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Notices and Updates


Federal Register Notice:  Announcement of the third meeting of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Vol. 83, No. 15, 3171) Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

Federal Register Notice: Announcement of the inaugural meetings of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group  (Vol. 82, No. 225, 55845) Friday, November 24, 2017.

Federal Register Notice: Amendment extending the submission date for nominations of individuals who are interested in being considered for the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Vol. 82, No. 157, 38912) Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

Federal Register Notice: Solicitation of nominations of individuals interested in being considered for appointment to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Vol. 82, No. 135, 32711-32712) Monday, July 17, 2017.



53 Members Named to Serve on Working Group Subcommittees (posted February 6, 2018)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the names of 53 individuals who have been selected to serve on one of six subcommittees of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Working Group).  After reviewing the nominations, selections were made by the co-chairs overseeing each of the subcommittees. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Working Group provided input and approved the final selections. All of the individuals were notified today, but they have not yet confirmed their availability to serve on the subcommittee that they were chosen to join. The final list of subcommittee members will be updated if any of them are no longer able to join a subcommittee.

These subcommittees were established by the Working Group members during the December 12, 2017 meeting to assist them in identifying and reviewing information that provides the background, context, and evidence needed to develop the report to Congress and the HHS Secretary as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. The subcommittees will be led by members of the Working Group. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Working Group will work in collaboration with the subcommittee Co-Chairs and the Designated Federal Officer to ensure that the work of the subcommittees is consistent with the needs of the Working Group and committee management laws and regulations. The roles of the subcommittees, the work they will be doing, and the reports that they will provide to the Working Group will discussed at the February 12, 2018 meeting.

The members of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group subcommittees are:

Disease Vectors, Surveillance, and Prevention

Co-Chairs: Pat Smith and Ben Beard, MS, PhD



Jill Auerbach

Founder, Tick Research to Eliminate Diseases

Founder, Stop Ticks On People (S.T.O.P.)

Neeta Connally, PhD, MSPH

Associate Professor, Tick-borne Disease Prevention Laboratory, Western Connecticut State

Katherine Feldman, DVM, MPH

Senior Epidemiologist, MITRE

Thomas N. Mather, PhD

Professor, Center for Vector-Borne Disease

Director, TickEncounter Resource Center

Phyllis Mervine

President, LymeDisease.org

Colonel Robin Nadolny, PhD

COL, Medical Service Team Lead, Tick-Borne Disease Laboratory, Army Public Health Center

Adalberto Perez de Leon, DVM, PhD, MS

Director, Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service

Daniel E. Sonenshine, PhD

Eminent Professor of Biological Science, Old Dominion University

Jean I. Tsao, PhD

Associate Professor, Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University

Monica M. White

President and Co-founder, Colorado Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Association

LymeDisease.org, Lyme Disease Association, Inc., Public Tick IPM working group, Chaffee County Health Coalition

Stephen Wikel, PhD

Professor and Chair Emeritus of Medical Sciences, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Quinnipiac University

Pathogenesis, Transmission and Treatment

Co-Chairs: Wendy Adams, MBA and Captain Estella Jones, DVM



Nicole Baumgarth, DVM, PhD

Professor, Center for Comparative Medicine and Dept. of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, UC Davis

Patricia K. Coyle, MD

Neurology Professor and Vice Chair, Dept. of Neurology

Director, MS Comprehensive Care Center, Stony Brook University Medical Center

Sam Donta, MD

Fellow Infectious Diseases, Infectious Disease Society of America

Consultant, Infectious Diseases

Brian Fallon, MD, MPH

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, and Director, Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, Columbia University

Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA

CEO, LymeDisease.org

Elizabeth Maloney, MD

President, Partnership for Tick-Borne Diseases Education

Jon Skare, PhD

Professor and Associate Head, Dept. of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Texas A & M University

Brian Stevenson, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Testing and Diagnostics

Co-Chairs: Lise E. Nigrovic, MD, MPH and Co-chair to be determined



Charles Y. Chiu, MD, PhD

Director, Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center, UCSF

Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS

Chief, CNMC Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Director, Fetal Infectious Diseases Program

Co-Director, Congenital Zika Program at Children's National

Noel Gerald, PhD

Biologist and Senior Scientific Reviewer, Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, FDA

Deborah Hoadley, MD, MPH

Director, New England Institute for Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illnesses

