FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bay Area Lyme Foundation Now Accepting Applications for 2024 Emerging Leader Award and Grant
Annual grant seeks to attract innovative researchers with a new approach for diagnosing and treating tick-borne diseases
PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., October 26, 2023—Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, is announcing a call for entries for their 2024 Emerging Leader Awards (ELA), which aim to recognize U.S. researchers from academia or the private sector who bring new approaches to the field of Lyme disease and embody the future of Lyme disease research leadership. This year, the Foundation ELA will present a $150,000 award for a researcher who is at the post-doctoral level through associate professor level.
While applicants must have a defined scientific approach to advancing diagnostics and/or therapeutics for Lyme disease, the grants are open to researchers from other therapeutic areas as well as those who have previously worked in Lyme disease research. Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2024 at 11:59pm, Pacific Time. The full criteria and application for this award can be found here.
“The world is seeing firsthand the damage that infections can cause – both in acute and chronic forms –and Lyme is no exception. Even today, it presents a significant hurdle for the scientific research community,” said Wendy Adams, research grant director Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “We intend for our Emerging Leader Award to encourage creative, driven scientists to embrace the challenge of developing accurate diagnostic tests and effective therapeutics for various stages of tick-borne diseases.”
Since 2014, the Emerging Leader Award has been a catalyst for future research that increases the scope of investigation in Lyme disease and aids in developing better diagnostics and treatments. Bay Area Lyme Foundation encourages researchers to explore novel, scientifically well-founded concepts with potential utility toward that goal. Many ELA recipients have subsequently received grants from other groups including the NIH, as well as continued support from Bay Area Lyme Foundation. The efforts funded by this award are required to generate initial proof of concept within 12-24 months and requires applicants to demonstrate professional and scientific leadership in the biomedical sciences and a strong supporting scientific rationale.
Past ELA recipients have come from institutions including Brandeis University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Louisiana State University, North Carolina State University, Stanford University School of Medicine, and the University of California, San Francisco. This award has enabled past recipients, including Brandon Jutras, PhD, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and Peter Gwynne, PhD, research assistant at Tufts School of Medicine, to conduct innovative early-stage research that opened the door for prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense.
The most recent ELA winner, Andriy Batchinsky, MD, Senior Scientist at the Geneva Foundation, is leveraging his expertise in minimally invasive wearable and expeditionary extracorporeal life-support (ECLS) to treat Lyme disease.
Applicants must submit an application, research proposal, and at least one supporting letter from their supervising manager or Principal Investigator.
About Lyme disease
The most common vector-borne infectious disease in the US, Lyme disease is a potentially disabling infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets, and may also be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and inaccurate diagnostic tests. There are approximately 500,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2018 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, up to two 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 organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is the leading public not-for-profit sponsor of innovative Lyme disease research in the US. A 501c3 organization based in Silicon Valley, Bay Area Lyme 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. A pivotal donation from The LaureL STEM FUND covers overhead costs and allows for 100% of all donor contributions to the Bay Area Lyme Foundation to go directly to research and prevention programs. For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit www.bayarealyme.org or call us at 650-530-2439.
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