Columbia University CENTER

Director:  Brian A. Fallon, MD 
Associate Director: Kathy M. Corbera, MD

What is the Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases Research Center?

This is a Center for Research established by the Trustees of Columbia University in collaboration with Lyme Research Alliance, Inc. and the Lyme Disease Association.  The mission of the scientists who comprise this inter-departmental Center is to use the vast biotechnological resources, lab space, and clinical facilities available at the Columbia University Medical Center to unravel the complexities of Lyme & tick-borne diseases.

 Benefits of Columbia University

  • International recognition for excellence in scientific research and medical care, with two recent Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology
  • Leadership in the study of chronic Lyme disease in children and adults - phenomenology, diagnostics, treatment, imaging & biomarkers of response
  • Collaboration among experts in diagnostics, genetics, immunology, infectious disease, neurology, nuclear medicine, pathology, psychiatry, therapeutic trials
  • Access to an extraordinary number of patients with Lyme disease (NYS, NJ, CT, PA, MA account for 74% of all cases reported to the CDC each year).

Research Projects: Recent or Planned

  • Ticks: search for other pathogens
  • Biomarkers & Diagnostics: HLA, Proteomics on CSF, CD57, immune complexes, PCR, comparative lab testing, SPECT
  • Treatments: controlled trials
  • Neuroimaging markers of inflammation
  • Neuropathology: brain bank

What are the primary aims of the Center?

  • Clinical Research-to evaluate new treatments & identify biomarkers that predict who will respond to treatment. A specimen bank facilitates the investigation of new diagnostic tests.
  • Basic Science-to use the latest in molecular genetics, immunology, and proteomics to identify better diagnostic tests and to unravel the mechanisms by which tick-borne pathogens cause disease.
  • Education- to educate medical students and physicians through fellowships and national conferences.

How will these aims be achieved?

  • Targeting research toward the main areas of clinical concern
  • Funding of Research by scientists from different disciplines working collaboratively... at Columbia and internationally. In this way, scientific progress can occur with maximum speed & efficiency. 

Training Fellowships

  • Microbiology. A post-doc Fellowship in molecular genetics & infectious disease was started to determine what other organisms may be within ticks.
  • Clinical Diagnosis & Treatment. A post-residency Fellowship in Tick-borne Diseases was established in 2005 to fill the urgent need for more doctors to treat children and adults with TBD.