Researchers! CDMRP Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2020

The FY20 Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP) Program Announcements managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) are now posted to the (search grants by CFDA Number 12.420) and on the CDMRP website.

FY20 funding opportunities include the following:

· Career Development Award

· Idea Development Award

Pre-Applications are due May 27, 2020 and invited Applications due August 27, 2020.

Click here to view the Synopsis of FY20 TBDRP Award Mechanisms

Click here to view the CDMRP TBD flyer with program highlights.

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the Program pre-announcement. FY20 pre-announcements can be found on the CDMRP home page

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs

NOTE from Lyme Disease Association: Please do not contact us for information. Contact the CDMRP TBDRP directly. Thank you!

Lyme Disease Needs Your Congressmen to Sign Onto Letters NOW!

Rep. Chris Smith Rep. Chris Smith
Rep. Collin Peterson Rep. Collin Peterson


At this time the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. is asking you to contact your Congress Member to ask him/her to sign on to 2 important letters from the US House Lyme Disease Caucus.

These bipartisan letters provide details that the Lyme Caucus is asking the 2 Appropriations Committees to include in their reports on FY 2021 Appropriations. This language will help provide direction for the monies and was developed with input from Lyme/TBD advocates.

LETTER LHHS Appropriations Committee (sign-on deadline 3/10)

LETTER DoD Appropriations Committee Lyme/CDMRP (sign-on deadline 3/13)


 1. Determine Who Your Congress Member Is

Click on “Find Your Rep” box below

Type in zip code (your Member or a Member who serves your group’s area, your work area, etc.)


2. Congress Members Already Signed on Letter as of March 6, 2020/ Do Not Contact

Christopher H. Smith (NJ), Caucus Co-Chair
Collin Peterson (MN), Caucus Co-Chair
Antonio R. Delgado (NY)
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)
Tom Malinowski (NJ)
Chellie Pingree (ME)
Bill Posey (FL)
Max Rose (NY)
Elise M. Stefanik (NY)
Jennifer Wexton (VA)
Vicky Hartzler (MO)

3. Email or Call Your Congress Member’s DC office.

A. Below is an example of what you need to say to your Congress Member. Here are some examples of how you can identify yourself:  I am a Lyme patient, family member, friend of, person concerned about Lyme, doctor, Lyme group leader, etc.  

B. Cut & paste the red text below into an email to your Congress Member OR call and say the following verbally over the phone to your Congress Member: 

Dear Congress Member, 

I ask that you please sign onto the two letters from the bipartisan House of Representatives Lyme Disease Caucus – co-chairs Christopher Smith (NJ) and Collin Peterson (MN) – to the LHHS Appropriations Committee and to the DoD Appropriations Committee (Lyme/CDMRP). The important language in these letters will help Lyme patients across the country. Here are links to the draft letters:

Please call or email Kelsey Griswold at the Office of Christopher Smith for information or to have your signature added.  Thank you so much for your support on this important issue affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the US.


C. PLEASE NOTE: You are NOT supposed to email Kelsey Griswold. You are to instruct your Congress Person to email her directly. 




































































































































CDC Report on FY2018 TBD Funding

what do deer ticks look like?
Photo Credit: James Occi, (PhD cand.) LDA Scientific & Professional Advisory Board

