MILLBROOK – Cary Institute
of Ecosystem Studies has received a $5 million grant from the Steven &
Alexandra Cohen Foundation to partner with Bard College in an effort to
reduce Lyme disease in neighborhoods. Research will be carried out in
collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Preservation,
the state Health Department and the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral
and Community Health.
“So many people suffer from Lyme disease, but there is not enough being done to fund research to find a cure and reduce risk in our communities,” said Alex Cohen, president of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Cohen said she has experienced the effects of Lyme first-hand.
Cary Institute ecologist Dr. Richard Ostfeld and Bard College biologist Dr. Felicia Keesing will direct the five-year study. It will take place in Dutchess County, which is home to one of the nation’s highest Lyme disease infection rates.
Residents of 24 neighborhoods will be recruited from Lyme disease hotspots identified by the researches and their partners at the Dutchess Department of Health.
Each neighborhood will consist of six to 10 square blocks and roughly 100 properties. Interventions will target feeding and questing ticks using two commercially available products.