UMD Researcher Awarded New Funds from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to Head Off Tick-borne Infection Before it Begins


The University of Maryland (UMD) received new funding from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to develop novel therapeutic strategies that have the potential to stop infection from Lyme disease pathogens before it begins. Unlike traditional antibiotic treatments for Lyme disease that attack the pathogen directly and put it on the defensive, Utpal Pal and his team in the UMD Department of Veterinary Medicine are working in close collaboration with the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH-NCATS) to explore antimicrobials that would interfere with the pathogen on a biomolecular level to inhibit it from causing an infection in the first place. This work has the potential to greatly reduce the burden of Lyme disease, and particularly Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) that does not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. This grant is one of several new and ongoing projects led by Pal that seek to translate basic research into treatments and vaccines to fight and prevent tick-borne diseases. 

“This technology we are exploring with the support of the [Steven & Alexandra Cohen] Foundation is very exciting,” says Pal. “Instead of how antibiotics attack the basic housekeeping and maintenance functions of Borrelia [Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease], these new antimicrobials would attack essential protein-to-protein interactions. We identified two proteins in our previous research whose interaction is important for infection. In collaboration with NIH-NCATS, we then came up with a select set of compounds that inhibit the protein interaction. The grant will allow us to conduct preclinical testing to see whether treatment with that compound can actually prevent infection.”

As Pal describes it, the infection process of Borrelia and the emergence of more cases of PTLDS could possibly require a solution beyond current antibiotic treatments. Lyme disease has now been reported in more than 80 countries, with an estimated 476,000 annual recent cases in the U.S. alone. While early treatment with antibiotics can be quite effective, the later the illness is discovered, the more difficult it becomes to treat. Borrelia is a notoriously tricky bacteria that has evolved to persist in mammals on a long-term basis, and some of Pal’s previous work has shown how the pathogen has the ability to  outsmart the immune system and persist in the body for long periods of time. While the causes are currently unknown, many think this process may have something to do with PTLDS, a chronic and variable resurgence of Lyme disease symptoms months or years after treatment that comes with a series of cognitive, neurological, and inflammation issues. In this case, antibiotics do nothing, and there is no known cause or current cure. 

“Lyme disease-causing Borrelia can hide and survive in an antibiotic treated animal, but we don’t know if that is the case in humans,” says Pal. “People have a lot of theories about PTLDS, but right now, we don’t have a complete answer or a cure. The best way to reduce the occurrence of PTLDS and Lyme disease in general is to prevent the bacterial transmission, such as via vaccines, or to use new antimicrobials that stop the infection more completely.”

Tick mouth parts


Scanning electron micrograph of tick mouth parts, Pal lab

This grant is one example of recent and ongoing sources of research funding to reduce the burden of tick-borne disease as a whole through the development of novel therapeutic and vaccine strategies. Utpal Pal leads theTick Immunity project, uncovering the secrets of tick immune responses that could help to develop treatments and vaccines, as well as a recent grant to develop anovel Lyme disease vaccine. But ticks transmit many human and animal illnesses each year in addition to causing Lyme disease. Despite substantial efforts, vaccines against most tick-borne diseases are still unavailable. Since ticks transmit most pathogens into their host’s skin while they are feeding, a new invention disclosure that was nominated for UMD Life Sciences Invention of the Year identifies a set of novel tick antigens or vaccine targets which could potentially be developed as anti-tick bite vaccines. The successful development of vaccines against tick bites would thwart the transmission of pathogens, thereby reducing the incidence of tick-borne infections as a whole. 

“This is an exciting innovation disclosure that has the potential to translate some basic scientific discoveries into public health improvement,” says Pal. “These studies address unique aspects of tick biology and pathogen transmission, and our laboratory continues to explore ways that diseases like Lyme disease can be avoided altogether.”

