LCOM & Department News

Celebrating Excellence in Research at the College – 2017 Achievements

November 17, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur

Vermont is among the top ten states in per capita research funding in the U.S., according to a State of Research at the College presentation delivered by Larner College of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., at the Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards event held November 13, 2017. The last of three 2017 Celebrating Excellence in Research events held at the College on November 10 and 13, 2017, the awards ceremony recognized the accomplishments of faculty, residents, medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.

Jon Lorsch, Ph.D., director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Gary Stein, Ph.D., UVM chair of biochemistry, Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for research ,UVM Larner College of Medicine. Photo by: Andy Duback.

Vermont is among the top ten states in per capita research funding in the U.S., according to a State of Research at the College presentation delivered by Larner College of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., at the Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards event held November 13, 2017. The last of three 2017 Celebrating Excellence in Research events held at the College on November 10 and 13, 2017, the awards ceremony recognized the accomplishments of faculty, residents, medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. 

(Celebrating Excellence in Research events photo gallery and video of the Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards)

In addition to the awards, the celebration also included a Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Trainee Research Showcase on November 10 and a lecture by 2017 UVM Medical Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award recipient and Chair of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics David Warshaw, Ph.D.’79 on November 13.

A total of 23 graduate students and postdoctoral trainees participated in the research showcase. Three categories of awards were announced. In the Post-Doc Division, Gabriela Bucini, Ph.D., received first place for “Protecting herd health: Interactive agent-based modeling used to reduce the impact of disease in livestock industries;” Kirsten Tracy, Ph.D., was runner-up for “Mitotically associated long non-coding RNA MANCR affects cell cycle in breast cancer.” In the Senior Graduate Division, first place went to Dominique Lessard for “Novel Kinesin-3 Motor Behavior is Regulated by Tau;” Devin Champagne was runner-up for “ABC transporter mediated chemoresistance is fueled by mitochondrial metabolism.” In the Junior Graduate Division category, Leslie Sepaniac received first place for “Different Mechanisms of Micronucleus Formation and Impact to Genomic Stability;” runner-up was Alex Thompson for “Post-translational Modification of the Kinesin Motor Eg5 Alters its Function in Mitosis.”

Presenters at the 2017 Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards event included Dean Frederick Morin, M.D., who provided a welcome, and keynote speaker and National Institute of General Medical Sciences Director Jon Lorsch, Ph.D., who presented “Basic Research: The Foundation on Which Advances in Medicine are Built.”

Among the highlights shared during Jensen’s State of Research at the College presentation were such achievements as 1,168 peer-reviewed publications in 2016, nearly $70 million in research grant funding in FY2017, a new $20 million Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network grant with Maine Medical Center, and a commitment to the development of a new Health Services Research Center.

Deans Jensen and Morin presented the following:

Trainee Awards:

Trainee Award for Outstanding Research Publication/Graduate Student: Andrew Lombardo (mentor: David Warshaw, Ph.D.’79, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics)

Trainee Award for Outstanding Research Publication/Medical Student: Katharine Runte, M.D. (mentor: Markus Meyer, M.D., Medicine)

Trainee Award for Outstanding Research Publication/Postdoctoral Fellows: Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., (mentor: Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., Psychiatry)

Trainee Award for Outstanding Research Publication/Residents: Kara Landry, M.D.'15, Clinical Instructor in Medicine (mentor: Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., Medicine)

Norman R. Alpert Research Prize

Matthew Poynter, Ph.D., professor of medicine, presented the Norman R. Alpert Research Prize to graduate student Jamie Stern (mentor: Christopher Berger, Ph.D., Molecular Physiology and Biophysics)

UVM Health Network Medical Group Awards

Claude Deschamps, M.D., president and CEO of the UVM Health Network Medical Group, presented the following awards:

Junior Researcher of the Year:
Kim Dittus, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine

Senior Researcher of the Year: Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., professor of medicine

Research Grants: Andrew Solomon, M.D., associate professor of neurological sciences, and Richard Watts, Ph.D., associate professor of radiology; Sarah Guth, M.D, assistant professor of psychiatry; James Hudziak, M.D., professor of psychiatry and Marjorie Meyer, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences.

Innovation Grants: Leigh-Anne Cioffredi, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Erica Gibson, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Abigail Crocker, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry; Abiy Ambaye, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Pamela Gibson, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine.

Deans Jensen and Morin presented the following awards:

Faculty Awards

Research Mentorship: Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine

Rising Star New Investigator: Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine

Mid-Career Investigator: 
Christopher Huston, M.D., associate professor of medicine

Research Laureate:
Gary Stein, Ph.D., chair of biochemistry, Perelman Professor of Cancer Research and director, UVM Cancer Center

View the Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards slide presentation here.

