As tick-borne diseases continue to be a source of growing public health concern on the Vineyard, a panel discussion convenes this week to discuss a potential new approach to curbing Lyme disease and other infections carried by ticks.

The discussion will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the Edgartown library, and is free and open to the public.

Panelists include Prof. Kevin Esvelt from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sam Telford, a professor at Tufts who has been involved in the study of tick diseases for decades, and Dr. Michael Jacobs, an internist who has practiced medicine on the Vineyard for decades and who founded a Vineyard Haven clinic now involved in medical research on Lyme and other tick-borne infections.

Led by Dr. Esvelt, scientists at the MIT are working on a long-term project to possibly introduce white-footed mice that have been genetically altered to contain immunity to Lyme disease. Scientists involved in the study believe that if large numbers of the mice were released, they could spread the immunity to the native mouse population, breaking the cycle of disease transmission.

The study is still in the early stages.

A similar project is being proposed on Nantucket.

Panelists will discuss the new proposal, technology, community safeguards and timeline. A question-and-answer period will be included.

“Science typically lacks transparency, but given the increasing power of technology to unilaterally alter the shared environment, a new, open, community-driven model is both morally and practically imperative,” a press release about the talk said.