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ILADS > ILADS Conferences > Pennsylvania 2020

Conference Overview

2020 ILADS Regional Conference in East Stroudsburg, PA

East Stroudsburg University, ILADS, Drexel University and PA Lyme Resource present:

Advances in Research and Clinical Practice in Tick-borne Disease

ILADS board of directors has determined that the upcoming East Stroudsburg University conference scheduled for April 17-18, 2020 shall be rescheduled for a later date due to the corona virus situation.

Plan on attending our fall meeting in Washington, DC where discussions will be very timely and relevant. Abstract submissions are now open for the fall meeting. The theme of the fall meeting is: COMPLEXITIES OF HOST PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS RESULTING IN DISEASE.

We appreciate everyone's support and understanding during this global health crisis.

Conference Speakers

2020 ILADS Regional Conference in East Stroudsburg, PA

Steven J. Bock, MD (photo)

Steven J. Bock, MD

Dr. Bock has been practicing the integrative treatment of tick-borne disease for more than thirty years at his offices in Rhinebeck and Albany, New York. He graduated from New York Medical College in 1971, where now serves as a clinical instructor, teaching integrative medicine. Dr. Bock is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and has been certified in Acupuncture for thirty years. He has authored three books, lectures internationally, and recently launched a tick-borne disease consulting practice in Santa Monica, California, in addition to his East Coast practices.

Robert Bransfield, MD

Robert C. Bransfield, MD

Robert C. Bransfield, MD, DLFAPA was President of ILADS from 2009-2011. Dr Bransfield is in the private practice of psychiatry in Red Bank, NJ, and is an Associate Clinical Professor at Rutgers-RWJ School of Medicine. He is also a past President of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association, as well as the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF). Dr. Bransfield is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He earned his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC and completed a residency in psychiatry at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. Dr. Bransfield has an interest in healthcare policy and the association between infections, psychoimmunology, and mental illness.

Joseph Burrascano

Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., MD

Dr. Burrascano is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and associated complex infectious diseases, and the chronic illnesses that accompany them. With over two decades of experience and research in this field, he has appeared in and on virtually every form of media, has advised the CDC and NIH, testified before the U.S. Senate, an armed services joint subcommittee, and at various governor's councils. A founding Board Member of ILADS, he also served as a Director of the ILADS Educational Foundation. A graduate of the NYU School of Medicine with a specialty in Internal Medicine, Dr. Burrascano retired from clinical practice in 2006. However, he continues to be active in educating practitioners and the public on issues related to tick-borne diseases.

Chinnici Nicole - Laboratory Director

Nicole Chinnici, M.S., C.W.F.S.

Nicole Chinnici is the laboratory director of the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute, home of the PA Tick Research Lab. Nicole is a certified wildlife forensic scientist with research experience overseeing and conducting tick testing and analyses since 2013.

Nicole first became involved in tickborne disease research while working as a graduate student at ESU. Since, Nicole has used her knowledge of genetics and qPCR to explore and identify pathogens within ticks. With this application and technology, one can utilize tick testing as a means for early detection to the exposure of diseases by a tick bite.

Garth E. Ehrlich, PhD

Garth D. Ehrlich, Ph.D

Dr. Ehrlich is the Director of the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine.  His research has focused on the field of translational infectious disease medicine.  Throughout his career he has developed and/or utilized cutting-edge technologies to improve patient care through more accurate diagnoses and prognoses.  He has played key roles in the development of molecular diagnostics (MDx) for more than 30 years. Dr. Ehrlich has also contributed substantially to the theoretical understanding of the biology behind chronic bacterial infections as well as chronic microbial infections.  This theoretical construct has been validated as a useful model for the understanding of the persistence of infection in the face of both an active immune response and antimicrobial treatment.

Marna Ericson, PhD

Marna E. Ericson, Ph.D

Dr. Ericson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she is director of the Dermatology Imaging Center. In examining the role of biofilms in vector-borne disease persistence and opportunities for effective treatment, she uses advanced microscopes and imaging techniques and incorporates new biomarker tools when analyzing blood and tissue samples.  Her work has opened new doors to understanding the pathogenesis of vector-borne infections and has revealed the importance of the dermal niche in tick-borne disease.

fallon headshot

Brian A. Fallon, MD

Brian A. Fallon, MD, MPH, is the director of the Center for Neuroinflammatory Disorders and Biobehavioral Medicine and director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University. A graduate of Harvard College, he obtained his M.D. degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a master's degree in public health epidemiology from Columbia University. He did his medical internship at Columbia University Medical Center and research training and an NIH fellowship in biological psychiatry at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.In addition to his work on illness anxiety, hypochondriasis, obsessive compulsive disorder, and somatoform disorders, Dr. Fallon is recognized internationally for his research on neurologic and neuropsychiatric Lyme disease.

