Jory Brinkerhoff, assistant professor of biology at the University of Richmond, has received a $25,000 research award from the Thomas F. Jeffress and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust of Richmond, for his research on the emergence of Lyme disease in Virginia.

The award supports Brinkerhoff’s project, “Population of Genetic Structure of a Bacterial Pathogen and its Vector at a Spatial Expansion Front: The Case of Lyme Disease Emergence in Virginia.” Brinkerhoff will study the geographic expansion of tick populations in the state, and how that might relate to a recent increase in Lyme disease. The award will provide funds for Brinkerhoff and one undergraduate student to conduct summer research, as well as fund equipment, supplies and DNA sequencing.

Brinkerhoff’s research is focused on landscape and disease ecology. Before coming to Richmond, he spent two and a half years researching Lyme disease at the School of Public Health at Yale University.

The Thomas F. Jeffress and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust was established under the will of Robert M. Jeffress, a founder and the principal benefactor of the Virginia Institute for Scientific Research. The trust supports basic scientific research in chemical, medical or other scientific fields through grants to educational and research institutions. The University will support Brinkerhoff’s project by providing funds for student living expenses and fringe benefits not covered by the grant.


Associate Professor of Biology
Disease ecology
Epidemiology of vector-borne diseases
Host-parasite relationships