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Tara DiMilia, 908-947-0500, tara.dimilia@TMstrat.com
Bay Area Lyme Foundation Awards Grant to Harvard Medical School Researchers for Development of an Accurate Test for Lyme Disease
2015 Emerging Leader Award Seeks to Accelerate Scientific Solutions for Lyme Disease
PORTOLA VALLEY, CA — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading national nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research, today announced that the winners of its 2015 Emerging Leader Award, are collaborators Nira Pollock, MD, PhD, and John Branda, MD. The $100,000 grant that accompanies this award will support their research on a potential biomarker for Lyme disease, which may lead to the development of a novel urine test for early Lyme disease. The most commonly used diagnostic for Lyme disease, the two-tier serological ELISA/Western Blot process, misses up to 60% of cases of early stage Lyme.
Guest blog by Dr. William St. Lawrence, Village Square Veterinarian, Portola Valley Village Square
May is Lyme Awareness month but it is only the beginning of peak season in the Bay Area for the troublesome nymphal blacklegged ticks that can carry Lyme disease. As we come to the final days of the month, it is not time to let down your guard.
In this guest post, popular local veterinarian Dr. William St. Lawrence shares some important facts about keeping you and your pets safe for the rest of this spring and early summer.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tara DiMilia, 908-947-0500, tara.dimilia@TMstrat.com
Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s LymeAid Brings Celebrities and Scientists Together to Help Accelerate Medical Breakthroughs for Lyme Disease
David and Yolanda Foster, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Jane Seymour, and Elet Hall were among supporters to help combat the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease
PORTOLA VALLEY, CA — On Sunday, May 17, Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading national nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research, hosted more than 400 celebrities, philanthropists, and noteworthy scientists at the third annual LymeAid® gala. The benefit dinner and concert raised approximately $600,000, of which 100% will go directly to fund research for Lyme disease. More than 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with this potentially debilitating disease each year.
Jo Ellis, Director of Education Outreach at Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Dan Salkeld, PhD, a foundation research scientist, lecturer at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and Professor at Colorado State University, recently attended the Association of Outdoor and Environmental Educators (AEOE) conference in Marin County, CA to update naturalists and outdoor educators on Lyme disease and tick-bite prevention.
Here, Bay Area Lyme research scientist Dan Salkeld shows California naturalists how to drag for ticks at the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Educators annual conference.
The following story was written by Ursula Jongebloed, a first-year Dartmouth College student who frequently leads trips in the Northeast with the Dartmouth Outing Club. Ursula is originally from Menlo Park, California, and has friends from all over the country who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease after being bitten by ticks during outdoor adventures.
Each year during winter term, the Dartmouth Outing Club leads a weekend outing to the Second College Grant, a 27,000-acre area of wilderness given to the college by the state of New Hampshire in 1807. On the last night of the trip, the thirty students gather around a wood stove in the center of a log cabin to listen to older members of the Dartmouth Outing Club speak. This year, the speaker was Kevin Evans, the Director of Woodlands Management for Dartmouth’s Second College Grant.
I just found a tick on [Sam]. I pulled it out and it was still alive and I wonder if I should be worried about Lyme. He said it had been bothering him for a few days now. Yikes! Have you had this happen before? Should I take him to the doctor? Do you think he might have Lyme disease???
A few weeks ago at 9:30 pm one evening, I received the above text from a good friend who had discovered a tick on her eight-year old son’s neck just under his hairline and wasn’t sure if she should be rushing straight to the ER. The area around the bite had become quite red and irritated and the tick appeared to be engorged, though having never encountered a tick before and having hastily flushed the tick down the toilet after removing it (“nasty critter!”), my friend also could not be 100% certain it was in fact a “deer tick” (common name for the Lyme-carrying western blacklegged tick). Worse still, we had several mutual connections who had been recently diagnosed with Lyme after encountering infected ticks in the hills and woods of the Santa Cruz mountains, here on the San Francisco peninsula, so the fear was genuine.
Recently we received this letter from a young Lyme sufferer who took the initiative and leveraged her frustration from battling Lyme disease and the hope that her recent diagnosis has now brought to create this powerful educational video about the disease and how to stay safe.
Sarah H. was diagnosed with Lyme in 2014 after battling the symptoms for more than 20 years without an accurate diagnosis. You can read more about her personal Lyme story here on our Faces of Lyme feature and see another of her prevention videos.
The Wilke Lyme Disease Project is a three-year study that will leverage the tools and technologies of systems biology to understand the fundamentals of Lyme disease, identify biomarkers, and gain insights about the genomics and proteomics of the infecting Borrelia organism. This project was made possible through the award of $2.13 million in transformational gifts to the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, from Jeff and Liesl Wilke, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, and the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) are jointly developing a systematic review and guideline on treatment of Lyme disease.
The 30-day open Public Comment period on the Lyme Disease Guideline Project Plan started March 8 through April 9.During the Public Comment period, anyone may comment on any aspect of the Plan, including the methodology and development process utilized as well as adherence to the IOM standards. Please see here for more details.
GUEST BLOG: The following story about a recent tick encounter was shared by George Stratman, Principal of the Marin County Outdoor School at Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
As part of Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s educational outreach, staff visit and work with school teachers, camp counselors, and administrators throughout the Bay Area, providing instructional materials and tools and support for program development.
For more information about our outreach activities or to learn more about how we can partner with your organization, contact Jo@bayarealyme.org.
Every week, a new group of approximately 180-200 fifth- or sixth-grade students arrives at Walker Creek Ranch for a week of what is most commonly known as “outdoor education” – a highlight of the fifth and sixth-grade years for many students and their teachers. Walker Creek Ranch, Marin County’s Outdoor School, is in a stunning setting, surrounded by hills rolling gently out toward the Pacific Ocean, and boasting woodlands, ponds, and an abundance of wildlife. The school serves over 5,000 California school children each year with a dedicated team of naturalists, teachers, and support staff, all of whom put the health and safety of our student visitors as the top priority.