Events Archives

'Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases: The Science and Clinical Implications'

washinton at night On October 2nd-3rd, 2010 the 11th Annual Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Conference, co-sponsored by the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. and the Columbia University Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, took place at the Hyatt Penns Landing in Philadelphia, PA. The first day of the conference focused on the scientific perspective; the second day focused on the clinical perspective. For more information about this event, please go to the LDA website.

| Top |

Kick the Tick - Support Lyme Disease Research and Have a Great Time!

Kick the Tick 2011A dance party for high school students was held to support the Columbia Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center on February 26th, 2011 at the Prince George Ballroom in New York City. Participants enjoyed a fun evening, while raising money for a good cause!

| Top |

Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Forum

LymeOver the last decade, New Jersey has ranked 3rd in the U.S. in the number of reported Lyme disease cases and has shown an increase in other tick-borne pathogens. To help the public, officials, physicians and constituents learn more about tick-borne diseases, Congressman Christopher H. Smith is hosted this Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Forum on June 2nd, 2010 at the Wall Township Municipal Building in Wall, New Jersey. Featured speakers included national experts on treatments and testing for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, on ticks and pathogens, and on the impact on patients.

| Top |


'GRAY MATTERS' Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, May 11, 2010.

Gray MattersThe Gray Matters at Columbia Spring Benefit Luncheon took place on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at The Plaza Hotel. Donna Hanover returned as Mistress of Ceremonies and Special Guest Speaker Paula Zahn joined Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., and Brian Fallon, M.D. There were 340 guests in attendance. This year, Gray Matters has selected the Columbia Lyme Center as one of the three recipients in the Department to benefit from this program. The monies raised will support a research fellow on a project in the Columbia Lyme Center. The selection of Lyme Disease as one of the highlighted diseases this year is remarkable and a testimony to Columbia's recognition of the urgency of the Lyme epidemic and problem.

| Top |


Lyme Disease: Your Body, Your Brain ... an Educational Forum presented by Time for Lyme, Inc., The Greenwich Department of Health, and Families For Greenwich Hospital

BrainThis educational forum was held on April 22nd, 2010 at Central Middle School in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Attendees learned about the many manifestations of Lyme Disease: physical, neurological, psychological and emotional, from a panel of distinguished professionals.  Kenneth Liegner, MD gave a talk entitled "Introduction to Lyme and other Tick-Borne Diseases (co-infections): Symptoms, Clinical Diagnosis vs. Serological Testing, & Treatment Protocols".  Robert Bransfield, MD and President of ILADS spoke about "The Brain and Tick-Borne Diseases". "Beyond the Medical: The Challenges of Living with Lyme Disease" was a talk given by Sandy Berenbaum, LCSW.  Juditch G. Leventhal, PhD discussed "Sensory Sensitivities and Cognitive Difficulties in Lyme Disease: Impact on School Performance".  The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session.

| Top |


'KICK THE TICK' Support Lyme disease and Have a Great Time!

TickOn March 13th, 2010 a teen dance party was held in support of the Columbia University Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at the Prince George Ballroom, 14 East 28th Steet in NYC.  A great time was had by all with proceeds going to a worthy cause.

| Top |


Columbia University Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center and Its Advisory Committee Hosted a 'Night on Broadway' on November 19, 2009.

MemphisThe evening began with a family style Italian dinner at Carmines's and was followed by the Broadway smash hit 'Memphis', an exciting and joyful rock and roll musical. at the Shubert Theater. Funds raised from the evening will be used to support the research activities of the Columbia Lyme Center toward the development of better diagnostic tests for Lyme patients at all stages of the illness, identification of biological markers in patients who are likely to have persistent symptoms, and evaluation of treatment protocols.

| Top |


'Lyme & other Tick-Borne Diseases: 34 Years, From Lyme, Connecticut, Across the Nation'.

Washington DCOn October 23, 2009 the National Conference for Physicians & Allied Health Professionals was held in Washington, DC at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street.  Conference Co-Course Directors were Brian A. Fallon, MD and Richard T. Marconi, PhD. This educational and networking event featured many prominent speakers representing a wide array of scientific disciplines. 

| Top |


October 17, 2008.  San Francisco. Annual Lyme Conference for health professionals,

co-sponsored by Columbia University and the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. 

Scientific Program Chairs: Brian Fallon, MD (Columbia U.) and James Miller, PhD (UCLA)