The CDC released a report on FY 2018 tick-borne disease funding, which was requested by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The report includes an overview of the request from the Senate Appropriations Committee. It also provides an update on CDC’s work with states and progress in that area. This section includes information on Ticknet, a public health network and on the misuse of the CDC surveillance criteria including a physician survey published in Dec. 2019.
There is also a section that provides an update on how funds were spent when “in FY 2017,  CDC received $10.675M for Lyme disease.”  Twenty percent (20%) of that went to surveillance, research, and public health program implementation. Seventeen percent (17%) went to state activities, 14% went to Emerging Infection Program cooperative agreement for 10 state health departments who work with academic institutions, federal agencies, public health and clinical labs for vector-borne diseases. That funding also supported CDC’s infrastructure for surveillance, research and public health including integrated Pest Management for prevention of vector-borne diseases. 
CDC is also working with Colorado State University to develop a new type of test using metabolomics to diagnose early Lyme disease, which CDC says may be more sensitive than the two-tier test. 
FROM LDA: Read the 3-page report for more details, but note that the report is unclear and appears to not only address how these monies were expended for Lyme/TBD but also for vector-borne diseases. Also note in the last paragraph of section III, that HHS still maintains an internal tick-borne disease working group with CDC, NIH, and FDA. Do not be confused.  That working group is NOT the one Lyme patients and advocates were successful in getting created through legislation and is covered under FACA, meeting in public in DC. This working group meets and deliberates without the benefit of transparency and without a public voice.
Click here for the CDC report

President’s FY21 Budget Request Includes Increase for Vector-Borne Diseases

The White House released the Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal which includes a $14 million increase compared to the 2020 enacted level that focuses on tick-borne diseases.

Excerpts from Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2021:

  • “Prioritizes Critical Health Research and Supports Innovation” … “NIH would continue to address the opioid epidemic and emerging stimulants, make progress on developing a universal flu vaccine, prioritize vector-borne disease research, and support industries of the future.”
  • “Advances Vector-Borne Disease Prevention and Control. The threat of mosquito and tickborne diseases continues to rise in the United States. Cases of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, affected nearly 60,000 Americans in 2017. The Budget includes $66 million for CDC’s vector-borne disease activities, a $14 million increase compared to the 2020 enacted level which focuses on tick-borne diseases. The Budget also invests in NIH research to improve the Nation’s understanding of vector-borne diseases.”

The White House also released a fact sheet titled Protecting our Nation’s Health and Wellness reinforcing the prioritization of critical health research and advances in vector-borne disease prevention and control. Congress will review and vote on the budget proposal within the coming weeks.

Click here to view Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2021

Click here to view supplementary document Protecting our Nation’s Health and Wellness

Researchers! Fiscal Year 2020 Preannouncement for TBDRP is Posted

The FY20 Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP) Program managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) has issued a preannouncement for the FY20 funding opportunity.

The link to the preannouncement can be found here:

FY20 funding opportunities available for the Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP) include a Career Development Award and an Idea Development Award. Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the Program pre-announcement. 

Submission deadlines will not be available until the Program Announcements are released.


Flyer on CDMRP TBD program highlights:

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs

NOTE from Lyme Disease Association: Please do not contact us for information. Contact the CDMRP TBDRP directly. Thank you!

House Lyme Disease Caucus 2020

The House Lyme Disease Caucus is a bi-partisan group working together in Congress to take action on Lyme & tick-borne diseases. Under the leadership of Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ) and co-chair Colin Peterson (MN), it has initiated letters and actions to benefit Lyme patients, such as the inclusion of the monies for Lyme & tick-borne diseases into the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and language and Lyme monies into Appropriations over the years and initiated favorable legislation. Additionally, it has queried government agencies over policies not favorable to patients. This has reminded the agencies that someone is looking over their shoulder. Many meetings have been held and educational sessions in DC for Congress.

If Representatives are interested in signing up they can contact the offices of Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ) or Colin Peterson (MN).

