January 29, 2008
LYME DISEASE RESEARCH
By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney
You asked where medical research is being conducted on Lyme disease, including whether the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is involved in such research.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LYME AND TICK BORNE DISEASES RESEARCH CENTER
One of the nation's leading Lyme disease research sites is the Columbia University Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases Research Center in New York City. This center, established last year, is the first university center for the study of Lyme disease in the country. It is supported by Time for Lyme, Inc. and the Lyme Disease Association, Inc., and will bring together a multidisciplinary team of University Medical Center (CUMC) physicians and scientists.
The center will focus on clinical research aimed at developing novel therapies, basic science to unravel disease mechanisms and identify better diagnostic tests, and education of both medical students and physicians on how to best evaluate and treat patients. The center has a particular interest on the problems faced by patients with chronic persistent symptoms.
The center is involved in major Lyme disease research projects including a multi-institutional diagnostic research project involving CUMC, the National Institutes of Health, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The center is also developing a brain bank for autopsy specimens from patients with neurologic Lyme disease to study the neuropathology of the disease.
More information on the center can be found at http://www.columbia-lyme.org. (We have also attached additional information about the center.)
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
The CDC awards more than $3.5 million per year to 10 institutions for new research on Lyme disease. The studies are designed to improve understanding of the disease and to examine new methods for testing, prevention, and control. Some of the institutions receiving research funding include Yale University, Massachusetts General Hospital, New York Medical College, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Tulane University. More information is attached and can also be found at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/ld_funding.htm.