Department Highlights

Please join Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger in congratulating Allison Manuel and Evan Elko

Dr. Allison Manuel is a post-doctoral fellow in our group.  Her abstract to be presented at the American Thoracic Society conference was chosen to receive an Abstract Scholarship . The scholarship includes a full In-Training Registration to the 2019 ATS International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  

Evan Elko is a PhD student. He just received notice that his F31 NIH application entitled: “Role of peroxiredoxin-4 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”  will be funded.

Congratulations to Evan and Allison.

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Department alumni, Dr. Bobbi Pritt, M.D. featured in Vermont Medicine Magazine. To read her story click on the photo below.

Pritt_small


 

 

Dr's Leonard and HuberA Remarkable Gift from Dr. Sally Huber, Ph.D.

At the end of last week's Research Day, Dr. Leonard gave a surprise announcement: a very generous bequethment of $5 million by research faculty emerita, Dr. Sally Huber! The funds will go toward two endowed professorships for junior investigators in our department. The endowments will be named for her parents, Elmer R. Huber and Blodwen S. Huber, and will support junior research faculty for five years.(9/2018)

This amazing support will allow junior faculty time and funds to gain independence while pursuing the milestone achievement of being awarded their first R01 grant.

Heintz Awarded 2018 Distinguised Graduate Alumni Award

Dr. Nick Heintz, Ph.D. received the 2018 UVM Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award​, which is presented to Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the LCOM community.

He accepted his award at the college's Celebrating Research Excellence event at the end of October. (September 2018)

Kida Received Certificate of Commendation

Dr. Kida receives award from the State of Vermont...read more here. (August 2018)

Leonard and Committee Publish Through National Academies Press

Dr. Debra Leonard, along with a committee under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ​published "Returning Individual Research Results to Participants: Guidance for a New Research Paradigm" through The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2018 (Committee Member). (August 2018)

Excellence in Education

The Larner College of Medicine’s second year medical students nominate and elect faculty who they want to recognize for their outstanding teaching and support over their first years of the Foundations education. (February 2018)

Pathology nominees (winners in bold):

AMWA Gender Equity Award  - Pamela Gibson; Sharon Mount; Rebecca Wilcox

Dean Warhsaw Integration Award - Rebecca Wilcox

Silver Stethoscope Award - Scott Andreson; Maureen Harmon; John Lunde

Above and Beyond Award - Ronald Bryant; Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Course Director Award -Rebecca Wilcox

Outstanding Foundations Course Award

  • Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Systems: (Ron Bryant; Kelly Butnor; and Pam Gibson are the primary pathologists in each section of the course, respectively)
  • Nutrition, Metabolism & the Gastrointestinal System: Course Director is Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Teaching Award - Ronald Bryant; Pamela Gibson; Rebecca Wilcox; Christina Wojewoda

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger Receives Patent

Yvonne Janssen-Heinger was awarded a patent on the ​concept that strategies to inhibit GSTP has utility for the treatment of patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Congratulations, Yvonne! (January 2018)

Drs. Bronwyn Bryant and Phillip Munson inducted into the Teaching Academy

Last week Bronwyn and Phillip were inducted into University of Vermont's Teaching Academy. 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. (January 2018)

Dr. Leonard Video Recording Available 

Dr. Leonard gives a series of talks on Genomic Medicine in Vermont for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)​. A video recording of the talk is available here >> (October 2017)

Department Members Took Part in the March For Science

Banner carriers: Dr. Debra Leonard, Sara Kwolek & Dr. Sharon Mount. Also, in view are Doug Taatjes,Ph.D., and Dr. Rebecca Wilcox. (April 2017)

Janssen-Heininger Featured Woman in Science

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., was chosen as the featured ​Woman in Science by the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine! She got pretty colorful with some of her answers, so definitely worth a read. (March 2017) Read the story >>

Buskiewicz Publishes in Science Signaling

Dr. Iwona Buskiewicz, Ph.D., publishes study in Science Signaling, revealing potential key to alternative Lupus treatment.  (February 2017)

Genomic Medicine Laboratory Grand Opening (January 2017)
Larner College of Medicine Foundations Awards

Pamela Gibson, M.D. won the AMWA Gender Equity Award, which honors a male or female faculty member who promotes a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians and gender diversity in the field. Pam is Co-advisor of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. (January 2017)

Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. won the Foundations Course Director Award, and her Nutrition, Metabolism, and Gastrointestinal System (NMGI) course won Outstanding Foundations Course Award. Rebecca was also nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award. (January 2017)

Mark Fung, M.D., Ph.D. and Andy Goodwin, M.D. were also nominated for the Silver Stethoscope awards, which recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education. (January 2017)