Maliha Ilias, PhD

Program Officer, Lyme Disease Research Bacteriology and Mycology Branch, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, NIH

Bobbi Pritt, MD, MSc

Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Co-Director, Vector-Borne Diseases Laboratory Services,

Mayo Clinic

David Roth, JD

Retired senior managing director of a private equity firm (Blackstone)

Steven Schutzer, MD

Professor of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Access to Care Services and Support to Patients

Co-Chairs: Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner, JD, MBA and Commander Scott Cooper, MMSc, PA-C



Ana Frost, PhD

The Institute for Functional Medicine

Holiday Goodreau

President and Executive Director, The LiveLyme Foundation

Susan Green, JD

Legislative Counsel, NatCapLyme

Enid Haller, LCSW, PhD

Executive Director, Lyme Center of Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard Lyme Support Group

Paula Jackson Jones

President & Co-Founder, Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education (MLDSE)

Colonel Nicole Malachowski

Retired, US Air Force

Leonard Schuchman, DO, MPH, FAAFP

Osteopathic Physician

Sheila M. Statlender, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice

Kathleen Steele, LCSW


Vaccine and Therapeutics

Co-Chairs: Robert Smith, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA and Dennis Dixon, PhD



Felipe C. Cabello, MD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College

Monica E. Embers, PhD

Assistant Professor, and Director, TNPRC Vector-borne Diseases Core, Division of Bacteriology and Parasitology, Tulane National Primate Research Center

Maria Gomes-Solecki, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Utpal Pal, PhD

Professor, University of Maryland

Stanley A. Plotkin, MD

Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania

Juan Salazar, MD, MPH, FAAP

Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut Medical School, and Physician in Chief and Executive VP, Connecticut Children's Medical Center

Leigh Ann Soltysiak, MS

Self-employed, Owner, Principal Commercialization & Strategy Consultant, Silverleaf Consulting, LLC

David H. Walker, MD

The Carmage and Martha Walls Distinguished University Chair in Tropical Diseases, and Professor, Department of Pathology, and Executive Director, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas Medical Branch

Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-Infections

Co-Chairs: Richard Horowitz, MD and Allen Richards, PhD



Megan Dulaney, MS

Senior Interagency Liaison, DOD Center for Health Engagement, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

Marna Ericson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, and Director, Dermatology Imaging Center, University of Minnesota

Christine Green, MD

Physician, Green Oaks Medical Center, PC, and Director, LymeDisease.org


Charles Lubelczyk, MPH

Vector Ecologist, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Ulrike G. Munderloh, DVM, PhD

Professor, University of Minnesota, Department of Entomology

Garth Nicolson, MD, PhD

President, Chief Scientific Officer and Emeritus Professor of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine

Christopher D. Paddock, MD, MPHTM

Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, CDC

Samuel S. Perdue, PhD

Section Chief, Basic Sciences, Bacteriology and Mycology Branch, DMID/NIAID/NIH

Sam R. Telford III, ScD

Professor of Infectious Disease and Global Health

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University


Member Appointed to New Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (posted January 19, 2018)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the appointment of Robert Smith, MD, MPH, to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.  Dr. Smith will join Dr. Dennis Dixon as a co-chair to the Vaccine and Therapeutics Working Group Subcommittee.

Dr. Smith is Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Maine Medical Center, and Director and co-founder of the Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. He has also served as Medical Director of the HIV care program at Maine Medical Center since its inception in 1992.  In 2009, he served as Chair of the external review panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Lyme disease program, and, in 2011, as an Invited Reviewer for the Institute of Medicine’s workshop report Critical Needs and Gaps in the Understanding, Prevention, and Resolution of Lyme and other Tick-borne Diseases. He is an author of more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on tick-borne diseases, and has conducted more than 20  grant-supported studies of ticks and the diseases they transmit. His recent research includes investigations into the determinants of emergence of tick-transmitted diseases, the clinical spectrum of newly recognized infections, and interventions to lower human risk.

