The LDA's grant program is divided into three categories: Research, Education, LymeAid 4 Kids grants. Click here for the summary of stats on grants awarded through 2014.
Since the LDA officially opened its doors in 1992, it has awarded 98 research grants from coast to coast. The Lyme Disease Association is one of the largest sources of private, nonprofit tick-bone 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 15 scientific/medical conferences, twelve jointly with Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. All provided Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for physicians. LDA has funded cutting edge research projects with over 30 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 35 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 affects 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 the 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 help increase awareness and education throughout the country, the LDA believes it is essential to work with and assist other Lyme organizations. Since 1999 we have awarded 102 educational grants to groups from across the country and some to universities. A majority of the grants were used for the following: Publications (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 including several offering CME awards, sponsor physicians for CME medical conferences, sponsor Lyme disease symposia, provide educational in-service meetings for schools and companies.
Diagnosis/Treatment for children without insurance
LymeAid 4 Kids is an LDA fund that helps families who do not have insurance coverage for Lyme disease for their children. The fund was initiated in conjunction with internationally acclaimed author Amy Tan. The LDA has given out over $247,000 worth of grants to date through this program to help children nationwide.
The LDA is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that has raised ~$6.4 million dollars for Lyme disease research, prevention, and education.