Upcoming EventsOctober 17 in San Francisco was a landmark day for Lyme disease, with stellar presentations being provided by leading investigators from the U.S. and Canada.  At the annual conference co-sponsored by Columbia University and the Lyme Disease Association, several presentations paved the way for new inroads into our understanding of Lyme and other Tick-borne Diseases.  The keynote presentation by Dr. Steven Barthold from UC Davis highlighted that the Bb spirochete has evolved to persist within its reservoir hosts.  Dr. Barthold's work in the mouse model in conjunction with prior work by researchers at Yale, Univ of Turku in Finland, and Cornell demonstrates that Bb can persist even after antibiotic therapy, although in smaller numbers and in a less active state; this work supports the hypothesis that Bb persist in the host not because of an antimicrobial resistance but through the process of  "antimicrobial tolerance" in which spirochetes are metabolically less active and thus less vulnerable to antibiotic killing. Dr. Steven Schutzer from UMDNJ discussed the application of a cutting edge pathogen detection system (IBIST5000) which uses a broad range PCR followed by mass spectrometry to identify unknown infections; applying this methodology to adult ticks Dr. Schutzer identified several pathogens in ticks - not just B.burgdorferi; for example, Borrelia miyamotoi was seen frequently.  Dr. Armin Alaedini from Weill Medical College of Cornell University reviewed different hypotheses for persistent symptoms (molecular mimicry, neo-epitope release, heightened non-specific B cell activity) and then demonstrated by his recent research that patients with persistent symptoms after treated Lyme disease have elevated levels of anti-neuronal antibodies compared to patients who responded well to antibiotics and are no longer symptomatic; this work provides objective confirmation of an ongoing abnormally activated immune response in patients with persistent symptoms. Dr. Diego Cadavid from Biogen Idec and Massachusetts General Hospital described his work on the borrelial agent of relapsing fever which highlighted the neuroprotective importance of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 (produced by microglia) - protecting the blood vessels of the brain from hemorrhage and thrombosis.  Dr. Patricia Conrad from UC Davis discussed what is known about Babesia duncani, a rare cause of human babesiosis reported in California; she emphasized that they have never been able to document persistent parasitic infection in patients with titers less than 1:5120.  Dr. Mario Philipp from U Tulane reported on the impact of  Bb on freshly collected slices from the brain cortex of rhesus macaques, demonstrating markedly elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL8 and TNF) and neuronal and oligodendrocyte apoptosis; these findings support the hypothesis that neurologic disturbances in Lyme disease may be mediated by the induction in the CNS of inflammatory mediators. Dr. Brian Fallon from Columbia University reviewed the literature on biomarkers of CNS Lyme disease and reported on findings of potential marked clinical significance which  suggested that the C6 index and a brain neural network may be helpful in distinguishing that subgroup of patients more likely to benefit from a repeated course of antibiotic therapy from the non-responder subgroups who may need other non-antimicrobial treatment approaches.   Dr. Chris Contag from Stanford University reported on the use of in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) as a non-invasive means of detecting low levels of infection in mouse tissues; this method has been used to study infection by Listeria (revealing long term infections of the gall bladder and bone marrow).  This same imaging method can be applied to Bb infected mice to identify previously unsuspected areas of Bb sequestration, to study perinatal infection by Bb and its consequences in the mouse model, and, in conjuction with microarray analysis, to examine how Bb physiology is altered at different tissue sites.  Dr. George Chaconas from the University of Calgary in Canada presented perhaps the most popular talk because of its visual impact, describing the use of spinning disk confocal intravital microscopy to directly visualize fluorescently stained Bb in real-time, three dimensions, in living mice; spiraling spirochetes were visualized interacting with and disseminating out of the vasculature of a living mouse – the first time there has been a high resolution 3D view of dissemination of any bacterial pathogen in a living mammalian host.  Dr. John Keilp from Columbia University revealed findings from a neurocognitive study comparing patients with post-treatment Lyme disease and major depression; while deficits in processing speed were common in both groups, patient with histories of Lyme disease were more likely to show deficits in language fluency and memory. Dr. Fabio Tavora of the Armed Forces Institute described a case of Lyme carditis in a 37 year old male who died one month after a febrile illness with a second-degree AV block; on post-mortem, severe, diffuse inflammation was seen in both the right and left ventricles, accompanied by mononuclear infiltrates of the endocardium, myocardium, and epicardium; serology was positive by Western blot and the tissue was positive for Bb by PCR.  Dr. Suzanne Vernon from the CFIDS Association of America reviewed recent research on CFS, including clinical biomarkers such as acute illness severity as a predictor of longer course of illness, abnormalities in the HPA axis, differentiating genetic expression of immune markers in CFS and immune network modeling; much of this research has advanced rapidly through the application of genomic methods, revealing a tool that may be of major clinical benefit in the study of patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms.  Closing the conference, Dr. Ben Luft from Stony Brook University described a few research ventures, including studies of different strains of Bb to identify virulence markers and non-human studies of a novel antibiotic (Tigecycline) that by inhibiting the efflux pump may be more effective in eradicating Bb spirochetes than current antibiotics.   

| Top |

Columbia University sponsored its annual national Lyme conference - October 2007

1Columbia University sponsored its annual national Lyme conference (10/07) in Boston, MA in collaboration with the Lyme Disease Association. This conference brought together leading researchers and clinicians in the area of Lyme and Tick-borne diseases from throughout the United States and from Austria and Finland. Research presentations were given by Klaus Eisendle MD, PhD (Focus Floating Microscopy as a Diagnostic Tool), Jill Livengood, PhD (Bb in Nerve Tissue), Armin Alaedini, PhD (Immunologic Findings in Chronic Lyme), James Moeller, PhD (Biomarkers of Chronic Neurologic Lyme Disease: Brain Maps, Pain Pathways, & C6 ELISA), Daniel Clauw, MD (Fibromyalgia: A New View with Neuroimaging Findings), Heta Yrjanainen, MD, PhD (Viable Bb after Ceftriaxone Therapy in Mice), Maha Assi, MD, MPH (Lyme Disease Followed by Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in a Kidney Transplant), Emmanuel Mongodin, PhD, Emmanuel (Genomic Update); Katherine Feldman DVM, MPH, DACVPM; Brian Fallon (Laboratory testing in Chronic Lyme Disease); and a closing panel addressing controversies in Treatment, with presentations by Ray Stricker, MD (President, International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society) and Paul Auwaerter, MD, (Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University). A DVD set is available covering this event from www.lymediseaseassociation.org

| Top |

Lyme and Tick-Borne Research Center - images