Ticks and Tick Borne Diseases
Stephen Rich studies zoonotic diseases, with a focus on tick- and mosquito-borne diseases including Lyme disease and human malaria.
He is the director of TickReport, a professional tick-testing service that the public can use to determine if a particular tick carries disease-causing pathogens. His work is providing insights into what populations of people are being bitten by ticks, when and where, and what pathogens those ticks are carrying.
Stephen Rich's expertise on tick-borne disease, including Lyme disease, Anaplasma and Babesia, has made him a go-to expert for commentary and predictions on the risks of these diseases.
He directs the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst, that focuses on infectious diseases, with particular attention to those diseases with transmission cycles that involve other animal species.
University of California Irvine: Ph.D., Biological Sciences
Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health: S.M., Tropical Medicine
University of Vermont: M.S., Zoology
Saint Lawrence University: B.S., Biology
Select Media Coverage (3)
Cancer treatment could halt Lyme disease in its tracks, UMass Amherst researchers say
The Boston Globe online
A type of drug used to treat some cancers could be effective in halting the symptoms of tick-borne Lyme disease according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The work grew out of a graduate student’s observation about similarities between Lyme-causing bacteria and cancer cells, and within the next decade could lead to treatments that provide relief to many thousands suffering from the illness, according to Stephen M. Rich, a UMass microbiology professor who is senior author of the new study published in the academic journal Pathogens.
Hungry ticks can use this static trick to land on you and your pets
AP News online
Ticks are “ambush predators,” explained Stephen Rich, a public health entomologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They can’t jump or fly onto their hosts, he said. Instead, they hang out on a branch or a blade of grass with their legs outstretched — a behavior known as “questing” — and wait for people or animals to pass by so they can grab on and bite.
Mass. college students working with CDC to surveil ticks, track how they move
25 News Boston tv
Inside the Department of Microbiology at UMass Amherst students work to better understand what makes a tick tick. The students are now working with Dr. Stephen Rich on a $10 million CDC study called Project ITCH – Is Tick Control Helping? “They are the most important vectors of disease in North America,” said Rich. “So we really have to do something to reduce the numbers in order to reduce the incidents of disease.”