NatCapLyme awarded a research grant to support the innovative work of Dr. Neil Spector, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. His research work focuses on the molecular and immunobiology of cancer, which could also lead to a paradigm shift in treatment to a new generation of targeted and immunotherapies to battle Lyme and its co-infections. According to Dr. Spector, “Our goal is to find alternatives to antibiotics to treat Lyme disease and to identify drugs that will target the Achilles’ heel of these pathogens while sparing the normal gut microbiome.”
NatCapLyme awarded a research grant for the third year to support the work of Dr. Ying Zhang, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Zhang and his research group have developed a new assay which allows the identification of a range of FDA-approved drugs that have excellent activity against Borrelia burgdorferi persisters. In collaboration with colleagues, he is evaluating the promising candidate drugs in combinations in animal models and also in patients for more effective treatment of Lyme disease.
NatCapLyme sponsored first-time attending physician attendance at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society 2017 Scientific Conference “Lyme Fundamentals Course” in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-five physicians from around the country were awarded grants for their participation and returned to their communities better prepared to treat their patients.
NatCapLyme awarded a research grant to Old Dominion University to study the presence of Borrelia miyamotoi in ticks collected throughout Virginia. This ongoing research follows a previous study in Fauquier County in 2016 where Borrelia miyamotoi was first discovered in collected ticks. This joint effort involving NatCapLyme and Old Dominion University will allow for more informed policies to be generated and provide information to the citizens of Virginia as well as the entire mid-Atlantic region about the actual risk of tick-borne pathogens in their area.
Funding was awarded to Old Dominion University’s Tick Research Team for outreach materials used for the creation of tick removal kits, printed brochures and tick-identification cards. These materials were used at Old Dominion University’s Tick outreach events throughout Virginia.
NatCapLyme sponsored and funded local community events and supported other national advocacy organizations efforts’ to raise awareness about Lyme and tick-borne diseases.