LCOM & Department News

Larner College of Medicine Faculty Inventions Recognized at Annual I2V Conference

April 8, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

More than a dozen Larner College of Medicine faculty and scientists were recognized during the awards portion of the 14th annual Invention to Venture (I2V) conference April 5, 2019.

Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., & V.P. for Research Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2019 I2V awards ceremony. (Photo: UVM Innovations)

More than a dozen Larner College of Medicine faculty and scientists were recognized during the awards portion of the 14th annual Invention to Venture (I2V) conference April 5 at the Davis Center at the University of Vermont. Hosted by the UVM Innovations office, the conference brings together academic researchers, students, entrepreneurs, business leaders and experts from across Vermont and New England to talk about how to protect, develop and finance ideas.

Kyle Clark, founder of South Burlington-based Beta Technologies, a two-year-old startup focused on building electric aircraft and recharging systems, was the keynote speaker.

Corine Farewell, DVM, director of UVM Innovations, presented the Awards Ceremony, in which Vice President for Research Richard Galbraith, Ph.D., participated.

Patent Award recipients included:

  • Victor May, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences; Karen Braas, Ph.D., research associate professor of neurological sciences; Sayamwong E. Hammack, Ph.D., professor of psychological science; and Donna Toufexis, Ph.D., associate professor of psychological science for “Diagnostic and therapeutic methods and products related to anxiety disorders” (2 patents)
  • Mercedes Rincon, Ph.D., professor of medicine, and Tina Thornton, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, for “Methods and products relating to GSK3 beta regulation.”
  • Jason Botten, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine; Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology; and Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry for both “Methods and compounds for reducing threonyl-tRNA synthetase activity” and “Methods and compounds for increasing threonyl-tRNA synthetase activity.”
  • Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory science; David Earl Heppner, Ph.D.; and Karamatullah Danyal, Ph.D., Class of 2020 medical student, for “Covalent inhibitors of dual oxidase 1 (DUOX 1).”
  • Francklyn; Lounsbury; and Tamara Williams, Ph.D., for “Methods and compounds for diagnosing threonyl-RNA synthetase-associated diseases and conditions.”
  • Christopher Danforth, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and statistics; Kathleen Brummel-Ziedins, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry; Thomas Orfeo, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry; Stephen Everse, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry; and Kenneth Mann, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biochemistry, for “Methods for dynamic visualization of clinical parameters over time.”

License Award recipients included:

  • Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine – license to Celdara Medical, LLC.
  • Markus Meyer, M.D., associate professor of medicine – license to Medtronic, Inc.
  • Mercedes Rincon, Ph.D., professor of medicine – license to EMD Millipore

Learn more about the 2019 I2V conference.

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.


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




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 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 >>

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)