Tim Haystead, Pharmacologist at Duke University

Tim Haystead

Tick Boot Camp Podcast
Dr. Tim Haystead was featured on the Tick Boot Camp Podcast:


Dr. Tim Haystead is a renowned researcher from Duke University in the field of pharmacology and drug discovery. He has made significant strides in the fight against Lyme disease, including his current work featuring a potential breakthrough in treatment and diagnosis.

Work with Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
Doctor Tim Haystead has discovered that about 36% of individuals with Lyme disease experience persistent, chronic symptoms consistent with active infection. His current $3.8 million research project, funded by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, is aimed at identifying protein targets for the development of a new class of molecularly targeted therapies for Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) and Bartonella. The project uses technology that Dr. Haystead pioneered for cancer drug discovery and has already identified over 20 bacterial proteins as attractive targets for drug development. These protein targets are selected for their specificity to Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme), which reduces the risk of adverse side effects such as the destruction of normal, healthy gut flora.

Work with Bay Area Lyme
Dr. Haystead’s $2 million Bay Area Lyme Foundation grant aims to develop an effective treatment and diagnostic tool for Lyme disease. One of the main challenges in Lyme disease is accurately diagnosing the infection in patients with chronic disease. Dr. Haystead’s team is developing small molecule inhibitors that target Borrelia burgdorferi’s proteins and eliminate the bacteria by destroying its DNA. These inhibitors are attached to fluorescent chemical compounds called fluorophores, which can also be used as a diagnostic tool to detect the presence of Lyme disease. The new treatment would require only one single dose to eliminate the bacteria instead of a three-to-four-week course of oral antibiotics.

Expanding the Scope of Research
Dr. Haystead’s work on using the same technology for other co-infections like Bartonella and parasitic diseases shows great potential in improving the quality of life for those suffering from Lyme disease. His research could also pave the way for more effective treatments for other illnesses caused by parasitic infections.

Next Steps
Dr. Tim Haystead’s research is a significant step forward in the fight against Lyme disease. His breakthroughs in treatment and diagnosis could improve the quality of life for the thousands of people affected by this debilitating illness. By identifying protein targets for the development of new molecularly targeted therapies and developing novel small molecule inhibitors for Lyme disease treatment and diagnosis, Dr. Haystead is making important strides toward a cure for Lyme disease.