Third Tick-Borne Disease Working Group Meeting and
Working Group Subcommittee Co-Chairs Identified for the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group
(posted January 16, 2018)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the third meeting of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Working Group) on February 12, 2018, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time.  For this third meeting, the Working Group will focus on mapping out and initiating the work of the six Subcommittee Meeting Working Groups that were established on December 12, 2017.  These subcommittees were established to assist the Working Group with the development of the report to Congress and the HHS Secretary as required by the 21st Century Cures Act.  The subcommittees are:

  • Disease Vectors, Surveillance and Prevention (includes epidemiology of tick-borne diseases)
  • Pathogenesis, Transmission, and Treatment
  • Testing and Diagnostics (including laboratory-based diagnoses and clinical-diagnoses)
  • Access to Care Services and Support to Patients
  • Vaccine and Therapeutics
  • Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-Infections
Working Group Subcommittee Co-Chair Assignments
Working Group Subcommittee Co-Chairs
 Disease Vectors, Surveillance and Prevention   Pat Smith and Ben Beard
 Pathogenesis, Transmission, and Treatment  Wendy Adams and Estella Jones
 Testing and Diagnostics   Lise E. Nigrovic and Vanila Singh
 Access to Care Services and Support to Patients  Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner and Scott Cooper
 Vaccine and Therapeutics  Dennis Dixon and New Working Group Public Member TBA
 Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-Infections  Rich Horowitz and Allen Richards

Co-chairs are currently reviewing the nominations for subcommittee members. The members of each subcommittee will be announced before the third meeting of the Working Group that takes place on February 12, 2018.


Call for Nominations of Highly Qualified Individuals to Serve on Subcommittees to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (posted December 2017)


The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Working Group) is seeking nominations of federal employees and members of the public who are interested in being considered for appointment to one of six subcommittees that are being established to support the efforts of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.  Each subcommittee will present a carefully reasoned, evidence-informed report to the Working Group for the Working Group’s deliberation. Nominations will be accepted until midnight on January 7, 2018.


Tick-borne diseases are a serious public health problem.  Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease, but there are at least 20 different infections that are transmitted by ticks in the United States.  According to the CDC, more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. The number of new cases has been increasing in recent years, and the areas where ticks are found are expanding, which puts more people in more states at potential risk.

The federal government has made significant investments that address tick-borne diseases and provide support to research, prevention, medical care and treatment, and other related services or activities.  Congress established the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group in the 21st Century Cures Act to provide expertise and to review all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services related to all tick-borne diseases, to help ensure interagency coordination and minimize overlap, and to examine research priorities. Key tasks include the development and implementation of a summary of federally funded projects focused on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, reviews of the scientific literature, as well as information provided at subcommittee meetings by subject matter experts, and by patients and their families.

The Working Group is comprised of 7 Federal voting members and 7 non-federal voting members. These members represent a diverse group of stake holders with different levels of scientific expertise and different points of view on the needs and experiences of those whose lives have been affected by Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. Ideally, the subcommittees will include federal and public members that have specific subject matter expertise, are a patient, family member or patient advocates, scientists or researchers, and health care providers. On December 12, 2017, the Working Group established 6 subcommittees to assist the Working Group with the development of the report to Congress and the HHS Secretary required by the 21st Century Cures Act.  Those subcommittees are:

  1. Disease Vectors, Surveillance and Prevention (includes epidemiology of tick-borne diseases).
  2. Pathogenesis, Transmission, and Treatment
  3. Testing and Diagnostics (including laboratory-based diagnoses and clinical-diagnoses)
  4. Access to Care Services and Support to Patients
  5. Vaccine and Therapeutics
  6. Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-infections

Each subcommittee will be led by two subcommittee co-chairs. The co-chairs of each committee will work with the Working Group Chair, Vice Chair, the Designated Federal Official (DFO) and his alternate, and the other subcommittee co-chairs to align the work of the subcommittees with the goals and priorities of the Working Group and to conduct the work in a similar manner across subcommittees. It is expected that each subcommittee will have about 8-10 members, including two members who are members of the Working Group.

The primary purpose of the subcommittee is to gather information, conduct research, or analyze relevant issues and facts in preparation for meetings by the Working Group, or to draft position papers for deliberation by the Working Group. Subcommittees may not: take independent actions; make recommendations to Federal officials or agencies; nor release documents or reports directly to the public.   The Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy will provide technical assistance and support as needed to support these activities and ensure that they are completed in a way that promotes consistent high-quality collection and use of the information in a manner that is consistent with federal law. Final work plans for the subcommittees have not yet been developed. The final work plans may include:

  1. Inventory of federal activities related to tick-borne diseases
  2. Presentations from federal agency staff
  3. Review of the published scientific literature and other sources of empirical evidence
  4. Invited presentations by nonfederal and federal experts on topics related to the work of the subcommittees including, but not limited to, current epidemiology impact of tick-borne diseases, current state-of-the-art practices, federal guidance and recommendations. Evidence-informed best practices, challenges and opportunities, and any other relevant issues.
  5. Each subcommittee will create opportunities for public comments to be provided.  

