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Dr. Thangamani working in his lab.

Upstate to host virtual SUNY Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases Meeting Jan. 11, registration open to the public

Researchers from Upstate Medical University are hosting the upcoming SUNY Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases Meeting, which includes experts from across the state and is open to the public.   

The meeting is SUNY’s third annual and will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11 on Zoom. The event was organized by the SUNY Center for Vector-borne Diseases and the Institute for Global Health and Translational Sciences.

Keynote speakers include David H. Walker, MD, executive director of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and Jorge L. Benach, PhD, distinguished university professor and John S. Toll Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at SUNY Stony Brook University.

Saravanan Thangamani, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Upstate and director of the SUNY Center for Environmental Health and Medicine, organized the meeting and will offer opening and closing remarks.

Thangamani, who has been collecting tick samples from the public for several years to track the diseases they are carrying, will also present on “Tracking the Emergence of Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases in New York,” and another session on “Tick Determinants of Powassan Virus Transmission.”

Thangamani said the meeting is a chance to bring together researchers within the SUNY system who are working on ticks and tick-borne diseases.

“We want to create a collaborative network of scientists working on tick-borne diseases within the SUNY system so we can work as a team, share the information and collaborate for the greater good of developing counter-measures to control tick-borne diseases,” he said. Speakers include doctors and researchers as well as several patients living with Lyme disease to talk about their chronic condition.

“We have lined up excellent speakers who are at the front-lines of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases research,” Thangamani said. “This is really a chance to share ideas and learn from each other.”

The schedule is broken up into a morning session 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and an afternoon session 1 to 4:30 p.m., both of which are open to the public.



8:30 a.m.: Welcome and introduction

8:40 a.m.: Keynote addresses by Walker and Benach

9:30 a.m.: Ecology and Epidemiology of Tick-borne Diseases

11:30 a.m.: Public Private Partnership

Noon: Lunch break

1 p.m.: Biology of Disease Transmission

2:30 p.m.: Diagnostics, Vaccine Development and Tick Control Methods

4:30 p.m.: Concluding Remarks


SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, PhD and Upstate Medical University President Mantosh Dewan, MD will also each offer introductory remarks to help open the meeting. Additional presenters from Upstate are: Allen Esterly, BS; Charles Hart, PhD; Erin Reynolds; Christine King, PhD; Stephen J. Thomas, MD; Kristopher Paolino, MD; and Barry Knox, PhD.

For more information or to register, email Thangamani at thangams@upstate.edu.

To learn more about Thangamani’s research visit thangamani-lab.com. His lab has tested more than 7,500 ticks from across New York state. Donations to support the free tick testing program can be made through the Upstate Foundation at www.upstatefoundation.org/Lyme.


Caption: Saravanan Thangamani, PhD, in his lab at Upstate.