"Leishmaniasis is a terrible disease. It causes huge ulcers, or your organs swell up until you die. Single-celled Leishmania parasites cause tens of thousands of deaths a year in Africa and Southeast Asia via a sting from the sand fly. I am very happy that the NKI is one of the few institutes to pay attention to it. I investigated a drug based on a chemotherapy developed in the 1980s for metastatic breast cancer. It was the first pill to be effective against leishmaniasis. In addition, I investigated the optimal dose under different conditions. One of the discoveries was that, oddly enough, children need a much higher dose than adults do. This has now become the standard in several countries. It's wonderful that my work can mean so much and I enjoy doing it so much. We have developed models that deliver valid results with very little available data. This combination of pharmacology and mathematics, pharmacometrics, is my passion!"
Semra Palić will defend his or her thesis on 10 September.
Promotor: prof. dr. Jos Beijnen
Co-promotor: dr. Thomas Dorlo