Upstate Medical University

Vector-Borne Diseases

Mission Statement

The SUNY Center for Vector-Borne Diseases (CVBD) strives to promote interdisciplinary
research (basic, translational, and clinical) and education among SUNY Upstate Medical
University and SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry faculty with research focused
on tick & mosquito-borne diseases and other zoonotic diseases.


The primary goals of the SUNY Center for Vector-Borne Diseases (CVBD) are to:

  1. Facilitate and promote interdisciplinary and interinstitutional research (basic, translational, and Clinical) on broad aspects of tick & mosquito-borne diseases such as but not limited to, Lyme disease, Powassan encephalitis, Ehrlichiosis Anaplasmosis, West Nile virus encephalitis, Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika virus disease, and other emerging zoonotic diseases.
  2. Facilitate developing and testing novel countermeasures to control/prevent (therapeutics and vaccines) tick and mosquito-borne diseases.
  3. Promote and support interdisciplinary education and training of graduate, post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduate students interested in tick and mosquito-borne diseases.
  4. Engage and educate the community on tick- and mosquito-borne diseases and how to protect from getting tick and mosquito bites.

Research Spotlight

tickMAP: A public health tool to track the emergence of ticks and tick-borne diseases in New York:

SUNY CVBD researchers are engaging with the community to track the emergence of
ticks and tick-borne diseases are at: The data collected from this project is
used to develop a public health mapping tool (dashboard), the tickMAP [].

For More Information …

Saravanan Thangamani

Director, Center for Environmental Health and Medicine

Dr. Saravanan Thangamani is a SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is also the Director of the SUNY Center for Vector-borne Diseases and Vector Biocontainment Laboratories. He is an internationally renownedexpert in vector-borne diseases,specificallytick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases caused by pathogens such as the Lyme disease agent, Powassan virus, Heartland virus, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, and Zika virus.His research attempts to: (1) understand the environmental factors contributing to the emergence and reemergence of vector-borne diseases in the United States utilizing an innovative citizen science tick surveillance program; (2) develop anti-tick vaccines; (3) develop novel transmission control methods, including the development of transmission blocking vaccines for mosquito and tick-borne diseases; (4) vector determinants of arbovirus transmission; (5) effect of co-infections on the clinical outcome of Lyme disease; and (6) development of small animal models for pre-clinical evaluations of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging infections.