Dr Melanie Rijsbergen successfully defends her PhD thesis!

On February 19, 2020 our colleague Melanie Rijsbergen successfully defended her PhD thesis ‘Early phase clinical drug development for HPV-induced disorders: novel tools and treatments’ at Leiden University.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections can cause a variety of epithelial lesions, with a disease burden ranging from minimal cosmetic discomfort to highly debilitating morbidity and even mortality. Current treatments of HPV-induced lesions consist of medical and surgical therapies that focus on lesion removal instead of eradication of the virus. These treatments are often associated with significant side effects and high recurrence rates. Therefore, there is a strong medical need for new HPV eliminating drugs with an acceptable side effect profile. For her thesis, Melanie elucidated novel pharmacological interventions for HPV-induced diseases by using a question-based developmental approach that includes investigation of the pharmacological effects in an early phase of drug development. The emphasis of the thesis is on the development of new methodological tools to monitor the course of HPV-related diseases in clinical trials, as well as the exploration of successful biomarkers of viral load in HPV infections.

Melanie was supervised by professor Koos Burggraaf and her co-promotors dr Robert Rissman and dr Mariette van Poelgeest. For more information, please reach out to us.