Binghamton University to co-sponsor Lyme Disease Conference

2015-04-20

BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University and Southern Tier Lyme Support are co-sponsoring a Lyme Disease Conference from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Innovative Technologies Complex, 85 Murray Hill Rd., Vestal. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The conference will feature Bahgat Sammakia, vice president of research at Binghamton University, and Binghamton University Lyme disease researchers Ralph M. Garruto, John Darcy and Amanda Roome. The conference will also include presentations by Igenex Laboratories, and regionally and nationally known Lyme disease experts Steven J. Bock, MD, and Richard Horowitz, MD and author of Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease. Both physicians are published authors and members of ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.

Lyme disease is becoming a serious epidemic nationwide. It is the number one vector-born disease in the United States, infecting over 300,000 people each year. This disease is affecting a significant amount of families and communities in New York’s Southern Tier.

"Upstate New York is not immune to the emergence of Lyme disease, and raising community awareness through this conference is an important part of our mission to serve the communities in which we live," said Ralph Garruto, professor of biomedical anthropology and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Garruto became involved with Lyme disease research through his former graduate student John Darcy, PhD, who chose to pursue Lyme disease as a line of inquiry for his master’s and doctoral work. "Lyme disease is a local, regional and national problem," said Darcy, one of the conference organizers. "There are people in our own communities who are contracting the disease and, in some cases, suffering significantly. At Binghamton, we are approaching the problem from the ground up: from the ecological and biological aspects of the disease to the human impact." Margaret Leone-Smith, an advocate and Lyme disease patient who represents Southern Tier Lyme Support, says that more research and attention needs to be devoted to preventing, diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, "People, including clinicians, need to be informed and aware that they are at risk in their own communities," said Margaret Leone-Smith. "They also need to be aware that there can be serious, long-term consequences for untreated Lyme disease."

Vendors will exhibit at the conference, and there will be a showing of the film Under Our Skin 2: Emergence, a documentary sequel to the Academy Award semifinalist film, Under Our Skin, produced and directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson, which details and documents the lives of Lyme disease sufferers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions. For more information and to register for the event, go to www.southerntierlymesupport.com. The first 200 registrants to arrive at the conference (first come, first served) will have seats in the speakers’ auditorium. Additional rooms will be set up with telecast.

Last Updated: 9/17/13