GLA Newsletter                    December 2015
Letter from the Chairman
The holiday season is once again upon us and we at Global Lyme Alliance want to express our gratitude to you for an incredible 2015. Thanks to your generosity we have awarded a record total of over $1 million in research grants for the fiscal year 2015-16. GLA's research record and reputation have resulted in companies and organizations asking for our seal of approval.  GLA 's grants this year have been awarded to exceptional research scientists at leading universities across the country.
 
We are also delighted with the success of our inaugural " Uniting for a Lyme-Free World" New York City Gala, held in October. Cipriani 42nd Street was transformed into a warm, beautiful setting by the creativity and generosity of Lawrence Scott Events. A sold-out house of 770 guests helped us raise nearly $3 million for Lyme disease research and education, our most successful event ever.   We 've included some photos from the event (see below) for you to enjoy. 
 
Thanks to your support, there has never been a more exciting time when it comes to Lyme and tick-borne disease research. We are now on the brink of significant scientific advances that will revolutionize the field and, in turn, help thousands of people who know all too well the devastating effects of the disease.
 
We also completed a comprehensive, educational curriculum for elementary through high school students and will roll it out in 2016. GLA backed training for physicians and laid the groundwork for an awareness/educational campaign in 2016.
 
We are grateful to you for your unwavering confidence in our ability to move research forward in a strategic and productive manner. We hope you will continue to help us fund new research and education programs so that together we can create a Lyme-free world. On behalf of everyone at Global Lyme Alliance, we wish you a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year.
 
Robert Kobre
Chairman of the Board
Global Lyme Alliance
Meet GLA's Newest Grant Recipients
Congratulations to the recipients of our 2015-2016 GLA research grants. We received a record number of grant applications this year from many worthy scientists. This grant cycle we strove especially to fund eight researchers focused on post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS), or "chronic" Lyme.
 
"GLA is proud to support the innovative research being conducted by some of the best and brightest men and women in the field today," said Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, GLA's Chief Scientific Officer. "We believe that the exceptionally talented scientists being funded by GLA will greatly contribute to advances in identifying the causes of PTLDS, how to reverse it, and especially how to treat the persistent infection."
 
The researchers are:
Armin Alaedini, Ph.D., Columbia University, NY
Nicole Baumgarth , D.V.M., Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Alla Landa, Ph.D., Columbia University, NY
Kim Lewis , Ph.D., Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Benjamin Luft , M.D., State University of New York, Stony Brook
M. Karen Newell-Rogers, Ph.D., Texas A&M University 
Eva Sapi, Ph.D., University of New Haven, CT
Ying Zhang , M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
GLA'S "Uniting For a Lyme-Free World" Gala
Global Lyme Alliance's Inaugural New York Gala was a star-studded event that we will remember for years to come. The October 8 Gala, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, honored Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev; Yolanda Foster, Bravo-TV personality and model; Ally Hilfiger, author and designer; and Thalía, pop star, songwriter and actress, for their ongoing work to raise awareness and find a cure for Lyme and tick-borne illnesses. Rosanna Scotto, co-anchor of FOX 5's Good Day New York, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
 
The event, which included a cocktail reception, live auction and dinner, was attended by GLA supporters, board members and celebrity guests such as Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Joe Jonas, Bravo-TV's Kyle Richards, Erika Jayne and Kathryn Edwards.
 
Following the auction ceremony, there were special performances from musical guests including legendary songwriter, David Foster; classical, crossover-operatic pop trio, Forte; classical crossover singer, Jackie Evancho; singer songwriter, Kelly Levesque, and American R&B singer Ruben Studdard.
 
Uniting the worlds of business, media, philanthropy, fashion and entertainment behind this important cause, the GLA "Uniting for a Lyme-Free World" raised almost $3 million, setting a new bar for fundraising to conquer Lyme disease.
Rosanna Scotto, "Good Day New York" co-anchor, served as Mistress of Ceremonies
Yolanda Foster sent love to family and friends from the podium 

Ally Hilfiger gave a wonderfully
moving speech
Thalia spoke about raising awareness in Latin American and Hispanic communities
Spotlight: Our New Science Officer  
Please join us in welcoming Mayla Hsu, Ph.D, who has joined GLA as our in-house Science Officer, a newly created position.
 
Dr. Hsu, who previously worked as a science writer at the Rockefeller University in New York, has a background in medical virology. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2000 from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, studying the mechanisms of drug resistance in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
 
She followed this with post-doctoral studies at the Rockefeller University, working on HIV transmission, where her interest in host-pathogen interactions developed. She then decided to pursue more translational research, and moved to Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she joined a team developing screening assays to look for new compounds targeting HIV and hepatitis viruses.
 
Dr. Hsu will augment the work conducted by Harriet Kotsoris, MD, GLA's Chief S cien tific Officer, and will have a broad range of responsibilities, including managing our research grant program, working with the Scientific Advisory Board and creating viable partnerships to help advance the development of a reliable diagnostic test, effective treatments and ultimately a cure for Lyme. "I hope to be a force for really driving the science to a new level," Dr. Hsu says.
 
On a personal note, Dr. Hsu--who is a Westchester resident--says she's extremely conscious of tick dangers and keeps chickens in her backyard who she hopes help keep her home tick-free. Why chickens? "I bake a lot and wanted to have good eggs," she says. "And they eat a lot of bugs."
Save the Date: April 2, 2016! 
Our annual "Time for Lyme" Gala will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich, CT. The dinner will feature a fabulous live auction, celebrity guest appearances and live entertainment. We need your help-whether you have a week to spare, a day or an hour-to make our 2016 "Time for Lyme" Gala the most successful GLA fundraiser it can be. We are looking for committee chairs and members. There are lots of opportunities-helping with the auction, the raffle, gift bags, sponsorship, day of set up. For more information contact Shelley Terry.
Congrats to Our Stanwich Golfers! 
GLA's 4th Annual Golf Tournament on October 14 drew 60 golfers to the beautiful and prestigious Stanwich Club. The play day winners were: 1st Place, low gross: Thomas O ' Connor , Jim Berger , Glenn Marchak , Craig McDonough. 1st Place low net winners: were Joe Pellegrino , Richard Shippe , Kevin Theissen , Chris Fisher .
 
Winners of the longest drive were David Nelson and Annseley MacFarlane; Richard Comeau, was awarded the closest to the hole prize. Congratulations to all!
GLA Board member Dana McAvity (left) with longest drive winner Annesley MacFarlane
Glenn Marchak (left) and Jim Berger, two of the 1st Place Low Gross winners
In the News
GLA in DC
A sign that the scientific world is taking Lyme disease more seriously than ever before: Last month, the American Association for the Advancement of Science hosted a Washington D.C. conference on climate change, bioinformatics (amassing large data systems) and Lyme disease. Attending the conference were academic science fellows, White House technology and policy officers, Lyme researchers, clinicians and others. Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, GLA's Chief Scientific Officer, delivered a presentation in which she talked about GLA's research accomplishments, the limited federal funding allotted for Lyme disease research and the critical importance of private giving. 
 
Ying Zhang interview
GLA Grantee Ying Zhang, Ph.D, M.D., from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, spoke at the Norvect Conference 2015 about why he feels Lyme disease is so difficult to treat. Listen to the interview here
 
Latest from ILADS
If you weren't able to attend the ILADS 2015 Fort Lauderdale Conference you can now buy videos of the presentations. The videos present the latest thinking from ILADS experts. More information here.  
 
Babesiosis & Lyme
Babesia, a tick-borne infection that causes malaria-like symptoms, has been making headlines over the past two years as the number of reported cases increases. But according to the 2015 issue of Trends in Parasitology, up to 40 percent of patients with Lyme disease experience concurrent Babesiosis. The infection has already been reported in 27 states is expanding throughout Connecticut, according to state health officials. For more, you can read the paper "Expansion of Zoonotic Babesiosis and Reported Human Cases, Connecticut, 2001-2010" here.
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