In Honor of Dr. Neil Spector
Click here if you’d like to make a donation in honor of Dr. Spector—you’ll be taken to our donate page, then click “in memory of ” and type in “Dr. Neil Spector.”
Bay Area Lyme Foundation has been working with Dr. Neil Spector in support of his therapeutic research project in tick-borne disease. At the time of his death, he and his brilliant team at Duke were deep into game-changing research. Bay Area Lyme has committed to continuing to support this program.
Many of you have reached out wanting to honor Neil. We are working with the family and they are honored by your help in bringing his important work, outlined below, to the world.
The research of Neil Spector, MD and Tim Haystead PhD brings precise drug development methods to target the borrelia spirochete for Lyme disease eradication. Drs Spector and Haystead have identified an important protein in Borrelia’s intracellular space, which, when targeted, can act as a homing beacon for a toxic payload to destroy Borrelia through multiple mechanisms. The research team, which also includes Monica Embers, PhD, will use the same target to develop both a fluorescent molecule as well as a PET agent for live imaging and diagnosis of Borrelia infections, including neuroborreliosis.
Please consider a donation—Click here to be taken to our donate page, then click “in memory of ” and type in “Dr. Neil Spector.” Bay Area Lyme has committed to continuing to support his program and his work.
On behalf of Bay Area Lyme and the Spector Family, we humbly thank you for your gracious donation in his name.
About Dr. Neil Spector
Dr. Neil Spector, MD, one of the country’s top oncologists and a cancer researcher at Duke University School of Medicine, describes his painful near-death experience with Lyme disease in the recently published memoir Gone in A Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing (2015). He speaks with candor and a unique perspective as a medical professional struggling to be heard by his own doctors. Uncertain when he was infected, Dr. Spector first began having health issues, including arrhythmia and arthritis pain, in the early 1990s, but despite being native to a highly endemic area for Lyme, it took many more years to have a positive diagnosis for the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed in 1997 and Dr. Spector received three months of intravenous antibiotics but was left with a severely weakened heart. It took almost 12 more years until he received a life-saving heart transplant for Dr. Spector to begin restoring his health and the damage done to his body by the parasite.
Click here to be taken to the Duke Cancer Institute obituary for Dr Spector.
In the video below, Dr. Neil Spector discusses his heart transplant due to undiagnosed Lyme Carditis.
You can find Dr. Spector’s book, Gone in a Heartbeat here. In this July 2015 interview with Diane Rehm (and Bay Area Lyme Foundation researcher Dr. John Aucott) on The Diane Rehm Show, he explains his motives for writing the book:
“I wanted to write my book, one, because I realized that there were other people out there who are suffering, and there’s a lot more that we don’t know than we know about this disease and that there are people who don’t fit the classic mold of a bull’s-eye rash and a tick bite and that I’m an example of somebody who is a physician scientist who was dismissed as being stressed when in fact I had a serious, life-threatening infection that almost took my life.”
Listen here for the full discussion with Drs. Aucott, Spector, Sunil Sood (Southside Hospital North Shore LI Pediatrics), and Paul Roepe (co-director for the Center for Infectious Disease at Georgetown University).