Rep. Chris Smith, Pat Smith, Rich Smith discussing actions to take for House Lyme Caucus
Pat Smith, President & Rich Smith, Vice President of the LDA met in Wall, NJ, with Congressman Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the House Lyme Caucus, to discuss what actions can be taken in DC to help those with Lyme and to stop the spread of Lyme & other tick-borne diseases, 4/19/2017

List of Current House Lyme Disease Caucus

Smith, Christopher H. (R-NJ-04), Co-chair
Peterson, Collin C. (D-MN-7), Co-chair
Cohen, Steve (D-TN-9)
Connolly, Gerald E. (D-VA-11)
Courtney, Joe (D-CT-2)
DeGette, Diana (D-CO-1)
Delgado, Antonio (D-NY-19)
Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO-04)
Higgins, Brian (D-NY-26)
Holmes Norton, Eleanor (D-DC)
Keating, William R. (D-MA-9)
Kennedy, Joseph P. (D-MA-4)
King, Pete (R-NY-02)
Krishnamoorthi, Raja (D-IL-08)
Langevin, James R. (D- RI-02)
Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA-19)
Maloney, Sean Patrick (D-NY-18)
McGovern, James P. (D-MA-02)
Moulton, Seth (D-MA-06)
Peters, Scott (D-CA-52)
Pingree, Chellie (D-ME-01)
Pocan, Mark (D-WI-02)
Posey, Bill (R-FL-8)
Reed, Tom (R-NY)
Rose, Max (D-NY-11)
Stefanik, Elise (R-NY-21)
Steil, Bryan (R-WI-01)
Thompson, Glenn (R-PA-15)
Tonko, Paul (D-NY-20)
Wexton, Jennifer (R-VA-10)
Wittman, Robert J. (R-VA-01)

More about the Caucus

The bipartisan Congressional Lyme Disease Task Force, co-chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), is dedicated to educating Members of Congress and staff about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, as well as advancing initiatives that are designed to help the estimated 400,000 Americans who develop Lyme disease each year and all of those living with the disease.

As co-chairs of the bipartisan Task Force, Rep. Smith and Rep. Peterson lead annual appropriations requests in support of Lyme disease research through the Department of Health and Human Services and for research funding at the Department of Defense. In 2015, the caucus secured for the first time ever, $5 million in funding in the House Appropriations Committee annual military spending legislation, which was adopted in the Fiscal Year 2016 funding bill which was signed into law, and will provide resources for Lyme disease research through DOD’s innovative, high-risk, high-reward program. Subsequently, the CDMRP continued to be funded, and $7 million was secured for 2020. 

The caucus helped advocates secure another major win for Lyme disease. In December of 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed, and former-President Obama signed, the 21st Century Cures Act. The Cures Act included language – similar to a bill that Rep. Smith introduced previously – which created the interagency Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Specifically, the Working Group (WG) under the auspices of HHS, is comprised of federal and non-federal members tasked with reporting to Congress on scientific advances, research questions, surveillance activities and emerging strains in species of pathogenic organisms. Patients, advocates and treating physicians sit at the same table with government officials. In 2018, the WG sent a report to Congress with recommendations on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.  




CDC Focus on Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its website to include information regarding  maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease.

Updates from the CDC website:

  • Lyme disease Transmission page under “Are there other ways to get Lyme disease?”: “Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.”
  • Lyme Disease FAQ page under “I am pregnant and think I have Lyme disease, what should I do?”: “If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately. Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.* There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.”
  • Pregnancy and Lyme disease poster: information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Regarding breastfeeding the poster states, “There are no reports of Lyme disease transmission through breast milk.”

LDA President, Pat Smith, said this about the CDC’s recent update, “The maternal-fetal aspect of Lyme disease, mother to baby transmission, has long been known but not well-publicized. The new CDC focus on this Lyme transmission method has been missing in Lyme disease education. A number of advocacy groups, including the LDA, have had information on their websites. LymeHope in Canada has been strongly advocating for wider recognition of this aspect, in particular nurse Sue Faber, who spoke before the HHS TBD Working Group in DC in January 2020. Now it is up to all of us to call attention to this CDC focus to ensure health departments and physicians are aware of the situation and that they take appropriate steps to ensure pregnant women get the necessary care.”

Visit the CDC Lyme disease website.

View the LDA’s Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Lyme Bibliography.

11th Meeting of TBDWG – January 28-29, 2020 Summary

The 11th meeting of the Tick-borne Disease Working Group (TBDWG) was held at the Hyatt Place Washington DC/US Capitol, 33 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC. 

