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Bay Area Lyme Foundation Increases Annual ‘Emerging Leader Award’ Grants to $350,000 for Lyme Disease Research

2017 additional award invites applications from Associate Professors through Full Professors

Silicon Valley, California, October 3, 2016 – Bay Area Lyme Foundation, supporter of research aimed at making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, announced today that it is beginning to accept applications for a new $250,000 grant award that has been added to its existing “Emerging Leader Award” portfolio of yearly funding.  Made available to researchers through the generosity of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the Laurel Foundation, the portfolio also includes the $100,000 “Emerging Leader Award” which has previously been granted to researchers from Harvard, Stanford, UCSF, NC State and Louisiana State University.

“We are proud to support the Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s 2017 Emerging Leader Awards,” said Alex Cohen, co-founder and president of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which has committed more than $50 million to more than 20 Lyme disease projects.  “Lyme is a very complex and also poorly understood disease, however we believe that the new and innovative projects supported by these grants will help pave the way to finding a cure for Lyme disease.”

The $250,000 Alexandra Cohen Award

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation Alexandra Cohen Award, new this year, targets veteran scientific talent with the title of associate professor or above who have not previously performed research in Lyme disease.  Applicants must be at a US academic institution or corporate equivalent and propose to apply their work in other fields to therapeutics or diagnostics in Lyme disease.

The $100,000 Emerging Leader Award

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation Emerging Leader Award is offered to researchers in academia or the private sector who are currently at the post-doctoral through assistant professor level, or equivalent. Applicants must have identified a defined approach to improving diagnostics or therapies for Lyme disease. Important criteria include demonstrated professional and scientific leadership in the biomedical sciences and a strong supporting scientific rationale for the project.  Research efforts funded by this award are required to generate initial proof of concept within 12 – 18 months.

The “Emerging Leader Award” grants, along with several other Bay Area Lyme Foundation efforts, aim to fill a critical gap as funding for Lyme disease research from the National Institutes of Health is paltry.  While there are six times as many people diagnosed in the US each year with Lyme than HIV, Lyme disease receives less than 1% of the public funding that is allocated for HIV/AIDS.

“Because current methods for diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease are completely inadequate, we must fund and enable innovative research to create effective new options,” states Linda Giampa, Executive Director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

Applications for each “Emerging Leader Award” will be accepted from researchers throughout the United States through February 15, 2017.  Award winners will be announced  during Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s annual LymeAid™ fundraising event in May 2017.  The full criteria and application for this award can be found at here.

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 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2015 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 leading public non-profit funder of innovative Lyme disease research in the US.  A national 501c3 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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Tara DiMilia
Phone: 908-884-7024

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