Submission Process

Nominations will only be considered from two sources: (1) nominations that are submitted by persons who would like to serve on the subcommittee and (2) follow up with persons who previously submitted their names for consideration as members of the full Working Group.

Persons who are interested in serving on a subcommittee are invited to nominate themselves by submitting an email with the information described below to tickbornedisease@hhs.gov.

All persons who had been previously nominated to serve on the Working Group should receive an email asking them if they would like to be considered for any of the subcommittees. If they do, they will have the option of using the materials they have already provided or submitting updated materials.

Detailed information about submitting nominations is provided in the supplemental information section below.


Nominations must be received no later than midnight on January 7, 2018.  All of the nominations that are received will be acknowledged by email within 2 business days of receipt.

All nominations with the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group Subcommittee Nominations subject line must be sent to tickbornedisease@hhs.gov. Hard copies will not be accepted.


All inquiries should be sent to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group at tickbornedisease@hhs.gov.

Additional information about the Working Group, including its charter, can be found on at the Tick-Borne Disease website.


Section 2062 of the 21st Century Cures Act authorizes establishment of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Working Group). The Working Group will be governed by provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees.

The 21st Century Cures Act is intended to advance the research and development of new therapies and diagnostics and make substantial federal investments in a wide range of health priorities.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings.

All subcommittee meetings will be held using virtual meeting technology that requires an internet connection. It is expected that subcommittees will do most of their work between the January 2018 and May 2018. All of the virtual meetings are expected to take place during business hours; subcommittees may meet 2-4 times per month. The total number of meetings from January to June 2018 is expected to be 11 to 21 per subcommittee. The subcommittee members will also be expected to participate virtually in one or two public meetings of the full Working Group. The full Working Group meetings will be open to the public, except as determined otherwise by the Secretary, or another official to whom authority has been delegated, in accordance with the guidelines under Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b(c).


Please follow the instructions below that detail the information to be submitted.  All nominations received of individuals who have the specified expertise and knowledge will be considered for appointment as subcommittee member. Those individuals selected to serve on subcommittees will be notified on, or soon after, January 18, 2018.  All nominations will then be notified of the subcommittee member selection.

1. Submit a coversheet with the following information:

a. Contact information including: name, title and professional affiliation (if applicable); other relevant organizational affiliations (if applicable); physical address that correspondence should be sent to, email address; and one or two phone numbers that can be used to contact you during business hours.

b. The following signed statement: “I am willing to serve as a member of any of the subcommittees that I have expressed interest in below. I will strive  to conduct my work on any subcommittees informed by the best available evidence and the best interests of patients, families, and American communities affected by tick-borne diseases. [SIGNED / DATE]

2. Your answers to the following questions:

a. Which of these stakeholder groups are you a member of?

  • Health care provider
  • Public health professional (incl. federal, state, county and city)
  • Patient
  • Family member of a patient
  • Advocate
  • Researcher
  • Other: _________________________________________

b. Which subcommittee do you want to serve on and have relevant knowledge or expertise to serve effectively?

  • Disease Vectors, Surveillance and Prevention (includes epidemiology of tick-borne diseases).
  • Pathogenesis, Transmission, and Treatment
  • Testing and Diagnostics (incl. laboratory-based diagnoses & clinical-diagnoses)
  • Access to Care Services and Support to Patients
  • Vaccine and Therapeutics     
  • Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-infections

c. Are you a federal employee?

  • Yes
  • No

d. Were you nominated to serve as a full Working Group member in response to the Federal Register notice?

  • Yes
  • No

e. If Yes, do you want to provide updated information or use the information you provided previously to serve on the Working Group?

  • I will provide updated information
  • I will not provide updated information

3. Please provide a copy of  your  resume or CV (not to exceed 10  pages)

Content created by Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
Content last reviewed on October 24, 2017