It is that time of year when we reflect and take stock of all that’s happened over the past 12 months – the highs and the highlights and what it portends for the year ahead. As we quickly approach the close of 2014, we are proud of the progress that has been made and grateful to all those who helped create greater awareness, understanding, and discovery around Lyme disease, its agents, and its progression. It has been a year of collaboration and innovation across the research field with promising developments for new treatments and diagnostics
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Bay Area Lyme Foundation Announces $1.2 Million in 2014 Grants Awarded to Researchers throughout the United States
Portola Valley, CA — Bay 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.
Elet Hall is nothing short of a marvel. This amazing athlete is a four-time competitor on American Ninja Warrior, where he is known as “The Natural” for his seemingly effortless runs. The first two years he successfully made it to the Las Vegas finals despite suffering from undiagnosed Lyme disease. Shortly after the 2013 finals, he woke up one day with facial paralysis and his joints and limbs numbed with fatigue. After being diagnosed and successfully treated for Lyme disease, he again returned in 2014 to triumph in his third attempt at the competition. After dominating Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the national finals, Elet finally succumbed to the floating doors in Stage 3, coming in 2nd place in his third attempt at the competition.
This year, Elet again returned to the ANW stage, with a dominating “run of the night” at the 2015 Pittsburgh Qualifiers. (Check out Elet’s facebook page for the video!) and then headed to the Pittsburgh City Finals on August 10th. At the finals, Elet had a tough run, narrowly surviving a missed grab on the monkey bars before finally slipping on the last few doorknobs. Even with the surprising fall, however, Hall still was among the fastest finalists, qualifying him to move on to Las Vegas for the national finals and the battle for a $1 million grand prize. [Read here for more about the August finals.) Unfortunately it was not Elet’s year to walk away with the grand prize but we will be rooting for him in next year’s competition!!
Here in a November 2014 excerpt from a longer story on our Faces of Lyme feature, he shares some perspective about the challenges of fighting Lyme disease as an athlete:
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Clinicians, Researchers Gather in Boston to Discuss Science of Lyme Disease — Conference Unites Lyme Disease Research Community
Boston, MA — A national scientific conference entitled “Lyme Borreliosis and Tick-Borne Illnesses: Diagnostics, Emerging Pathogens and Avenues for New Research,” brought a broad range of researchers and clinicians to Boston November 8 and 9 to discuss tick-borne diseases, share emerging ideas and knowledge, and assess the most promising avenues for research into the future. Held at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the conference drew more than 200 people from across the country and around the world intent on collaborating through the power of science to find answers to some of the most complex and often-misunderstood diseases. The two-day forum, to which the Bay Area Lyme Foundation provided an unrestricted educational grant, also featured the presentation of awards recognizing several scientists for their contributions to the understanding and treatment of Lyme disease.
Lisa Blum is an enterprising young scientist and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine, working in the lab of Dr. Bill Robinson. Earlier this year she was recognized as a Bay Area Lyme Foundation Emerging Leader and received a $100,000 project grant. Here she talks about her research, life at Stanford, and the impact of the award.
Q: Earlier this year, your project, “Sequencing of Antibody Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi Infection — Generation of Recombinant Antibodies with Diagnostic and Therapeutic Utility” helped earn you recognition as a Bay Area Lyme Emerging Leader. Tell us about your project and what you hope to accomplish.
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system that protect us from infections, but in some cases the antibodies themselves can damage the human body. Our goal is to characterize antibodies produced during different stages of Lyme disease, and to generate monoclonal antibodies that can be used to improve on existing Lyme disease treatments and diagnosis.
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Bay Area Lyme Foundation Requests Proposals for $100,000 Grant for An Emerging Scientific Leader in Lyme Research
Emerging Leader Award aims to inspire a much-needed focus on Lyme disease among researchers
Silicon Valley, CA — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research in the US, today announced a call for applications for its Bay Area Lyme Foundation Emerging Leader Award and accompanying $100,000 grant. This award will be given to a promising scientist who embodies the future of leadership in Lyme disease research in the US. The award recipient will be a researcher at the post-doctoral level through the Assistant Professor level, or equivalent, who has identified a defined approach to improved 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 are required to generate initial proof-of-concept within 12 – 18 months.
You couldn’t have missed it … Some months ago, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge captured the nation’s attention and raised millions of dollars for the ALS association. Participants were doused with a bucket of ice or could make a donation to the charity to avoid the ice dunking.
Well, in late August, one enterprising young woman, Ms. Shelby Anderson, inspired by the ALS tactics and determined to raise awareness about Lyme disease, introduced a new spin on the challenge. With friends and supporters at Western University in Pomona, CA, she challenged folks to eat an entire lime in support of Bay Area Lyme Foundation and our efforts to develop a better diagnostic.
No. A certain kind of rash, called erythema migrans, is a telltale symptom of Lyme disease, and if you have it call your doctor immediately. But not everyone who has Lyme exhibits a rash, much less the “bullseye” rash so often associated with Lyme disease.
Please join us. Bring your own picnic & blanket or order catered BBQ and enjoy some great tunes and crafted brews.
FREE Admission, $25 donation for catered BBQ meal – Select Brewery Beers $4
Also featuring Kids’ Activity Tent and Lyme Education & Prevention Information.
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Researchers from CDPH and UC-Berkeley Publish Findings in Peer-Review Journal, Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Silicon Valley, CA — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which aims to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, applauds new research published in an upcoming issue of the Elsevier peer review journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. The findings show that ticks that carry Lyme disease in Northwest California are active throughout the year, making the threat of Lyme disease year-round. The research was conducted by researchers at California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Vector-borne Disease Section and University of California, Berkeley (UC-B).