Michael Bestawros, MD, MPH
Cardiology Fellow, Vanderbilt University
Fellowship Site: University of Zambia, Zambia
Research Interests: Cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, HIV co-morbidity
For his Fogarty Fellowship Dr. Bestawros will be working with Dr. Douglas Heimburger on a cardiology arm to the Nutritional Support for Africans Starting Antiretroviral Therapy (NUSTART) program in Zambia. The NUSTART study was developed in response to an earlier study finding that the mortality rate is almost 20% in undernourished HIV patients within 12 weeks of starting cART. In the NUSTART study, they are recruiting 1400 undernourished Zambians with HIV and giving them different types of nutrition supplementation prior to starting cART. The cardiology arm to the study, led by Dr. Bestawros, will evaluate for a relationship between markers of cardiovascular health and the high mortality rate seen in these patients who die unexpectedly and of unknown causes. Dr. Bestawros is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for 2012, and will split his time and effort between his Fogarty Fellowship and his Fulbright project in Cape Town, South Africa.