Media Contact:
Tara DiMilia, 908-947-0500,

First Ever ‘Emerging Leader Award’ Presented to Two Promising Scientists

Portola Valley, CA –Bay Area Lyme Foundation,, a national organization dedicated to accelerating medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease and making prevention common knowledge, raised close to $500,000 at its second annual LymeAid benefit concert last evening, with 100 percent of contributions supporting research to find a reliable diagnostic and cure for Lyme disease.

At Bay Area Lyme Foundation, we believe that Lyme disease is a curable disease,” said Bonnie Crater, Vice President, Board of Directors and Chair, Science Committee, Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “And, while, today, we don’t have accurate diagnostics and a therapy that cures, we firmly expect that by arming researchers with the support they need, we will get answers for Lyme patients around the world.”

Announced during LymeAid were the first recipients of Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s inaugural Emerging Leader Award, and each was presented with a $100,000 grant for innovative Lyme disease research.  These grants were designed for promising scientists who have identified a defined approach to improved diagnostics or therapies for Lyme disease.

Recipients are:

  • Lisa K. Blum, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine, whose work in immune response to Lyme disease has the potential to help elucidate why some people have short-term symptoms from a Lyme infection and why others become chronically ill, as well as the hope of leading to the development of an improved diagnostic and/or therapeutic.
  • Jerome F. M. Bouquet, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco, who is working to identify “biomarkers” that will allow for the development of a host-based clinical diagnostic for both acute and post-treatment Lyme disease.

“We are hopeful that the innovative approaches that Drs. Blum and Bouquet are exploring will yield invaluable findings that help us achieve our goal of making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, and also encouraged by their enthusiasm and pioneering thought processes,”  Carin Rollins, Board of Directors.

During the event, world-class scientists from Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Stanford discussed the latest breakthroughs in the fight against Lyme disease.  Having received a grant from the proceeds of LymeAid 2013, John Aucott, MD, President and Founder, Lyme Disease Research Foundation, spoke about the latest research to improve diagnosis, and William Robinson, MD, PhD, Stanford University Associate Professor and Stanford Lyme Working Group Member, offered insights into the creation of the first National Lyme Biorepositiory, a nationwide bank of high quality clinical samples from patients with Lyme disease, which will dramatically scale the volume and quality of global research efforts.

The event was attended by more than 300 members of Silicon Valley’s philanthropic, scientific, academic, business, athletic and health care communities.  Veteran news reporter Rita Williams emceed the event, and international pop sensation The English Beat performed.

“Having my husband and two daughters suffer with Lyme disease, we’ve seen the physical and emotional toll the disease can take, and applaud the efforts of all researchers aiming to find an accurate diagnostic and a cure,” said Camille Athearn, whose husband and two of her three daughters have Lyme disease.  “Our dream is that no one else has to endure the relentless pain, suffering, and fear that Lyme has caused our family.”

About Lyme Disease

One of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States, 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 treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests.  If not treated promptly, Lyme may progress to a debilitating stage becoming difficult, or impossible, to cure. The CDC has reported that about 300,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

About Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Bay Area Lyme Foundation is committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure.  A national 501(c)3 non-profit organization, 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 is common knowledge.   For more information on Lyme disease or to get involved, visit or call us, 650-530-2439.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *