November 2013, IN THIS ISSUE                                                    Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest
Executive Director's Letter
Grantee Salute: Kim Lewis, Ph.D    
Golf Outing a Big Success  
SPLURGE for a Cause! 
Designer Bags by Dee Ocleppo

Save the Date: 4/5/14 "Time for Lyme" Gala

How the Body Clock Affects Inflammation  

Pushing for Health Coverage

Get Involved

Lyme Talks

Information and

Support Groups and REIKI!  


If you've heard

the buzz about

Reiki, but aren't

sure what it is or

how the ancient

healing practice

works, please join

us Thursday, Dec. 5

for "Lyme Talks" last

meeting of the

year. The topic

is the "Health

Benefits of Reiki"

and will include

mini Reiki chair

sessions. Our speaker

is Ruth Ann DeSantis,

Reiki Master and

certified Hudson

Institute coach.


Click here to show

your support for

our mission and

make a donation.

In Case You Missed...

The Fall 2013 issue of the  Johns Hopkins Public Health  Magazine spotlighted  the ongoing research  work of grantees  Ying Zhang, M.D., Ph.D, professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunity;  and Valeria Culotta, Ph.D., a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biolog


Discover Magazine released "TICKED: The Battle Over Lyme in the South," the result of a three-year investigation of the controversy  over Lyme diagnosis  in the Southern U.S.,  where the CDC does not recognize the disease.  The report is now  available on Amazon.


Novelist Amy Tan put her writing  on hold as she struggled with an advanced case of Lyme disease that left her with epilepsy. But now she's back with her latest novel "Valley of Amazement." Here's the NY Times review of her latest book.

The documentary  about punk rocker Kathleen Hanna's battle with Lyme disease opens Thanksgiving week.  In an interview, she says: "Mortality looming over you really changes your personality in such a big way."  

On November 8, LRA presented our talk "What You Need to  Know About Lyme  Disease" at IBM's  Watson Research Center. More than 150 employees attended in person and  remotely at multiple IBM locations. Add your company or PTA group to the list of organizations benefitting from our "Lunch 'N Learn" daytime or evening seminar program. Contact Peter to schedule a free seminar or to get more information.
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Executive Director's Letter

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, we are reminded how grateful we are to our friends and families, and to all of you who support Lyme Research Alliance and our critical research agenda into Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.


We are especially grateful this Thanksgiving for your support-and for the personalities and milestones that are particularly noteworthy in this year's round of the fight to end Lyme disease. We are grateful for so many things. Here are some of my favorites:


  • Lyme disease sufferers and their families, who teach us on a daily basis about the importance of hope, courage, perseverance and compassion.
  • The brilliance and persistence of our grantee-researchers, those medical and scientific Lyme investigators who every day bring us closer to a cure for the disease by tirelessly pursuing cutting-edge studies. Every day you bring us closer to developing an accurate and accessible test, and effective treatments for long-term Lyme.
  • The success of our 2013 "Time for Lyme" Gala, LRA's signature event, which helps to fund these vital research initiatives.
  • The generous support provided by the sponsors of our various special events, including the second annual Race Against Lyme, our Lyme Awareness briefing and cocktail reception held at Mercedes-Benz of White Plains, and our Annual Golf Tournament in October.
  • The CDC's public recognition of the enormous numbers of those affected with Lyme disease, 300,000 new U.S. cases a year. The enormity of the problem is finally being realized by the general public and communities around the nation. These new numbers are grabbing the attention of many more media outlets.


Above all, LRA is grateful to all you, our supporters for your unwaivering confidence in our ability to move the research forward in a strategic and productive manner.


On behalf of everyone at Lyme Research Alliance, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.








Peter Wild




Grantee Salute: Kim Lewis, Ph.D


Congratulations to Kim Lewis, Ph.D., distinguished professor and Director of Northeastern University's Antimicrobial Discovery Center, whose pioneering research into bacterial "persisters" has led to a treatment to cure the "superbug" MRSA. Dr. Lewis, one of six researchers who received LRA grants in 2013, reported in the Journal Nature (November 13) that persister cells manage to resist antibiotics by entering a dormant state, then reawakening after treatment runs its course to start a new wave of infection. But Dr. Lewis and his team found that a drug called ADEP wakes up the dormant cells and then initiates a self-destruct mechanism.


By coupling ADEP with a traditional antibiotic, Dr. Lewis and his team were able to completely destroy MRSA cells. Dr. Lewis' team believes similar compounds will be useful for treating other infections as well, and they are testing ADEP against Borrelia burgdorferi.

Golf Outing a Big Success 


With the first frost hitting here in the northeast, it's pleasant to look back on that wonderful day (October 10) when 66 golfers teed-up to play in the second annual LRA Golf Tournament at the prestigious Stanwich Club in Greenwich. About $80,000 was raised during the day's activities, which included 18 holes of golf, lunch and dinner buffet, a cocktail reception sponsored by Greenwich Hospital, silent auction and awards ceremony.  



Special thanks to this year's golf committee: Robert Bel Bruno, Jim Edwards, Tony Frascella, Alan Herzog, Malcolm and Dana McAvity and Hilary Tuohy.

Shop for Lyme!
This Holiday you can support LRA and shop at the same time.

SPLURGE for a Cause!


Enjoy an evening of private shopping on Wednesday, December 11, 6-8 p.m. at SPLURGE, 39 Lewis Street, Greenwich. During the event, 10 percent of all sales will be donated to LRA! Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres while you shop for ideal holiday gifts to stuff everyone's stockings. The SPLURGE staff will help you select the perfect gift and will provide complimentary gift packaging too. Pass it on!  





Designer Bags by Dee Ocleppo - ALL proceeds go to Lyme Research Alliance 


Gotham Magazine says: "Dee Ocleppo is best known as Mrs.Tommy Hilfiger. But now, with the launch of her HSN handbag line, Ocleppo is taking up her well-known husband's trade."


Dee has generously donated over 200 of her designer bags to support LRA's year-end fundraising program. When you purchase one or more of Dee's bags through LRA, ALL of the purchase price goes to support LRA. You can find them at If you prefer not to shop online follow this link to buy by mail.

Save the Date: April 5, 2014


The annual "Time for Lyme" Gala will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich, CT to support critical research into Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Last April's event raised nearly $1 million and attracted 550 guests. The dinner will feature a fabulous live auction, celebrity guest appearances and live entertainment. The event committee is in formation. Please join us in planning another amazing and important event. For more information contact Shelley Terry.



In the News  

How the Body Clock Affects Inflammation  


UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers reported in Science that disrupting the light-dark cycle of mice increased their susceptibility to inflammatory disease, indicating that the production of a key immune cell is controlled by the body's circadian clock. The work could lead to new ways to improve the body's immune response to infection or dampen that response in the case of autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks its own tissues, said senior author Dr. Lora Hooper, Professor of Immunology and Microbiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. However she said it is too soon to tell if the disruption of the normal day-night light cycle will have the same effect in humans.  
To read the article, click here.




Pushing for Health Coverage   


Lyme disease cases are skyrocketing in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 5,050 total cases of Lyme disease in 2012. However, a recent CDC study reported that the actual cases are ten times higher, bringing cases to over 50,000 in the Commonwealth.


At a a joint committee on financial services hearing held at the Massachusetts State House on November 13, Massachusetts Lyme sufferers asked committee members to approve H. 989, an Act Relative to Lyme Disease Treatment Coverage. The bill would require insurance companies to cover antibiotic treatment for Lyme as prescribed by a "physician's recommended treatment plan and the patient's ability to pay for it," said Dr. Sheila Statlender, a psychologist practicing in Newton who also served on the Massachusetts Lyme Disease Commission last year.

To read the bill in its present state, click here.

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