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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lisa is responsible for driving and supporting all facets of human resource management at Sonic Clinical Trials.

 

Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree (Majors in Human Resources and Gender Studies) from the University of Sydney, Lisa has over 14 years of industry experience as a HR professional. Prior to her appointment at SCT, Lisa worked in partnership roles at Astra Zeneca, Roche Diagnostics and IQVIA Clinical Research.

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.

Alain joined Sonic Clinical Trials in 2011 as a medical scientist and has held multiple roles in specimen logistics, laboratory supervision and project management. He holds a Bachelor of Biotechnology degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has interests in infectious diseases and biochemistry.

Alain has played an integral part in rolling out Sonic Clinical Trials’ LIMS, Artemis, at both a global and local laboratory level.

In his role as Local Laboratory and Special Projects Manager, Alain oversees all phase 1 local laboratory studies and special projects that do not fit the traditional central laboratory environment.

Tejaswi Shetty was appointed Quality Manager of Sonic Clinical Trials Pty Ltd in 2021. Tejaswi has been instrumental in driving process improvements with SCT’s vendor qualification and management systems, change control systems including audit management activities and initiating new continuous improvement projects.

Tejaswi holds a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) and a Master of Science (Molecular Biotechnology) from the University of Sydney.

Tejaswi has over 14 years quality management experience, and has held various senior quality and risk management consultancy roles across industry. Tejaswi has a previous affiliation with Sonic Healthcare having worked as the Deputy Laboratory Manager and Quality Manager for Sonic’s Food and Water testing laboratory for 5 years, she is also an accredited NSW Health Legionella Auditor.

Naomi DeFazio has been working with SCT since 2017 in the Site Management Organisation and has now been appointed as the Site Support and Clinical Training Manager in 2021.

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Nursing and has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. She has also been involved in clinical research for over 11 years with a wide variety of therapeutic area experience.

Naomi manages a team of site support specialists within our central laboratory to ensure the smooth running of the Client Support Services department. She provides excellent customer service to all of our domestic and international clients and key stakeholders. She is also responsible for conducting clinical education and training sessions as well as supporting the learning and development of our staff in non-clinical roles by delivering high quality learning programs, materials and assessment processes to reflect industry standards.