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Bay Area Lyme Foundation Funds $8M in Tick-borne Disease Research During the Pandemic.

0 2 years ago

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced that the organization has raised more than $8 million since the beginning of the pandemic of which 100% will be used directly for research and education programs focused on achieving its mission of making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure. In 2022, Bay Area Lyme will mark its 10th anniversary, and throughout this year will be reflecting on a decade of achievements by the foundation and the Lyme community while acknowledging the significant challenges that still lie ahead.

“Although the pandemic presented us with many extraordinary hurdles, it also helped people understand the complicated aspects of infectious diseases – including the importance of accurate diagnostics, the role of antibodies, and the power of effective treatments – all of which are – and continue to be – huge factors in our fight against Lyme and tick-borne diseases,” said Linda Giampa, executive director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “The similarities between Lyme and COVID-19 clearly show the critical nature of scientific pursuit, progress and education. The foundation demonstrates consistent, measurable progress unlocking the mysteries of tick-borne diseases, which remain one of the most important health crises of our time.”

“Our hearts go out to the long-haul COVID-19 sufferers, who are struggling with unreliable diagnostics, limited treatments and ongoing health issues, because this has been the Lyme community’s lived experience and struggle for many years,” added Giampa.

Research in Action

Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s science committee has approved and funded 18 discrete projects, and 15 studies were published since the pandemic began in March 2020, and the organization anticipates announcing significant progress in 2022. Highlights of recently funded research include:

  • Jacob Lemieux, MD, DPhil, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, who is using next-generation and target capture sequencing to develop a sensitive, direct detection diagnostic for early Lyme disease
  • Artem Rogovskyy, DVM, PhD , Texas A&M, who is working to develop a unique, robust, rapid diagnostic test for Lyme disease with significant improvements in sensitivity and specificity compared to current options
  • Sunjya Schweig, MD, California Center for Functional Medicine and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic, who collaborated on research to evaluate anti-microbial effects of 14 natural products compared to antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease with findings published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine
  • Flightpath Biosciences, Inc., which recently announced 30-day preclinical trial data demonstrating the ability of hygromycinA to clear Lyme bacteria
  • Sapient Bioanalytics, which is conducting biomarker research aimed at identifying a direct diagnostic for Lyme disease

Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s 2020 and 2021 grant recipients include:

Colorado State University

Daniel Salkeld, PhD, Research Scientist

Duke University

Timothy Haystead, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

Lyme Disease Biobank

Liz Horn, PhD, MBI, Principal Investigator, Lyme Disease Biobank

Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

Anna Schotthoefer, PhD, Project Scientist


Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, Principal Investigator and Chief Executive Officer

North Carolina State University

Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases

The Rockefeller University

Michael P. Rout, PhD, Professor and Head of Laboratory, Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology

Stanford University

William Robinson, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology

Michal Tal, PhD, Instructor, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Stanford University

Michael Snyder, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics Director, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Stanford University

Translational Genomics Research Institute

Tanner Porter, PhD

Tulane University

Monica Embers, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of Vector-Borne Disease Research

University of California, Davis

Janet Foley, PhD, Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine

University of California, San Francisco

Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center (VDDC), Associate Director, UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Professor

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Matthew Redinbo, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology

University of California, San Francisco

Balyn Zaro, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry

University of Texas at San Antonio

Janakiram Seshu, PhD, Professor, Bacterial Pathogenesis

Virginia Tech University

Brandon Jutras, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistr

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