GREENWICH, Conn. -- The Stamford-based Lyme Research Alliance will honor two researchers at its annual "Time For Lyme" Gala in Greenwich set for April 5.
Kim Lewis and Dr. Ying Zhang will receive awards for their ongoing work researching “persister” organisms and recurrent disease at the alliance’s “Time for Lyme” Gala on April 5 in Old Greenwich. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund important research at universities and major medical institutions throughout the U.S., representatives said.
"Both scientists are deeply involved in researching 'persisters,' cells that manage to survive antibiotic assault," representatives said. "Unlike some cells that are literally resistant and can live and replicate normally in the presence of a drug, mysterious persister cells neither die nor grow in the presence of an antibiotic."
The cells exist "in a dormant state that allows them to survive antibiotic treatment, only to awaken later and start a new wave of infection," representatives said.
“We are thankful that these two brilliant scientists are trailblazing research into persister organisms," said Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, the alliance's chief scientific officer. “Recurrent infections are not just a problem in late stage Lyme disease, but a major dilemma for surgeons and patients dealing with artificial heart valves, prosthetic joints, and diseases such as tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis.
“Researchers are working fast and furiously to find better treatments to reduce not only morbidity, but mortality, associated with antibiotic tolerance. Drs. Zhang and Lewis, both LRA grantees, are at the forefront of this work.”
The Lyme Research Alliance's “Time for Lyme” Gala is the organization's largest fundraiser of the year and helps to fund important medical research projects. Tickets may be purchased online by visiting the LRA website or by calling 203-969-1333.