LCOM & Department News

UVM Hosts NIH NERIC Conference & Leahy Visit

August 14, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur

The Vermont Genetics Network (VGN) and Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (VCIID) at the University of Vermont hosted more than 300 National Institutes of Health-funded biomedical researchers from across Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Delaware for the North East Regional IDeA Conference (NERIC) August 16 to 18, 2017 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy delivered remarks at the conference on August 17.
The Vermont Genetics Network (VGN) and Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (VCIID) at the University of Vermont hosted more than 300 National Institutes of Health-funded biomedical researchers from across Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Delaware for the North East Regional IDeA Conference (NERIC) August 16 to 18, 2017 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy delivered remarks at the conference on August 17.

Vermont is one of 24 states in the country designated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as eligible for Institutional Development Awards (IDeA. The IDeA program, which is based in the Research Capacity Building section of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, provides funding designed to build the infrastructure for biomedical research in smaller states like Vermont, in order to boost the careers of biomedical researchers, and grow and diversify the biomedical workforce in the state. In general, IDeA awards help develop research programs at both university and baccalaureate institutions and ensure faculty can be competitive for NIH funding.  

Once a decade, the North East Regional IDeA Conference (NERIC) is held in Vermont. The 2017 meeting was led by UVM faculty members and IDeA Award Principle Investigators Judith Van Houten, Ph.D., and Ralph Budd, M.D. Van Houten leads the VGN, which is funded through an INBRE – IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence – award. UVM also has two COBRE – Center of Biomedical Research Excellence – awards, which support the VCIID, which is led by Budd, and the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health at UVM. The VGN is in its third five-year phase and has been supported by $56 million in IDeA grants. The VCIID has been supported in its three phases by $27 million from IDeA. The newest Center on Behavior and Health is currently supported by an $11.5-million-dollar IDeA grant.  

The goal of the NERIC conference is to provide a platform for biomedical scientists to learn from colleagues about the latest research in the region in the areas of infectious diseases and immunology, neuroscience, bioinformatics, development and genetics, and cancer. A special session on entrepreneurship will feature experts from the NIH, U.S. Patent Office, and business and venture capital fields. In addition, there will be career development sessions for undergraduate and graduate students, who will also have an opportunity to present their research via posters, which allows them to share complex ideas in short, “elevator pitch” style settings. UVM core facilities, which feature the latest cutting-edge technologies and encourage sharing of research resources to stretch tax payers’ dollars, will also be highlighted at the conference.    

Senator Leahy addressed conference attendees about the importance of sustaining funding for agencies such as the NIH, and the Research Capacity Building programs that fund IDeA.  As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy has championed funding for such science agencies as the NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.

UVM President Tom Sullivan and Provost David Rosowsky joined Budd and Van Houten in welcoming attendees at the conference’s opening on August 16. 

Among the UVM and VGN faculty members who presented at the NERIC meeting are: Jason Botten, Ph.D., UVM assistant professor of medicine, who recently received a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to produce human neutralizing antibodies to hantavirus by cloning the immunoglobulin genes from B cells of patients who have survived hantavirus infection; Iwona Buskiewicz, Ph.D., UVM assistant professor of pathology, a recent R21 grant recipient, who just published an important study in Science Signaling showing that the type I Interferon signature in blood lymphocytes of lupus patients is driven in part by oxidative stress-induced aggregation of a protein known as mitochondrial anti-viral signaling protein (MAVS); Keith Mintz, Ph.D., UVM associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, whose work with the VGN Proteomics Core focuses on the identification of proteins needed for fimbrae secretion and biofilm development in the oral pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans; Bill Landesman, Ph.D., a professor of biology at Green Mountain College, who is conducting a  tick research project with support from a $75,000 grant from VGN; Clarissa Parker, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Middlebury College, whose research on mapping genes in mice associated with the behavioral and physiological traits that characterize drug withdrawal is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse through NIH’s R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program; Gina Mireault, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral sciences at Johnson State College, whose research project, which involves undergraduate research assistants, is examining how infants discover humor and amusement and how that relates to bonding, attachment and development.

Learn more about the NERIC conference.

 

Past Department Highlights

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)

Dr. 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)

Debra

(pictured above L-R, Dr. Katherine Devitt, M.D., Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., & Dr. Nicholas Haslett, M.D.)

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)

Litele Cezar de Cruz, Ph.D., a visiting scholar from Brazil in the lab of Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., and Nathaniel Shannon, a graduate student in the CMB program, in the lab of Dr. Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., based on their abstracts, have both received a Travel Award from SfRBM to attend the SfRBM Annual Meeting in Orlando later this year. https://sfrbm.org/meetings/2022-annual-conference/. In addition, Nate's abstract was selected to be presented as a talk at the conference. Chris Dustin, a former RBP Ph.D. student, and now a post-doc candidate at University of Pittsburg will also give an oral presentation at the conference. RBP is again well represented at this major conference in our field.