About the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is committed to inspiring philanthropy and community service by creating awareness, offering guidance, and leading by example to show the world what giving can do. The Foundation’s grants support nonprofit organizations based in the United States that either help people in need or solve complex problems. The Foundation also spearheads grassroots campaigns to encourage others to give. For more information,



A few points:

  • Lyme advocate emphatically states there should be no Lyme vaccine until persistent infection is acknowledged and fully addressed.  I couldn’t agree more.
  • This resource gives updates & updates, including a link to 700 scientific articles on borrelia persistence as well as the fact Lyme is transmitted congenitally, a detail our corrupt public health ‘authorities’ continue to state is rare, even though nobody’s counting?
  • Working with the NIH is a big mistake.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Lyme science is owned by The Cabal and hasn’t budged in over 40 years. Entrance criteria into studies requires a positive 2-tiered CDC test and the EM rash. There is a large subset of patients, usually the sickest, who will never be studied due to this.
  • While Pal admits the organism can persist in the human body for a long time, he continues to abide by the faulty PTLDS moniker that essentially blames remaining symptoms on anything but persistent infection. They continue to say they don’t know what causes PTLDS despite science and decades of clinical experience showing long term antimicrobials help patients. Researchers who straddle the fence on this issue are playing a game and are not to be trusted.  The reason for it is simple: they want government money and those accepting this money must tout an accepted narrative.
  • The “novel vaccine” they are developing is using the rabies virus as a delivery platform to send in some vaccine candidates for Borrelia.” The researchers state that by using the virus platform, they won’t need adjuvants because the virus itself acts as an adjuvant which often produces a strong immune response.
  • Herein lies the problem.  Lyme/MSIDS patients already have dysfunctional immune systems.  Some are so sensitive they have to quit eating dairy, gluten, sugar, avoid EMF, fragrances, and much more.  They are extremely sensitive to any changes with supplements and medications. Do you really thing it’s wise to directly pump something into the body that produces a strong immune response?  
  • Researchers are often very myopic in their focus.  They have to be.  Their line of work requires it.  But this myopic thinking does not help extremely ill patients who all look differently, respond differently, and have complex cases that take time to unravel and treat.  Even the best doctors struggle with these patients.
  • Please note again the thrust on vaccines.  They briefly mention “therapeutic” strategies almost as a requirement but then go on to the topic of vaccines.  If we need anything – it’s effective treatment!
  • Lastly, please note that the same University (Massachusetts) is also developing another “new vaccine” to supposedly prevent Lyme in humans. It is led by none other than Dr. Mark Klempner, the man behind a  flawed study that is still being used to keep chronically sick Lyme/MSIDS patients from extended treatment.  ILADS points out that the Klempner trial relied on average treatment effects, employed small samples (ranging from 37-129), and excluded over 89% of patients who sought to enroll.
Dr. Klempner has been in this game a long, long time.  

He was also the director the BU Biodefense Laboratory.


In February 2003, Boston University (BU) submitted a proposal to the NIH to construct a facility with the highest-risk level bioweapons research laboratory (called a BSL-4 laboratory) that would be sited within the BU Medical Center. The medical center is located in a dense, urban neighborhood with a majority of low-income and minority residents nearby. The process of proposal development, site selection and subsequent approval for funding took place in secret,without informing and consulting the local community. The site selected for the laboratory was pre-determined prior to BU undertaking a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) mandated environmental impact review and without involving the surrounding residential and working community – all in violation of federal policy. Nonetheless, NIH approved BU Medical Center’s proposal for $128 million.

This would of course yield billions as you would be forced to get a yearly booster shot.

This ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis’ (PrEP) delivers anti-Lyme antibodies, and are “unlike vaccines” which trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. PrEP supplies the antibodies directly and kills the bacteria before a person becomes infected.  

Before you believe everything they say, you might want to read this.

As you can clearly see, this injection contains OspA, the same outer surface protein found to cause severe adverse reactions in the first Lyme vaccine called Lymerix.  (Please read about the bitter history of how our public ‘authorities’ eliminated from the Western blot two Bb proteins, outer surface protein A (OspA), from which LYMErix was made, and outer surface protein B (OspB), the intended component of next-generation vaccines. This has kept the sickest from being diagnosed.)


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