Lyme Disease Conference at WCSU May 14

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Prominent national figures engaged in Lyme disease diagnosis, treatment and advocacy will be featured speakers at a seminar to be held as part of the Lyme Awareness Month Health Fair on Tuesday, May 14 at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.


The Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force will present the seminar “Visionaries in Lyme Disease Testing, Treatment, Research and Advocacy,” at 6:30pm in the Ballroom of the Westside Campus Center on the university’s Westside campus, located at 43 Lake Avevue Extension in Danbury. The forum will be part of the Ridgefield organization’s seventh annual Health Fair at WCSU, which also will offer exhibits about prevention products, health care providers and supportive therapies related to Lyme disease. The fair will be from 5 to 9:30pm in the Westside Campus Center Ballroom. Admission will be free and the public is invited.


Speakers at the seminar will include Dr. Raphael Stricker, medical director of Union Square Medical Associates in San Francisco, Calif.; Dr. Nick Harris, founder, president and chief executive officer of  IGeneX Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif.; and Patricia Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association (LDA), a national organization headquartered in Jackson Township, N.J. The seminar will focus on recent medical, research and public policy developments in the field, as well as current issues and controversy in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease.


Stricker, whose specializations include the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases, is the author of more than 100 articles and abstracts published in medical journals. He received a medical degree in internal medicine from Columbia University, and specialist training in hematology and oncology at the University of California at San Francisco and in immunology and immunotherapy at the California Pacific Medical Center. His professional citations include the American Medical Association Award for Physician Excellence. He currently serves as vice president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and is a member of national professional organizations in the fields of hematology, immunology and medical research.


Harris, a Ph.D. recipient who also holds board certification from the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology, is the founder of IGeneX Laboratory, a reference laboratory specializing in testing for Lyme and related diseases. He is the co-founder and vice president of ID-FISH Technology in Palo Alto, a biotechnology firm that has developed diagnostic test kits for the detection of infectious diseases from clinical samples using a technique known as Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH). Harris holds six patents and has published more than 100 articles on topics related to immunology and Lyme disease. He previously served as an associate professor at the University of Texas, head of the immunology department at Bioscience Laboratories in Los Angeles, and technical director at 3M Diagnostic Systems.


As LDA president, Smith has been a prominent advocate for Lyme disease education, prevention and research programs as well as outreach efforts to provide support for patients who have contracted the disease. Under her leadership, the LDA has awarded numerous grants for Lyme disease research, organized annual scientific conferences focusing on Lyme disease, published informational materials to raise Lyme disease awareness, and lobbied for governmental support for Lyme-related research, treatment and prevention programs at the state and federal levels. She is a member of the advisory committee of the Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University and participates in the federal Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program Partnership.


For more information, contact the Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force at

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