LCOM & Department News

Class of 2021 Medical Students, Faculty, Staff Recognized at Honors Celebration

May 7, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur

In a salute to graduating medical students’ accomplishments and to honor the faculty and staff who have supported them during their medical education journey, the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine launched a virtual 2021 Honors Celebration on May 6, 2021.

In a salute to graduating medical students’ accomplishments and to honor the faculty and staff who have supported them during their medical education journey, the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine launched a virtual 2021 Honors Celebration on May 6, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. The online celebration features a welcome and congratulatory remarks from Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., and presentations of awards that recognize exemplary medical students, faculty, and staff. (View the virtual Honors Celebration.)

Through videotaped presentations, the following awards and their respective recipients were announced:

Faculty, Staff and Department Awards from the Class of 2021

Clinical Teacher of the YearKatie Dolbec, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine
This award honors a faculty member who exhibits humanism in patient care, includes students in the clinical setting, creates an engaging learning environment, and fosters confidence and skill in the students with whom they worked.

Collette AwardEmma Faustner, Advanced Integration and Residency Placement Coordinator
This award honors a support staff member who a support staff member who was outstanding during the clinical levels of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum including Clerkship and Advanced Integration

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society (AOA) Volunteer Faculty Award: Lincoln Heath, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, of the Community Health Centers of Burlington

AOA Faculty Award: Fuyuki Hirashima, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, UVM Medical Center (UVMMC); Molly Rideout, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UVMMC; and Matthew Siket, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Medicine, UVMMC

AOA Housetaff (Resident) Award: John Konen, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Surgery, UVMMC; and Nathaniel White, Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, UVMMC

The Clinical Resident of the Year Award: Adam Paine, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Surgery, UVMMC

Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) - Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty award: Devika Singh, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, UVMMC

The Harry E. Howe, M.D. & Theo O. Howe Outstanding Teacher of Surgery Prize: Margaret Tandoh, M.D., Gamelli Green and Gold Professor in Surgery, Division of Acute Care Surgery, UVMMC
This award recognizes and honors excellence in teaching in the Department of Surgery.

Clinical Department of the Year: Division of Emergency Medicine

Student Awards

The John E. Mazuzan Jr., M.D.'54 Award for excellence in Anesthesiology: Flora Liu

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award for excellence in Emergency Medicine: Tyler Prince

The Edward E. Friedman Award for promise of excellence in the practice of Family Medicine: Jenna Dafgek

The Family Medicine John. P Fogarty, M.D. Leadership Award - Family Medicine: Jhaimy Fernandez

The Ellsworth Amidon Award for outstanding proficiency in Internal Medicine: Sean Meagher

The Laura Weed, M.D. Award for scholarship, service, and excellence in medicine: Matthew Tsai

The American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for excellence in Neurology: Connor Scagnelli

The Herbert Martin Sr., M.D. Award for excellence in Neurology: Emily Eichner

The Carbee Award for academic excellence in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences: Kathryn Kurchena

The John V. Maeck, M.D.'39 Robe Recipient for overall excellence in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences: Sidika Kajtezovic

The Dr. & Mrs. Nathaniel Gould, M.D.'37 Prize for outstanding achievements in Orthopaedic Surgery: Annabelle Davey

The Ralph D. Sussman, M.D.'38 Medical Alumni Award: Reed Hausser

The William Sweetser Award: Olivia Harrison

The Walter Dodd, M.D. Award in Radiology for excellence in Radiology: Liam du Preez

The H. Gordon Page, M.D.'45 Award for excellence in Surgery: Hillary Danis

The Harry Howe, M.D.'52 Senior Student Award for excellence in Surgery: Max Silverstein

The Pilcher Award for representing the qualities of Eleanor & Lewis Pilcher of devotion to family and patients, with a high regard for ethics and honesty: Brian Gross

The College of American Pathologists Distinguished Medical Student Award for excellence in Pathology: Amanda Kardys

ACEP/EMRA National Outstanding Medical Student Award: Raghav Goyal

Charles T. Schechtman, M.D., ’26 Award for excellence in the clinical care of patients and is based on outstanding work during the Clerkship Year: First Prize: Joy Lowry; and Michael Weber. Second Prize: Michael Chmielewski; Jack Dubuque; Raghav Goyal; Olivia Harrison; Elizabeth Lanata; Olivia Larkin; and Sean Meagher

