HIV Care During the Obesity Pandemic, Defeating Two Giants

Monday 22 April 2024, 4:30 pm
PhD student
L. Zino
prof. dr. D.M. Burger, prof. dr. R. van Crevel
dr. E.P.H. Colbers, dr. O. Richel

There has been an alarming increase in the global prevalence of obesity (defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2) including special population such as people living with HIV infection. Importantly, HIV and obesity are both independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer wich all become the leading causes of death in HIV population. Obesity does not only raise the risk of morbidity but also affect the pharmacokinetics of anti-HIV medications used in this population. Thus, in this thesis we investigated performance of several anti-HIV drugs in people with HIV and obesity, or those undergoing surgical or pharmacological weight loss interventions. Also, we assess the efficacy and safety of several obesity interventions in people with HIV using large national data from the Netherlands. Outcomes of this thesis draw guidance to internal medicine and obesity experts dealing with people living with HIV and obesity. Approaches followed in this thesis offer suggestions for future research to optimize obesity management in other special patient populations.

Leena Zino was born on October 19 in Medina, Saudi Arabia. In 2008 Leena obtained her high school diploma with a major in natural sciences. Subsequently, she started studying Applied Biology at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. She graduated with a minor in Medical Microbiology and a first class honorary in 2015. In 2016, Leena received a full scholarship to study in a Top master program in drug innovation at University Medical Centre Groningen. During her master, she conducted two research projects focussing on the epidemiology, diagnosis, and immune response to Dengue virus in the laboratories of Prof. Jan Maarten and prof. Jolanda Smit, respectively. After obtaining her master’s degree end of 2018, she started working at DADA pharmaceutical consultancy as a junior consultant in clinical and non-clinical aspects of drug development with a special focus on vaccine development. In 2020, she started her PhD research within the pharmacy of the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen under the supervision of Prof. Dr. David Burger, Dr. Angela Colbers and Dr. Olivier Richel. Her PhD projects are driven towards finding solutions to the obesity-driven challenges in people living with HIV under antiretroviral therapy. The results of her research have resulted in the present thesis.