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Bay Area Lyme Foundation Announces $1.2 Million in 2014 Grants Awarded to Researchers throughout the United States

Portola Valley, CABay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research in the US, today announced the recipients of the 2014 grant cycle to fund research related to Lyme disease, which impacts 300,000 Americans each year. The organization awarded a total of $1.2 million to nine researchers across the US focused on making Lyme disease simple to diagnose and easy to cure.  Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s grant cycle runs throughout the year and involves researchers from most regions of the United States.  These researchers are working on projects to develop a better understanding of the disease and substantially improve its diagnosis and treatment.

“There are so many unanswered scientific questions related to Lyme, innovative researchers have the potential to make profound strides in helping solve the mystery of this disease and offer hope to the millions suffering,” states Linda Giampa, Executive Director.  “We’re proud to facilitate the exceptional level of scientific inquiry that we’ve identified through our intensive grant process, and are confident of the progress these researchers will make toward our goal.”

With these grants, Bay Area Lyme Foundation is strategically filling a gap in Lyme research funding, as federal funding for this disease is paltry.  While there are six times as many people diagnosed each year with Lyme than with HIV, Lyme disease receives less than 1% of the public funding that is allocated for HIV/AIDS. Over the past three years, Bay Area Lyme Foundation has provided grants to researchers totaling $2.4 million.

Our grant recipients for 2014 include the following:

  • Lisa Blum, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, for characterization of the immune responses of patients with short-term symptoms from Lyme disease compared to those who become chronically ill
  • Jerome Bouquet, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, for development of a novel gene expression-based test for acute and post-treatment Lyme
  • Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, for optimization of the TickChip diagnostic to directly detect the RNA of the Lyme bacteria and other tick-borne pathogens
  • Monica Embers, PhD, Tulane University Health Sciences, and Emir Hodzic, PhD, University of California, Davis, for elucidating the presence and impact of persistent bacteria following delayed Lyme treatment
  • Mark Eshoo, PhD, Ibis Biosciences, for optimization of its diagnostic to directly detect the DNA of the Lyme bacteria
  • Nichola Garbett, PhD, University of Louisville, for development of a novel diagnostic for Lyme disease utilizing a differential scanning calorimetry technique
  • A.T. Charlie Johnson, PhD and Dustin Brisson, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, for development of an ultrasensitive Lyme protein detection diagnostic, funded in collaboration with Lyme Research Alliance
  • Nate Nieto, PhD, Northern Arizona University, and Daniel Salkeld, PhD, Colorado State University, for identifying the reservoir hosts of Lyme-causing bacteria in the Bay Area
  • Jayakumar Rajadas, PhD, Stanford University, for biomarker research in post-treatment Lyme disease

About Lyme Disease

One of the most common infectious diseases in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are about 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, 10 times more than previously reported, according to statistics released in 2013 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, as many as one million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.

About Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a national nonprofit organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is the lead funder of innovative Lyme disease research in the US.  A national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley, the Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists and institutions to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease. It is also dedicated to providing reliable, fact-based information so that prevention and the importance of early treatment are common knowledge. For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit or call us at 650-530-2439.

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