The David Babbot, M.D. “Caring and Seeing Award” honoring a physician, who for decades served as a role model for students and residents at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. The student awardee has demonstrated commitment to medical education and excellence and personal attentiveness in patient care; strong and caring relationships with faculty members; and commitment to the educational mission of the College of Medicine: Matthew Tsai

The Kerzner Family Prize for outstanding service to the community: Raghav Goyal


Past Department Highlights

Congratulations to Dr. Maureen Harmon, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and Dr. Amer Abu Alfa, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine for being recognized by medical students for their professionalism. Dr. Harmon was recognized for social responsibility and Dr. Abu Alfa was recognized for compassion. (5/2023)

Congratulations to Mary Cushman, Ph.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine and pathology and laboratory medicine, on being named a University Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Division, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (5/2023)

View the story Mammograms of a study by Sarah Nowak, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and researchers at the UVM Cancer Center showing data that fewer women being screened for breast cancer. (4/2023)

vandervliet-habibovic420x280A new study by Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and a team of University of Vermont (UVM) researchers is honing in on why people with asthma often have worse symptoms if they are obese. This new research demonstrates that the gene DUOX1 likely contributes to the connection between obesity and asthma.  The research was published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was highlighted as an APSselect article for March 2023. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., was the senior author on the paper, along with department of pathology and laboratory medicine coauthors Aida Habibovic, lab research technician;Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., visiting scholar; Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., associate professor; University Distinguished Professor Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.; and additional team members and authors from UVM. Read the full LCOM News story LCOM News (4/2023)

Congratulations to Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, for having your proposal, Consequential Validity of Entrustable Professional Activities in Pathology Residency Training selected to receive a Frymoyer Scholars Program project of $48,000 to be funded July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Martin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., on accepting the new role as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Joanna Conant, M.D., on becoming the new Pathology Student Fellowship Director starting July 1, 2023. (4/2023)

Congratulations to The Cunniff Lab, on receiving funding to support research focused on malignant mesothelioma. The funding was from The Butler Family Foundation Fund for Cancer Research at the University of Vermont Cancer Center. The Butler Fund was established by the Butler family in memory of two loved ones lost to mesothelioma. (03/2023)

Congratulations to the following recipients that received pathology research support funding. Nathaniel Shannon in Brian Cunniff's, Ph.D., lab was awarded $1800 towards the cost of travel to the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM). Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., and faculty mentor Albert van der Vliet, PhD., were awarded $2622 for her project "Characterization of Laminin Oxidative Modifications by Peroxidasin in Pulmonary Fibrosis"Nels Olson, PhD., MPH., $14,582 for the purchase of an Agilent BioTek 405 TS Touch Microplate Washer, Model 405 TSRS. Ashley Volaric M.D.Joanna Conant M.D., and David Seward, M.D, Ph.D., were awarded $13,680 for their project, "The Effect of Epstein Barr Virus Latency on Cellular DNA Methylation Profile of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma". (3/2023)

A number of faculty and students from the pathology and laboratory medicine department presented research at the American Heart Associations Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health (EPI/Lifestyle) Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston February 28 - March 3. Students presenting were Maggie King, a master in science pathology degree student who was mentored by faculty scientist J. Peter Durda, Ph.D. pathology and laboratory medicine.  Maggie presented on "Complete Blood Count Analysis in the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) Cohort Study with a Point of Care Instrument." Her study is supported by NHLBI. And second-year medical student and 2022 Cardiovascular Research Institute Summer Research Fellow Megan Zhou, mentored by pathology and laboratory medicine associate professor Nels Olson, Ph.D. Megan presented on  "Coagulation Factor IX and Incident Diabetes Risk: The Reasons for Geographic and Race Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study." Also, pathology and laboratory faculty members that were coauthors of presentations given, assistant professor Margaret Doyle, Ph.D., and University Distinguished Professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Russell Tracy, Ph.D. (3/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bei Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected for a Distinguished Scholar Award by the Association of Biochemistry Educators for her submission entitled "Activate Students' Learning Outside Classroom". Dr. Zhang will be presenting this submission at the 2023 Association of Biochemistry Education Conference. (3/2023)

