The Lyme Disease Association (LDA) awards grants in three different areas of its mission: Research, Education, and Patient Support (LymeAid 4 Kids). The sections below highlights each area of grant support. Click here for the summary of stats on all grants awarded through 2020.
Since the LDA officially opened its doors in 1992, it has awarded 122 research grants from coast to coast. The Lyme Disease Association is one of the largest sources of private, nonprofit tick-borne diseases research funding in the United States. We strive to fund the most relevant research and cutting-edge research aimed at investigating the prevention and treatment of tick-borne diseases. We choose projects led by top scientists who are able to publish in peer review to move the field forward.
LDA in partnership with an affiliate endowed the first center in the world to study chronic Lyme disease, which opened at Columbia University in 2007. The Center brings together researchers from various disciplines and from around the US.
Since 1999, the LDA has sponsored 20 scientific/medical conferences, eighteen jointly with Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. All provided Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for physicians. LDA has funded cutting-edge research projects with over 36 different researchers and institutions throughout the country, such as: Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NJ Medical School, Fox Chase Cancer Center, University of California, Davis, University of Pennsylvania, Bringham & Woman’s Hospital, NY Medical College, Rockefeller University, Tulane Regional Primate Center, University of North Florida, NIH/NASA and UDSA.
The results of LDA’s research projects have been published in 56 peer-reviewed scientific journals to date, such as: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Infection, Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Neurology, JSTBD, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Journal of International Neuropsychological Society and Infection and Immunology, Emerging, Infectious Diseases (CDC), Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, Journal of International, Neuropsychological Society, Infection & Immunity, Gene, Genetics, Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Entomology, and PLOS 1.
One project resulted in data used to apply for/receive $4.7 million NIH grant. Significant genome mapping initially funded by LDA, has shown that different strains of Borrelia have the ability to exchange genetic material among themselves, a trait greatly benefiting their survival and probably confounding the body’s ability to eradicate the organism.
Other areas of work include: Testing, Treatment trials, Persistence of tick-borne diseases in GI tract, Mapping the genome of Borrelia strains, Brain imaging in the study of Lyme disease, PCR studies, Endocrine studies of Lyme, Underdiagnosis of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease in children and adults, Natural tick control, Identifying organisms in ticks nationwide, Immune complexes, Magnetic field effects on Borrelia, Infection rate of mammals, and Protein arrays.
Currently, there are more than a half-dozen projects that are ongoing. The researchers, projects, and science are ready to find a cure. Now we need the funding to make it a reality.
(Image of PET Scan overlay above courtesy of Brian Fallon, MD, Columbia University)
To date, LDA has awarded 155 educational grants. 95 educational scholarships to the LDA/Columbia continuing medical education conferences were awarded. Other grants have been to groups from across the country and some to universities to implement their programs. Many of the grants were used to support the following types of activities: publications (including Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls, “Lyme Times,” “The Basics,” TX Lyme Disease brochure), school curriculum project, Lyme disease websites, distribution of materials to school nurses, host various educational projects in schools, support medical conferences provided by other organizations including several offering continuing Medical Education credits (CME), sponsor Lyme disease symposia, provide educational in-service meetings for schools, companies, and general public.
Patient Support Grants
About LymeAid 4 Kids (LA4K) – The Lyme Disease Association started LA4K fund in 2004 and has helped children all over the U.S. Developed with the help of author Amy Tan, the fund is for children who do not have/receive insurance coverage for Lyme disease treatment for children and whose families have economic difficulties. Donations can be made online to LDA help this LA4K fund as there are so many applicants, the fund does run out of money frequently. Total Funds distributed since 2004 totals over $416,000 .