planning, business development, project management, sales & marketing as well as managing and negotiating all contractual agreements. 
 Simon studied a Bachelor of Science at Macquarie University and holds a Master of Business Administration.

Since joining Sonic Clinical Trials in 2010, Karen has been involved in the development and management of SCT's information systems. Prior to her appointment, Karen held a number of roles specialising in the areas of Laboratory Information Management Systems and Computer System Validation within regulated environments.

Karen began her career as an analytical chemist for Wyeth Medica Ireland where she was involved in laboratory automation and compliance. Since then she has held roles as a LIMS Implementation Consultant, Computer Systems Validation Consultant and a Laboratory Automation Project Lead for both private and pharmaceutical companies in Ireland and Australia

Karen's extensive knowledge of laboratory processes combined with her computer system experience allows her to successfully manage information systems for supporting central laboratory services, with a strong focus on system compliance and enhancement.

Sam Nagra is the Financial Controller and responsible for the day to day management of the financial operations of Sonic Clinical Trials.

After studying Law at the University of Birmingham in England, Sam qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in Birmingham.

Sam worked in various financial management roles in industry in England before moving to Australia in 1998.

Since 2002, Sam has been the Financial Controller of various Sonic Healthcare subsidiaries including Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, Southern IML Pathology and San Pathology.

Sam has been the Financial Controller of Sonic Clinical Trials since 2002 and is an integral member of the management team.

Peter joined the Sonic Clinical Trials (SCT) team in July 2019. Prior to joining SCT, Peter has gained extensive local and international experience as a Quality professional in the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Healthcare Logistics industries.


Peter holds qualifications of Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry) from University of Techology Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from Macquarie University Graduate School of Management.


Peter has held various Managerial and Leadership positions as well as the TGA “Authorized Person” on the manufacturing license for a number of companies. Peter was previously employed by MSD for over 24 years in various roles including Laboratory (QC) Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Automation and Computer Validation Manager, Head of Quality Operations and Regional Quality Systems and Compliance.  Peter also worked in China for a number of years as the Head of Quality of the MSD Pharmaceutical Company in China.


In these roles Peter has developed strong knowledge and experience in the application of World Class Manufacturing tools (Lean, Six Sigma (black belt), Quality by Design, Management and Implementation of Quality Systems, Risk Management, Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement.

Rachel is responsible for the delivery of legal advice and assistance across the SCS portfolio of companies including Sonic Clinical Trials

She is a qualified solicitor in the United Kingdom and Australia, and holds a BSc(Hons) Medical Science, PGDip Law (Manchester) and LLM (Sydney).  

Rachel has extensive experience as both an external legal adviser and senior in-house lawyer.  Before joining SCS, she practised at a leading Australian law firm, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory law.  Since qualifying as a solicitor in 2002, she has advised major corporate clients in Australia and internationally across a range of industries, and has spent time on secondment working with in-house corporate legal and executive teams. 


Patricia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Medical Laboratory Science) from Charles Sturt University and is studying a Certificate IV in Business and Commerce Management.


Patricia has over 25 years of industry experience and has held senior leadership roles which include: Director of Operations, Pathology Services Manager and Cryostorage Manager for private pathology, medical devices company and medical research institutions.


Patricia’s responsibilities included management of multidisciplinary teams including Client Services Team, Pathology, Assembly and Manufacturing Teams with extensive Laboratory Management experience extending to instrument and method qualifications, procurement and supply chain management.


Patricia will assume management responsibilities for the Specimen Reception, Sample Management and Sonic Clinical Trials’ multidisciplinary laboratory departments.