Research Day 2022, the fifth pathology research day was an incredible success. Thank you to the organizers Vice Chair for Research Dr. Mark Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., post doctoral associate, Nate Shannon, CMB graduate student, and Dr. Rosemary Mattaino, M.D. Thank you as well to the presenters, and moderators for an engaging experience. Four sessions were held spanning the topics of: emerging technologies, and advances in knowledge using new technologies, a panel discussion on having a well-balanced academic career, and presentations from trainees, and internal award recipients. A well attended reception was help in the Hoehl Gallery after the event. (09/2022)

Research Day organizers - 2

(Dr. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., Nate Shannon, Dr. Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.,)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, has received a two-year, $200,000 Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association (ALA). The grant will support her research project, titled "Glutaredoxin, Glutathione Metabolism and Lung Cancer." According to the ALA, "The Lung Cancer Discovery Award is for highly meritorious research projects with the potential to significantly improve and transform diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms; foster innovation, use novel approaches; and/or accelerate progress in lung cancer research that improves patient care and helps save lives." (08/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Christina Wojewoda on her acceptance, as a Master Teacher, into the Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy. (8/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Kaloff on receiving The University of Vermont Medical Center Leadership Award for the second quarter of 2022. (7/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Wilcox on being selected as a member of the 2022-2023 class of fellows participating in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine. Read more (06/2022)

Dr. Elizabeth Corteselli, a post-doctoral fellow in our department and trainee on the VLC T32 training program, is the recipient of a prestigious Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award. She will be recognized during a reception at the ATS conference in San Francisco this coming week. Congratulations Elizabeth! (05/2022)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine has been recognized by the Provost and Senior Vice-President for the university of Vermont Distinguished Professor recognition. This recognition is reserved for the most prominent faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing knowledge in their disciplines. This is a significant honor for Dr. Janssen-Heininger. This accolade will be awarded during the spring 2022 UVM Commencement ceremony. Congratulations!! (05/2022)

Dr. Mount and Dr. Threlkeld won a Stout award at USCAP, a Stout award recognizes and awards an individual for the best English language peer-reviewed paper published, which resolves scientific medical problems by studying the anatomic features. Congrats to both! Read paper here: Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021 May 1 (04/2022)

Congratulations! Jo Conant, M.D. has received the ‘Gender Equity in Medicine and Science Rising Star’ award. This award recognizes a woman or gender minority* faculty or staff member at the Larner College of Medicine who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. The awardee also shows the promise for future contributions and leadership in their field as well as in achieving goals for the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (02/2022)

LCOM class of 2024 Foundations Awards, Winners and nominees from our Department: Dr. Rebecca Wilcox- nominated for the AMWA Gender Equity Award | nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award; Dr. Pam Gibson– awarded the Silver Stethoscope Award | nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award | nominated for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award; Dr. Jo Conant– nominated for the Silver Stethoscope Award | nominated for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award; Medical Student Matt Hodd-Wells awarded the Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology (01/2022)

Congratulations! Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. has been appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Larner College of Medicine. Read her story. (01/2022)

Congratulations! Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.– Dean’s Research Laureate Award (Professor) Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger was presented the Dean’s Research Laureate Award on 10/27/2021 at the LCOM State of Research Address and Awards. Please see the PDF slide that was presented at the program. (10/2021)

Heading to clinical trials..."UVM researchers celebrate ‘first-of-its-kind’ mesothelioma treatment headed to clinical trials" – My Champlain Valley News.  University of Vermont researchers have made a breakthrough in their study of possible treatments for malignant mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure. (10/2021)

Terri Messier, research analyst and lab manager for the Cunniff lab, has been highlighted in the "Meet the Staff" section of the the Larner College of Medicine Dean's Newsletter, October 20, 2021 | Volume III, Issue 20. (10/2021)

Congratulations! Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D. has been named a 2021 Fellow of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine. SfRBM annually confers the special title of Fellow to members who have made outstanding contributions to the association as well as in the field of free radical chemistry, redox biology and antioxidants. (09/2021)

Well done! Christina Wojewoda, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, has received, along with her colleague Daniel Rhoads, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, the 2021 College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Improvement Programs Service Award. The award honors an individual(s) serving within the ranks of the CAP Council on Scientific Affairs who has demonstrated exceptional service. The two pathologists serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the CAP microbiology committee. (08/2021)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Dr. David Seward and their team members for this outstanding acknowledgement (see pdf) from the The American Physiological Society; "your article has been selected for APSselect  (http://apsselect.physiology.org/),  a collection from the APS that showcases some of the best recently published articles in physiological research." (7/2021)

2020-2021 Teaching Award This award is nominated for and voted by medical resdients for idividuals going above and beyond for resident education. Nominees this year: Dr. Agnes Balla, Dr. Kelly Butnor, Dr. Rebecca Wilcox and Dr. Bronwyn Bryant. The winner this year is Dr. Agnes Balla. (06/2021)

Dr. Joanna Conant has become a member of The Teaching Academy at Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. The Teaching Academy sustains and supports an interdisciplinary community of educators who value the scholarship of teaching and learning while facilitating educator development; improve the efficiency and quality of medical education through collaboration and scholarship; and promote an academic environment that increases the value and impact of educators locally, regionally, and nationally.Congrats to Jo on this achievement! (06/2021)

Congratulations to Dr. Arti Shukla on receiving the SAASCR 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for her seminal contributions to the field of cancer research. Well done Arti!! (5/2021)

SAASCR award 2021

Congratulations!  To Pam Gibson, M.D. who has been awarded 2021 Gender Equity Champion Award which honors Larner College of Medicine community members (faculty, staff or students) who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the advancement of women and those with underrepresented gender identities beyond the scope of their job, area of research, or training. Also, to Joanna Conant, M.D. on her nomination for 2021 The Rising Star Emerging Professional Award which honors a Larner College of Medicine woman or gender minority faculty or staff member who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. (02/2021)

LCOM Foundations Awards: Congratulations to Ron Bryant, M.D. on receiving the Foundations Teaching Award which recognizes the faculty member who provided the most outstanding teaching activities within the foundations curriculum. Also, congratulations to award nominees: Pam Gibson, M.D. for both the Above and Beyond Award and the AMWA Gender Equity Award; Andrew Goodwin, M.D. and Christina Wojewoda, M.D. for the Silver Stethoscope Award and Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award. (01/2021)