Fighting Lyme & Tickborne Diseases

Lyme and tickborne diseases are the fastest-growing vector-borne illness in the U.S., with an estimated 476,000 new cases every year. Alex Cohen, a sufferer herself, knows how debilitating they can be. Inspired by Alex’s personal journey, we launched the Cohen Lyme & Tickborne Disease Initiative in 2015 to raise awareness, advance research, and find a cure.

Today, we’re the largest private funder of Lyme and tickborne disease research in the country. We underwrite groundbreaking studies in prevention, diagnostics, and treatment, and make program-related investments where all proceeds are transferred to patient assistance programs. Grants and program-related investments are determined by invitation only. We have also made awareness and education an integral part of our mission. We show the overwhelming impact these illnesses can have on people’s lives, from financial stress to mental health challenges, and we strive to educate healthcare providers on the latest tools to diagnose and treat them.

In the coming years, we look forward to supporting our current projects, investing in new opportunities, and giving voice to patients to usher even greater change.

Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation Tick Logo

Over $102 million to 60+ projects since 2015

60+ Projects
  • Today
  • Diagnostics
  • Field Building
  • Fundamental Knowledge
  • Patient Support
  • Prevention
  • Therapeutics
  • 2015
$102+ Million Given
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation Tick Logo

Featured Grantees


Over the past 25 years, rates of disease spread by ticks have tripled and children between the ages of 5 and 14 are especially vulnerable. As part of our collective fight against Lyme and tickborne diseases, we collaborate with patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, the government, and other organizations to advance mutually shared goals like creating greater awareness. Our latest national public service announcement at TicksSuck.org™ offers important prevention tips and resources and draws awareness to the year-round prevalence of ticks so families can protect themselves and their children.

Tick Habitats

Heatmaps of Tick Habitats Across the US

The heatmap below, which is a representation of maps created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), show the U.S. habitats of seven tick species that can potentially bite humans and cause illness. There are at least 16 known tickborne diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a blacklegged tick called Ixodes scapularis or Ixodes pacificus. While blacklegged ticks can also cause other illnesses, species like the American dog tick, brown dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, or Lone Star tick, carry different diseases. Sometimes you can identify the tick based on its physical traits and your geographic location. However, nymphal ticks, which are size of poppy seeds, can be too small to identify properly and the range of tick habitats is constantly changing.