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

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)

LCOM Teaching Academy Recognition for P&LM faculty: Deborah Cook, M.D. and Anne Stowman, M.D. were inducted as Master Teachers and Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was inducted as a Distinguished Educator. (01/2021)

Mark Fung, M.D., Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has been elected as a new Trustee of the American Board of Pathology. His 3-year term will begin January 2021. Read about it here. (12/2020)

Sarah A. Nowak, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Larner College of Medicine was named the inaugural Blodwen S. Huber Early Career Green and Gold Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (12/2020)

David J. Seward, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Larner College of Medicine was named the inaugural Elmer R. Huber Early Career Green and Gold Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (12/2020)

Terri Messier, Research Analyst and Lab Manager of the Cunniff lab was recently awarded a Dean's Excellence in Research Award from the Larner College of Medicine. Terri has served the UVM community for over 25 years both as a scientist and steward of professionalism. Congratulations Terri!! (11/2020)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D. on her selection as a new Fellow of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM) in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of redox biology and to SfRBM. (09/2020)

Congratulations to Dr. Joanna Conant, M.D. on her acceptance into the Teaching Academy's Medical Education Fellowship Program. Only 8-10 faculty from across the Larner College of Medicine are selected for participation in the program. Well done, Jo! (08/2020)

Associate Professor, Dr. Laura Greene, MD, has been appointed Interim Assistant Dean for Admissions for the Larner College of Medicine. (08/2020)

Congratulations to Bei Zhang, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, the newest graduate of the Medical Education Fellowship Program. The cohort style program is for Larner College of Medicine educators who seek additional preparation for teaching across the medical education continuum. (07/2020)

UVM Health Network’s Genomic Medicine Program is highlighted in the recent issue of Vermont Medicine Magazine, read it here. (05/2020)

Department efforts in COVID-19 research & testing are ongoing at UVM LCOM and the UVM Medical Center. The Rutland Herald/Times Argus ran the following story on these efforts. Teamwork & Testing (04/2020)

DLaward

LCOM Gender Equity Awards Department Chair, Dr. Debra Leonard received the Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Additionally, Dr. Pam Gibson was nominated for the Gender Equity Champion Award; Dr. Rebecca Wilcox was nominated for the Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award and Dr. Christi Wojewoda was nominated for the Rising Star Emerging Professional Award. (03/2020)

Excellence in Education The department was well represented at the Class of 2022 Foundation Awards. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. received the AWMA Gender Equity Award, the Above & Beyond Award, the Foundations Course Director Award and the Foundations Teaching Award. Well done, Dr. Wilcox. Additional department nominees were Dr. Pam Gibson and Dr. Christi Wojewoda for the AWMA Gender Equity Award and Dr. Pam Gibson and Dr. Rebecca Wilcox for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award. Congratulations to our outstanding faculty for nominations and awards! (1/2020)

Dr. Bei Zhang, Associate Professor on the Education Scholar Pathway has been inducted into the Teaching Academy at the Larner College of Medicine at the Master Teacher level. Congratulations, Dr. Zhang! (1/2020)

Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph. D., our department chairand the Genomic Medicine Team announce the start of the Genomic Population Health Initiative. A pilot project offering Genomic DNA Testing is now underway within the University of Vermont Health Network. Read more here... (2019)

Dr. William Pendlebury, M.D., professor emeritus of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2019 Vermont Medical Society’s (VMS) Founders’ Award. The award recognizes Pendlebury’s leadership role and advocacy in “the fight for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Vermont for the past 35 years.” He will receive the award November 2 at the VMS 206th Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt.(2019)

Yvone Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Jos van der Velden, Ph.D. (both Pathology & Laboratory Medicine faculty) and senior author, Charles Irvin, Ph.D. (Medicine), published "The Effect of Flavored E-cigarettes on Murine Allergic Airways Disease" in Nature Scientific Reports. The study has been cited in stories by several news outlets: U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay; American Journal of Managed Care; Medical News Bulletin; and Medical Daily. (2019)

Dr. Mark Fung, M.D, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Population Health, was recently named to the board of directors for the Project Santa Fe Foundation, which “focuses on demonstrating the power of longitudinal clinical laboratory data to proactively augment population health in a value-based healthcare environment.” (2019)

Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D. was named a 2019 Frymoyer Scholar for her project, “Validating Entrustable Professional Activity-Based Assessment to Determine On-Call Competency in Pathology Residents”. (2019)

Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.DDr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was selected, by the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019, to be the commencement keynote speaker. Read more... [Photo credit: Andy Duback 2019] (2019)

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.

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)

 

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