Photo of Rosalie Greenberg

Rosalie Greenberg, MD, FAPA, DFAACAP

Rosalie Greenberg, MD, FAPA, DFAACAP is a Board Certified Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in private practice in Summit, New Jersey, specializing in the diagnosis and psychopharmacological treatment of pediatric mood disorders, psychiatric symptoms secondary to tick-borne infections and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes. Dr. Greenberg is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she did her adult and child psychiatric training and had served as an Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry for several years. She has published multiple articles in the medical and lay press and has presented nationally and internationally on childhood mental illness.

Photo of Francine B. Hanberg, MD

Francine B. Hanberg, MD

Infectious Diseases Specialist trained at Yale, Stanford Medical School, UCSF and UCLA and the research labs of Nobel Laureates James Watson, Richard J. Roberts and Willard Libby.

IDSA member since 1993, ILADS clinician nominee to TBDWG 2017


Kenneth B. Liegner, MD

New York State born & bred, a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University and New York Medical College, Dr. Liegner is an internist with additional training in anatomic pathology and critical care medicine. He has been actively involved in diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases and related disorders since 1988 and has published articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has presented at national and international conferences on tick-borne diseases.

Photo of Marina Makous, MD

Marina Makous, MD

Dr Makous completed a 2-year Fellowship at the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University, focusing on the Neuro-Psychiatric complications of Tick-Borne infections. Upon completion of her Fellowship, Dr. Makous stayed on as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center at the Lyme Center/Dept of Psychiatry before transitioning into private practice in Pennsylvania. In her practice, Dr. Makous evaluates and treats patients with Lyme and other infections, as well as the Neuro-Psychiatric complications of chronic diseases.

Dr. Makous is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician with additional training and expertise in Mental Health. While at Columbia University, Dr. Makous contributed to Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide by Brian A. Fallon MD (Columbia University Press), and Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care, by by Dr. Feinstein (Oxford University Press).


Robert L. Mauss, DO

Born and raised in Adams County Pennsylvania, Dr. Mauss's initial desire was to be a high school math teacher. He graduated Shippensburg University in 1992 with a Mathematics BSEd. After a few years of substitute teaching he changed direction towards the medical field. After completing 3 more years of pre-med course work he was accepted to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he graduated in 2003. He completed a Family Medicine residency at Memorial Hospital in York, PA. Wanting to further his skills and knowledge in osteopathic manipulation, he then moved to Bangor Maine to complete a 1 year fellowship in Neuro-musculo-skeletal Medicine. Today Dr. Mauss interweaves conventional medicine, Osteopathic Manipulation, Functional Medicine and Lyme Disease management into a very eclectic and successful medical practice. He is board certified in both Osteopathic Family Medicine and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine.

Photo of B. Robert Mozayeni, MD

B. Robert Mozayeni, MD

Dr. Mozayeni was trained in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at Yale and at NIH.  He has had pre- and post-doctoral Fellowships in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale, and also at NIH where he was a Howard Hughes Research Scholar at LMB/DCBD/NCI and later, Senior Staff Fellow at LMMB/NHLBI/NIH. He is an expert in Translational Medicine, the science and art of advancing medical science safely and efficiently. He is a Fellow of the non-profit Think Lead Innovate Foundation and is a co-founder of the Foundation for the Study of Inflammatory Diseases.  He is a Founder of the Foundation for the Study of Inflammatory Diseases to crowd-source medical solutions for complex conditions using existing knowledge, diagnostic methods, and therapies to meet patient needs immediately.  He is the Chief Medical Officer of Galaxy Diagnostics, LLC.   Dr. Mozayeni has held admitting privileges (since 1994) on the clinical staff of Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine and an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.

rita head shot

Rita Rhoads, C.N.P., C.N.M., M.P.H.

Ms Rhoads has been a Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife since 1977. She received her Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery degrees from Froniter University, her BSN from Millersville University and her Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. She opened the first Freestanding Birth Center in PA in 1978, which is currently the oldest continuously operating one in the United States. In 2007 she began treating tick-borne illnesses which has been her full time practice since then. She also speaks on tick-borne illness diagnosis and treatment; and especially about tick-borne illnesses in pregnant women.


