About Allen Steere, MD

Dr. Steere is a physician scientist who is internationally recognized for his studies of Lyme disease. Dr. Steere's  medical school and residency were at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, a Columbia affiliate. From 1973-1975, he served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control. In 1976, while a post-doctoral fellow at Yale, his training at CDC was important in evaluating a cluster of children with arthritis in Lyme, Connecticut. Evaluation of this cluster led to the identification and description of Lyme arthritis. During his faculty period at Yale and subsequently at Tufts, he detailed the clinical features of Lyme disease, identified the spirochetal etiology of the infection in human patients, developed serologic, culture and PCR tests for diagnosis, conducted antibiotic trials, and was principal investigator of the SmithKline Beecham Phase III Lyme disease vaccine trial.

Dr. Steere currently serves as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Translational Research in Rheumatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he studies basic pathologic features of Lyme disease and rheumatoid arthritis. He has been particularly interested in understanding post-infectious Lyme arthritis. These patients develop pathology in affected joints that is similar to that seen in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, he is currently working to translate his years of experience with infection and immunity in Lyme arthritis to the study of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He and his colleagues have shown that Prevotella copri, a gut microbe, is an immune-relevant bacterium in RA. They are continuing to identify microorganisms that are a part of the normal flora in the bowel which stimulate immune responses that may affect joints in this disease.  

He and his colleagues see patients with Lyme arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis weekly in the clinic. In both diseases, they are researching basic immune abnormalities, knowledge of which may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. 

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Rheumatology
55 Fruit St.
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
Suite 4B
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-7938

Medical Education

  • MD, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Residency, St. Luke's Hospital
  • Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine

American Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

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The Steere lab specializes in the identification of novel antigens, including those from infectious agents or self-proteins, the elucidation of immune responses to these antigens, and the determination of microbial and host genetic factors that underlie adverse clinical outcomes.

This work requires a combination of discovery-based genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic approaches as well as functional studies using cells and affected tissues.

These include determinations of T cell and antibody phenotypes and function and deep characterization of implicated immune cells using genomics and transcriptomics.

This translational research, which is based on the study of human patients, has implications for pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of patients with these diseases.


  • Dr. Steere has authored more than 300 articles on Lyme disease and has recently published several articles on rheumatoid arthritis. His complete list of publications can be accessed through the PubMed Url link

    Several recent examples are listed here.

    1. Steere AC, Strle F, Wormser GP, Hu LT, Branda JA, Hovius JWR, Li X, Mead PS. Lyme borreliosis. Nature Rev Dis Primers doi:10.1038/nrdp.2016.90. PMID:2796670.  

    2. Branda J, Strle K, Nigrocic LE, Lantos PM, Lepore TJ, Damle NS, Ferraro MJ, Steere AC. Evaluation of modified 2-tiered serodiagnostic testing algorithms for early Lyme disease. Clin Infect Dis 2017;64:1074-80 PMCID:PMC5399943.

    3. Lochhead RB, Strle K, Kim ND, Kohler MJ, Arvikar SL, Aversa JM, Steere AC. MicroRNA expression shows inflammatory dysregulation and tumor-like proliferative responses in joints of patients with post-infectious Lyme arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol 2017;69:1100-1110. PMCID:PMC5406251.

    4. Pianta A. Arvikar SL, Strle K, Drouin EE, Wang Q, Costello CE, Steere AC. Two rheumatoid arthritis-specific autoantigens correlate with autoimmune responses in joints. J Clin Invest 2017;127:2946-2956. 

    5. Post-treatment Lyme disease syndromes: distinct pathogenesis caused by maladaptive host responses. J Clin Invest 2020;130:130:2148-2151.

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