HomeResearch  /  Internal Funding Opportunities  /  Lyme Disease

Research on Lyme Disease: Seed Grant Opportunity
Request for Proposals FY2020

Submission Deadline: April 9, 2020

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is pleased to announce a seed grant program to advance research and innovation in Lyme disease. The seed grant program seeks to broadly stimulate research on Lyme disease, with the goals of sparking new means of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the condition and of examining the impact of Lyme disease in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Seed grant proposals may focus on any aspect of Lyme disease, including (but not limited to) mechanistic studies, clinical treatment approaches and best practices, analyses of existing datasets, strategies for public and clinical education, and translation of evidence into public policy. Some priority will be given to projects that pertain to psychiatric or neurocognitive aspects of Lyme Disease and related conditions and to projects that pertain to transmission of the disease. Applicants should propose small projects that are feasible, may be completed within 12-18 months, and have promise to advance understanding in the field of Lyme disease.

Amount and Period of Funding

Applicants can request funding in the amount of $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 for proposed projects. Funding for awarded projects will start July 1, 2020 and will be available for 18 months with no extensions. 


  • We welcome applications from all Stanford faculty members. At least one Principal Investigator must be a School of Medicine faculty member or Instructor. Each faculty member and Instructor can serve as Principal Investigator on only one application associated with this announcement.
  • Stanford faculty on the Medical Center Line (MCL), University Tenure Line (UTL), Non‐Tenure Line (NTL), and Clinician Educators (CE), Clinical Instructors and Instructors are invited to apply. PI waivers are not required for this funding opportunity.
  • Graduate students, residents, fellows, and postdoctoral scholars are invited to apply for the $5,000 funding level.
  • CE Affiliates can be co‐investigators on proposals submitted by Instructors, Clinical Instructors, or PI‐eligible faculty members.
  • Past Lyme Disease Seed Grant awardees are not eligible for this call.
  • Multi‐PI projects are permitted, but one individual must be designated as the project leader.

Selection Process

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of Investigator(s) and team
  • Feasibility and methodological approach
  • Innovation
  • Programmatic priorities
  • Overall promise for impact


Awardees will be notified on or before June 1, 2020. Please note that evaluative ratings and commentary by reviewers will not be provided to applicants.


Recipients will be required to write a preliminary report (1 page) at the midpoint and a final 3‐page report at termination. Publications resulting from the work should acknowledge the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Lyme Disease Seed Grant Program. Once the winning projects are announced, it is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to directly consult with Stanford’s Institutional Review Board to ensure that the proposed project is conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines applicable to human subject research. Successful award recipients may be asked to present at a poster session, Grand Rounds, or another venue associated with this announcement.

Application Guidelines

By 4 pm on April 9, 2020, please submit one PDF file containing the following in the order listed below, here:

File name: “Lastname_Lyme2020.pdf”

All proposal applications should use at least 11‐point font size, 1‐inch margins for all pages, with standard word and single line spacing, and include:

  • 1‐page cover letter summarizing the proposed project and its potential impact on advancing science and/or innovation in the area of Lyme disease
  • Up to 2 pages outlining the study aims, rationale, study design and methods, preliminary data (if applicable), and no more than 5 references
  • 2‐page NIH‐style biosketch for the project leader
  • 1‐page budget and budget justification.  The budget should reflect the period of time funds are requested and can include: salary (including PI and research personnel with corresponding fringe benefits including TGP), equipment, project supplies, etc. This budget may not include faculty honoraria or funds allocated to an unrestricted account. Please note that the School of Medicine has a mandatory 3% telecommunications charge on all salary. Include 8% ISC in your budgeting.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively at the bottom right

Proposals that do not conform to the above guidelines will be returned without review.

Questions? Please direct all inquiries to:

Kyle McKinley
Program Manager
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Stanford School of Medicine
Email: kylemck@stanford.edu

Lyme Disease Seed Grant Projects

2018 Research on Lyme Disease

Proteome-wide Profiling of Borrelia Burgdorferi to Identify Temperature Sensitive Modulators of Infection and Persistence

PI: Balyn Wood Zaro, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar in the Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Department

Evaluating GABA depletion as the major cause for symptomatic pain, fatigue, and brain fog in post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) using disulfiram treatment

PI: Lawrence Steinman, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences in the Neurology Department

The investigative team includes John Wesson Ashford, a Clinical Professor (affiliated) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Jayakumar Rajadas, Director, BioADD and Assistant Director of CV Pharmacology in the Diomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery laboratory.

Functional MRI and sensory evaluation of central mechanisms of chronic pain associated with Lyme disease

PI: Danielle D. DeSouza, MSc, PhD
Instructor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Investigating the Sexual Transmission and Developmental Consequences of Borrelia burgdorferi

PI: Victoria Mascetti PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar in the Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Department

The investigative team includes Michal Tal Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Department and Maia Shoham, Life Science Research Professional at the Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Med Institute.

2017 Research on Lyme Disease

Biomechanical alterations of endothelial cells infected with Borrelia burgdorferi

PI: Effie E. Bastounis PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biochemistry

Novel microneedle patch development for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi

PI: Michal Caspi Tal PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Stem Cell Model of Lyme Carditis

PI: Nazish Sayed MD, PhD
Instructor in the Cardiovascular Institute

The investigative team includes Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD., is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Jayakumar Rajadas, Director, BioADD and Assistant Director of CV Pharmacology in the Diomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery laboratory and Edward S Mocarski, PhD., consultant and professor at Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University.