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Lyme Disease Association Awards New Grants for 2002

Research Seeks Diagnostic & Treatment Answers for Most Prevalent Vector-borne Disease

Columbia University Lyme disease center receives funding

 

Jackson, NJ-January 6, 2003 The Lyme Disease Association, Inc. announces that it has awarded 2002 end-of-the-year grants totaling $129,200. “We are delighted to have worked with a number of organizations in our quest to fund research which will help unravel the mysteries surrounding the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States today, Lyme disease,” says Association president, Pat Smith. The new grants which follow “will provide better diagnostic tools, help illuminate the hiding places of the bacteria causing Lyme in the body and will examine other tick-borne diseases,” she adds.   

  • Binding and Uptake of Borrelia burgdorferi into Nervous System Cells, Sam Donta, MD; Professor of Medicine, Director, Lyme Disease Unit, Boston University Medical Center (This grant was awarded with monies jointly raised by the LDA and Greenwich Lyme Disease Task Force [GLDTF])
  • Species Identification of a Lone Star Tick-Associated Spirochete from Southeast Missouri and Development of a PCR-Based Assay for Testing of Patient Samples, Maria Picken, MD, PhD; Professor of Pathology, Director of Renal Pathology & Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Loyola University Medical Center

  • Co infections in Persons with Chronic Lyme Disease, Martin Fried, MD; Director, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Assistant Program Director, Department of Pediatrics, Jersey Shore Medical Center, NJ

  • Tick-borne Diseases Data Base, Phase I: Retrospective Study, Joseph Burrascano, MD; Attending Physician, Southampton Hospital, Board of Directors member, International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), private practice, East Hampton, NY

The $129,200 grant awards are in addition to the $.7M awarded to Columbia University in 2002 by the LDA and GLDTF and earmarked for the Columbia University chronic Lyme disease research center to be housed at the University.  LDA/GLDTF are partnering with Columbia to open the center. The $.7M will go toward the center endowment as well as toward the following current research projects that have commenced at the University:

  • The Neurochemical Impact of Lyme Disease on the Brain: An In-vivo Study Using MR Spectroscopy, Brian Fallon, MD, principal investigator, Director, Lyme Disease Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University with MR Spectroscopy Center, NY Presbyterian Medical Center.

  • Brain SPECT Imaging in Lyme Disease, Brian Fallon, MD, principal investigator, Director, Lyme Disease Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University

  • Mass Spectrometry and Proteomic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease, Steven Schutzer, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Medicine & Dentistry, New Jersey, principal investigator, and Brian Fallon, MD, Director, Lyme Disease Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University.

The LDA is an all volunteer national non-profit whose goals are Lyme disease education prevention and fundraising for research. In addition to the existing fundraising and educational network, eight other organizations from locations throughout the US are working in conjunction with the LDA to raise Lyme disease awareness and/or funds to support the Columbia Center and the various grants awarded by the LDA annually. Turn the Corner Foundation, Manhattan, is one example of a new foundation that has joined the Lyme disease fight. “Cooperation is the key to fighting this vastly underreported disease, which is depriving many of their jobs, education, quality of life and indeed sometimes, of life itself, ” states Ms. Smith.