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Acclaimed Lyme Disease Researcher Selected as Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2008 Commencement Speaker

April 9, 2008

Allen C. Steere, M.D.
DELAWARE, OHIO – Allen C. Steere, M.D., credited with discovering Lyme disease, will give the keynote address at Ohio Wesleyan University’s 164th commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 11. The ceremony will be streamed live online at stream.owu.edu.

During his career, Dr. Steere has received recognition from organizations including the American Lyme Disease Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Albert Sabin Vaccine Institute. In 2001, he was honored as a “Research Hero” by the Arthritis Foundation.

After identifying the tick-borne disease in 1975, Dr. Steere also was hailed as a hero by many patients suffering from the mysterious illness that resulted in arthritis, nervous system, or heart problems.

During the last decade, a Lyme disease counterculture has emerged with different ideas about the infection compared with mainstream medicine. These patients have picketed and harassed Dr. Steere. Despite this pressure, his work has progressed.

Today, Dr. Steere is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, director of clinical research for Massachusetts General Hospital’s rheumatology unit, and principal investigator for the hospital’s Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases.

He continues to research Lyme disease and rheumatoid arthritis, including issues of autoimmunity in patients who do not respond to antibiotic treatment. He also is investigating why some Lyme disease patients continue to experience painful joint inflammation and other symptoms even after successful treatment of the bacterial infection. Additionally, Dr. Steere and his colleagues are working to develop better diagnostic tests for the disease.

During the commencement ceremony, Dr. Steere will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Ohio Wesleyan in recognition of his distinguished scholarship, integrity, and leadership. Having earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Columbia College in New York and his medical degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Steere has published approximately 275 articles on Lyme disease and related topics.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.