During the two-day meeting, the Working Group 1) heard presentations on findings and actions for TBDWG to consider from eight subcommittees; 2) heard updates from the Public Comment and Inventory Subcommittees; and 3) continued discussion of plans for the development of the 2020 report to Congress on federal tick-borne activities and research.

The first day’s meeting on January 28th went from 8:30 AM – 4 PM. Click here to view the meeting summary. 

The second day’s meeting on January 29th went from 9 AM – 4:30 PM. Click here to view the meeting summary. 

In June of 2019 the TBDWG established eight subcommittees, each identified priorities and developed a report to the TBDWG that described current efforts, gaps in research, and potential actions relevant to their topic. Click here to view the subcommittee reports. 

Click here to view Public Comments from the January 28-29 meeting. 

For more information visit the page.

Further questions or comments can be sent to: 

James Berger, Designated Federal Officer for the TBDWG Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services
Mary E Switzer Building, 330 C Street SW, Suite L600
Washington, DC 20024. Email:; Phone: 202-795-7608


TBDWG Subcommittee Reports Now Accessible

The HSS-Tick-Borne Disease Working Group subcommittee reports are now accessible on the HHS-TBDWG webpage. The TBDWG established eight subcommittees in June 2019. Each subcommittee identified priorities and developed a report to the TBDWG that described current efforts, gaps in research, and potentials actions relevant to their topic.
Read Subcommittee Reports 
The TBDWG will discuss the subcommittee reports during the next public meeting taking place January 28-29 at Hyatt Place Washington DC/US Capitol, 33 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002.
In-person attendance at the meeting is limited to space available; therefore, preregistration for public members is advisable and can be accomplished by registering here. Members of the public may also attend the meeting via live webcast.

House Confirms Fiscal Year Spending 2020 for Lyme & Other Vector-Borne Diseases

The 116th Congress House Committee on Appropriations submitted a report in explanation of bill H.R. 2740, the Omnibus that funds Health and Human Services (HHS) including the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and outlines the final legislative language and designation of funds for vector-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.

Highlights from the House Explanatory Statement include:

  • The Committee encourages NIAID to intensify research and development on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, including research that will increase understanding of the full range of processes that cause Lyme disease infection. This should include research on the physiology of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, including the mechanisms of possible persistent infection, potential treatment protocols for extended or long-term symptoms attributed to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and development of more sensitive and accurate diagnostic tests for Lyme and tick-borne diseases, including next generation polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and new testing methodologies such as proteomics and metabolomics. The Committee directs NIAID to support research on the heightened incidence of Lyme Disease and vector-borne diseases due to global warming.
  • The Committee encourages NIH to improve early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases (TBD) to prevent the development of late stage disease and more serious and longer-term disability, but also intensify research on diagnosis and treatment of late stage and chronic disease. In addition to development of highly sensitive and specific diagnostics for all stages of disease, a goal should be to develop diagnostics with appropriate sensitivity and specificity for the detection of infection. Treatments also should be developed for all stages of Lyme and other TBD, determining optimal combinations of new candidate or older drugs and exploring novel combinations.

A statement from a Congressional spokesperson further clarifies that, “The agreement includes an increase and encourages CDC, in coordination with NINDS and NIMH, to include in its surveillance the long-term effects. CDC is also encouraged to coordinate with NIH on publishing reports that assess prevention, treatment, diagnostic advancements, and links between tick-borne disease and psychiatric illnesses. CDC is encouraged to focus efforts in endemic areas as well as areas not yet considered endemic.”

Thank you to Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) for working with LDA to get some of this language included. Thank you to other advocates and legislators who also provided input into the process.

The CDC received a $2,000,000 increase for Lyme disease.

Click here to view the full H. Rept. 116-62 Explanatory Statement

Click here to view HR 1865 Division A