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University Launches First Lyme Disease Research Center in Nation
at Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center celebrates the launch of the Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases Research Center, the first university center for the study of Lyme disease in the country.

The spirochete that causes Lyme disease
The spirochete
(above) which causes Lyme disease
(Borrelia burgdorferi) can invade the
central nervous
system within days
to a week of initial
skin infection.

With the support of Time for Lyme Inc. and Lyme Disease Association Inc., the center brings together a multi-disciplinary team of CUMC’s physician-scientists and the latest advances in medical technology to help unravel the complexities of Lyme and tick-borne diseases.

The center, located within the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center in upper Manhattan, will be led by Brian Fallon, M.D., M.P.H., director.

The center will focus on clinical research aimed at developing novel therapies, basic science to unravel disease mechanisms and to identify better diagnostic tests, and education of both medical students and physicians on how to best evaluate and treat patients. With a focus on the particular problems faced by patients with chronic persistent symptoms, the center will lead the country in research to bring the light of science to many unanswered and controversial questions.

Lyme Disease in the News
Lyme Disease Primer, CBS News, June 1
Experts: Vermont Underreporting Lyme disease, Associated Press, May 30
No One Immune from Lyme Dangers, Poughkeepsie Journal, May 31
Now is Peak Time for Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Herald-Review, May 29
Lyme Disease Now Surging North, Benninton (Vt.) Banner, May 28

The center is involved in major Lyme disease research projects including a multi-institutional diagnostic research project involving Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The center is also developing a a brain bank for autopsy specimens from patients with neurologic Lyme disease to study the neuropathology of Lyme disease.

Dr. Fallon and his team recently completed a PET imaging study of chronic Lyme disease, which highlights ways that functional brain imaging can be used to identify biomarkers with potentially valuable diagnostic and treatment implications for patients with chronic Lyme disease.

PATIENT QUERIES:
- To schedule a clinical evaluation for patients with neurocognitive or neuropsychiatric problems from Lyme disease, please call 212-543-6508.
- To schedule a research evaluation for possible participation in a diagnostic study, please call 212-543-6510.
- Please note: As of June 4, 2007, the center is not currently conducting any active treatment trials.

Published: June 01, 2007
Last modified: Jun 07, 2007