Congratulations to our 2023 Gender Equity Award Nominees. Gender Equity Champion Award nominee, Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Our departmental nominees for The Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship- an award for informal or formal mentorship for women or gender diverse college community members, Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Pam Gibson, M.D., Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Christi Wojewoda, M.D. (2/2023)  

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., on being selected to receive the Association of Pathology Chairs 2023 Margaret Grimes Distinguished Achievement Award in Graduate Medical Education. This award was made in recognition of Dr. Anderson's outstanding contributions to graduate medical education and his stature as a nationally recognized leader in pathology education. (2/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Dr. Kelly Butnor, M.D., Dr. David "Bebo" Seward, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Sharon Mount, M.D., on their news story in The Charlotte News, on their "giant steps in cancer research." Read the full article here:   Humble Superstar (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Bundock, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Examiner of Vermont and clinical assistant professor of pathology, for her appointment by the American Board of Pathology, to the Test Development and Advisory Committee for Forensic Pathology 2023. (1/2023)

Dr. Beri Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, presented a panel, at the Snow Season Education Retreat, titled "The Pearls and Pitfalls of Publishing in Medical Education", with three clinicians Dr. Hale, Dr. Halle, and Dr. Rideout. (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine on her Awards for  Teaching and Educational Excellence, Learner Assessment, conferred at the Teaching Academy Induction and Award Ceremony on January 11, 2023. (1/2023)

Albert in JapanCongratulations to Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., pro-fessor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected as an Invited Fellow to Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, to participate in research in the laboratory of Takaaki Akaike, M.D., Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine and molecular toxicology. The invitational fellowship relates to a Tohoku University initiative that allows Tohoku faculty members to host invited researchers to promote collaborative research in the host lab for up to three months. The objective is to promote joint publications and expand international collaborations. Dr. van der Vliet's visit coincided with a medley of scientific meetings and symposia collectively termed  Redox Week In Sendai 2022 and held October 27-November 1, 2022. The events brought together leading scientists from around the world in the specific research fields of nitric oxide biology, polysulfur biochemistry, and biology. Van der Vliet was co-organizer and speaker at one of the symposiums, and Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., both professors of pathology and laboratory medicine, also participated as invited speakers. Additional Japanese federal funding supports the exchange of invited researchers, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars to collaborate on research. Read more about the  redox research collaboration  between UVM and Tohoku University. (01/2023) 

Congratulations to Dr. Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and director of the Center for Biomedical Shared Resources, at the UVM Cancer Center's recent annual scientific retreat he and Dr. Alan Howe, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, were chosen from a group of five cross-disciplinary teams that competed for $25,000 in seed funding. They were chosen by a vote of the membership. Each team had 30 minutes to develop an idea with an actionable research plan that aligned with one of several proposed Cancer Center initiatives to address research relevant to the populations of Vermont and northern New York. The funds were awarded for the "Spatialomics and Precision Medicine Pipeline" project. This will be co-led by Dr. Taatjes, Ph.D., and Dr. Howe, Ph.D. (12/2022)

DebraDr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., was the invited speaker for the Women in Cytometry reception at the 2022 International Clinical Cytometry Society Annual Meeting in Montreal on October 23. Dr. Leonard presented a talk titled "Leading from Within". Dr. Nicholas Haslett presented a poster at this same meeting. (10/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., on her Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association. Read the full article here: VermontBiz (10/2022)

Larner Medicine profiles Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and her research. Read the full profile here: Probing Oxygen's Mysteries (10/2022)

Research News see the news on UVM vaccine trials on eradicating polio and lead investigator Dr. Jessica Crothers, M.D., Read the full article here:  Research News (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Laura Greene, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and assistant dean for admissions, who recently accepted an appointment as program director of the Pathology Residency Program, effective July 1, 2023. Thank you to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, who as served as the program director since 2009. (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Jason Brazelton, M.D., for being named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society. "Dr. Brazelton's thoughtful and collabrative approach has improved care in our community and Porter's Medical staff has been incredibly fortunate to work with him." (09/2022)