Denise Seigart, Ph.D

Denise Seigart, Ph.D. assumed the Dean of the College of Health Sciences position at ESU effective August 21, 2017. Dr. Seigart brings to ESU more than 30 years of teaching experience in nursing and more than 10 years of administrative experience. Prior to accepting a position with ESU, Seigart was the associate director of undergraduate nursing and graduate nursing of populations program at Boise State University in Boise, ID. Seigart earned her B.S.N. in nursing from Niagara University, her M.S. in community health nursing from Binghamton University, and her Ph.D. in human service studies/program evaluation with minors in education and public policy from Cornell University. Dr. Seigart leads ESU’s College of Health Sciences in developing collaborative initiatives intended to harness the knowledge and skills of the area’s health services professionals and educational systems in order to create opportunities for student learning and job preparation.

Kayla M Socarras MS

Kayla M. Socarrás, M.S.

Ms. Kayla M. Socarras is a Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D. student at Drexel University College of Medicine. She works towards her doctorate degree under the tutelage of Dr. Garth Ehrlich, executive director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases: the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing (CAMP), the Center for Genomic Sciences (CGS), and the Center for Surgical Infection and Bacterial Biofilm, as well as the executive director of the Drexel University Genomics Core Facility. Prior to commencing her studies at DUCOM, she attained her Masters of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at University of New Haven. She has worked, conducted, and collaborated on several studies on the pathogenesis of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the pathological agent in Lyme disease. Furthermore, she has created several protocols for the studies of Borrelia spp, particularly in studying the bacteria using atomic force microscopy. Recently, Ms. Socarras has continued to work on Lyme disease at DUCOM and has expanded her research to include the tick bacterial microbiome.

Julia Wagner-Headshot

Julia Wagner, MBA

Julia Wagner, MBA, is founder and President of PA Lyme Resource Network (PALRN). PA Lyme is the largest PA tickborne disease non-profit organization focused on awareness, education, support (over 30 support groups across PA), and advocacy. She is also Chair of LymeActionPA, a state-wide legislative advocacy coalition, leads the PALRN Practitioner Community of Practice, and is a member of The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. Julia led successful legislative advocacy efforts through LymeActionPA, passing PA Act 83, multiple Lyme Disease proclamations across the state, and most recently, the passage of HB629 by the House, now being considered by the Senate (2019-20 session), “An Act Providing for Patient Access to Diagnostics and Treatments for Lyme Disease and Related Tick-borne Illnesses”.

Photo of Brian Wigdahl, PhD

Brian Wigdahl, PhD

Brian Wigdahl, Ph.D., is professor and chair of Microbiology and Immunology, director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease, and director of the institute’s Center for Molecular Virology and Translational Neuroscience at the Drexel University College of Medicine. An internationally recognized molecular virologist, Dr. Wigdahl focuses his immediate research on the molecular mechanisms, treatment, and prevention of immunologic abnormalities, cancer, and progressive neurologic disorders caused by members of the retrovirus and herpesvirus families. He has a total of more than 200 published or in press peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Wigdahl has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, foundations, commercial sources for over 35 years, with awards totaling more than $40 million. Dr. Wigdahl has devoted substantial efforts to undergraduate student research training, medical and graduate education, and postdoctoral training, as well as research staff and junior faculty development. He is currently the executive director of the PhD/MS program in Molecular Medicine and six MS graduate programs including Infectious Disease, Immunology, Biomedicine and Business, Biomedicine and Law, Biomedicine and Entrepreneurship, and Biomedicine and Digital Design at Drexel in addition to his general oversight of the PhD Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology. He has trained more than 40 PhD students and 18 MS degree students (including four MD/PhD students) and 16 postdoctoral fellows during this 40 year career at Penn State and Drexel.

A senior associate editor of the Journal of NeuroVirology, Dr. Wigdahl also served for six years as president of the International Society for NeuroVirology, and currently serves as treasurer of the Society. During his time at Penn State, Dr. Wigdahl was awarded the Samuel Hinkle Society Outstanding Young Investigator award and more recently at Drexel University College of Medicine, the Julian Marsh, MD, Faculty Scholar Award for excellence in scientific research, outstanding teaching skills, and consistent high quality leadership. Dr. Wigdahl is the 2013 recipient of the International Society for NeuroVirology Pioneer in Neurovirology Award presented in recognition of outstanding individual achievement in the field of neurovirology and the 2016 recipient of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology Wybran Award presented in recognition of the very best scientific contributions that have resulted in the preservation and expansion of the field of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. In 2017, Dr. Wigdahl was also awarded the Dean’s Award from the Graduate School for Biomedical Science and Professional Studies for recognition of sustained contributions to innovative education programs at Drexel University.

Ying Zhang at TEDCO 1

Ying Zhang, MD

Dr. Ying Zhang is a Professor at Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research interests are focused on bacterial persistent infections and development of more effective treatments for persistent Lyme disease and associated co-infections. His group is currently evaluating promising drug combinations and essential oils to develop more effective treatments for persistent Lyme disease.