Our 2016-17 Grantees

Global Lyme Alliance identifies and funds the most innovative and promising projects specific to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Grantees are chosen from top universities and medical institutions across the globe. GLA-funded researchers represent the best and the brightest Lyme disease researchers in the field. We are proud to showcase some of our research grant recipients.

benjamin luft

Benjamin Luft, M.D.

Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Dr. Luft is on a quest to find better antibiotic therapies for Lyme disease and is currently working on a Lyme disease diagnostic test. Current GLA-funded research project: “Identification of neuroinflammation in the brains of patients with post-treatment Lyme disease”

“Identification of neuroinflammation in the brains of patients with post-treatment Lyme disease”

Dr. Luft’s work focuses on identifying the sources of inflammation in the brains of patients suffering from persisting neurological symptoms attributed to Lyme disease. He will compare PET scans in these patients compared to healthy controls to identify regions of the brain that undergo inflammation.

christopher janson

Christopher Janson, M.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois-Chicago
Current GLA-funded research project: “Generation and characterization of brain lymphatic co-culture system”

“Generation and characterization of brain lymphatic co-culture system”

Studying neurological symptoms associated with Lyme disease has been limited by the inaccessibility of the brain. Using brain lymphatic cells, Dr. Janson works to develop cell lines that mimic the blood-brain barrier and the effect of Borrelia co-culture on these cells.

monica embers

Monica Embers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Tulane National Primate Research Center
Current GLA-funded research project: “In vivo testing of antibiotic efficacy against B. burgdorferi

In vivo testing of antibiotic efficacy against B. burgdorferi

Using the rat model, Dr. Embers studies how well antibiotics work against Borrelia in vivo. She will determine whether antibiotic dosing is adequate at eradicating bacteria. If persister bacteria evolve after exposure to antibiotics, she will be able to study genetic changes associated with the change.

thomas divers

Thomas Divers, D.V.M.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Current GLA-funded research project: “Borrelia burgdorferi seroprevalence study in adult beef cattle housed in a Lyme endemic area”

Borrelia burgdorferi seroprevalence study in adult beef cattle housed in a Lyme endemic area”

Grazing cattle in Lyme-endemic areas are exposed to tick bites and potential infection by pathogenic microbes. Dr. Divers will determine whether a herd of beef cattle show serological evidence of infection by Borrelia. This will show whether a previously unappreciated species is susceptible to infection by the bacteria.

Charles Chiu

Charles Chiu, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Chiu is an expert in development and implementation of advanced genomic technologies – microarrays and next-generation sequencing – for pathogen discovery and clinical assay validation in the microbiology laboratory, with over 50 patents and peer-reviewed publications on these topics. Current GLA-funded research project: “Pathogen discovery and epidemiology in tick vectors associated with Lyme-like diseases”

“Pathogen discovery and epidemiology in tick vectors associated with Lyme-like diseases”

Dr. Chiu has pioneered rapid pathogen identification using DNA technology and advanced computational engineering. He will apply this technology to discover new tick-borne microbes that may be emerging in the US as well as worldwide.

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