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November 27, 2019 | Volume I, Issue 19

Mike Cross

A Season of Thanks | A Message from Dean Rick Page

Dear Larner Community,

The time for gathering with friends and family to give thanks has arrived. I have much to reflect upon this Thanksgiving. Jeannie and I arrived just 13 months ago, and as I think back on the past year, what stands out most is the overwhelming welcoming spirit I've felt from the Larner community.

A medical school is only as good as its faculty, staff, and students. Since day one I've been impressed by the quality and commitment of the people throughout our College community. This was driven home for me again last week, when we hosted a large number of Vermont legislators for a half-day showcase of the education and research work being conducted at our institution. As I listened to a broad selection of presenters from across our College, I was filled with pride in the work we have accomplished and the important goals we have set. It was evident that the legislators and University of Vermont President Garimella were equally impressed.

Thank you for everything you do to advance our mission to educate future physicians and scientists, accomplish leading-edge research, and serve the patients and families who are the ultimate beneficiaries of all our work. I wish all of you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.


Dr. Mayo Fujii

Faculty Recognized as Most Influential Researchers  

Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine and pathology and laboratory medicine, and William Copeland, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, have been named as two of the world’s most influential researchers, based on the number of times their published studies have been cited by other researchers over the past decade. The UVM Gund Institute’s Taylor Ricketts, Ph.D., was also recognized.

Researchers on the list are in the top one percent of all scholars whose work has been cited. The prestigious Highly Cited Researchers list is compiled and published annually by Clarivate Analytics.

“The Highly Cited Researchers list is the gold standard for work that is making a real difference,” said University of Vermont Provost Patty Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL,. “We couldn’t be more proud that the research accomplishments of Drs. Copeland, Cushman, and Ricketts have earned them inclusion in this select group.”

Read more about Cushman and Copeland


Education, Research Focus of UVM Legislative Summit

On November 21, the Larner College of Medicine hosted the seventh annual University of Vermont Legislative Policy Summit. State representatives from across Vermont gathered in the Larner Classroom, one of the College's active learning facilities, to hear from 15 Larner faculty members, students, and affiliated administrators on the theme of “Innovations in Education and Research for the Benefit of Vermont.”

UVM President Suresh Garimella, Ph.D., kicked off the half-day session by welcoming approximately 30 representatives, and highlighting the connections between the future of Vermont and future of the University. Dr. Garimella stressed the importance of the University’s continuing commitment to its role as a  land-grant institution, providing public education and dissemination of knowledge in service to the community. John Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO of the UVM Health Network, CEO of the UVM Medical Center, and professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, followed with remarks on the close collaboration between the University and Health Network.

Dean Rick Page, M.D., then set the scene for a faculty and students to discuss the College’s innovative active learning efforts, its development of the Longitudinal Integrative Clerkships, the state of interprofessional education, and the broad range of community engagement fostered by students’ public health projects. The second half of the morning saw presentations from faculty about research on neurovascular regulation, thrombosis, and stroke, health services research, the work of the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network, and the new UVM Center on Rural Addiction. The legislators left with a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which future physicians are prepared for service to the state and the nation, and UVM’s impact on the health of Vermonters and their economy.


Collage of Photos from AAMC Conference

Students and Staff Present at AAMC Conference

More than a dozen members of the Larner College of Medicine community, including Dean Rick Page, M.D., education leaders, faculty, staff, and medical students, joined more than 4,800 medical school colleagues from across the country at the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) 2019 Learn Serve Lead conference November 8-12 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Invited session topics and authors included: “Educational Research, Program Evaluation and Educational CQI Infrastructure: Does One Size Fit All?” and “Personality Compatibility within Faculty Mentoring Dyads and Perceived Mentoring Outcomes”–Kathryn Huggett, Ph.D.; “Education Technology and MedBiquitous Joint Knowledge Sharing” panel–Laurie Gelles, M.A., Ph.D.

Poster session topics and authors included: “Saturday School: A Student-designed, Student-led Step 1 Preparation Program”Lee Rosen, Ph.D., and Leigh Ann Holterman, Ph.D.; “Direct Integration of Social Determinants of Health Content into Medical School Curriculum”–Class of 2021 medical students Raghav Goyal, Samuel Epstein, Christina Dawson, Trina Thornburgh, and Elizabeth Lynch; “Student & Faculty Responses to a New Social Medicine Theme in the Pre-Clinical Curriculum”–medical students Sheridan Finney ’22 and Richard Brach ’22; “Success of OB/GYN Shadowing Program for Pre-Clinical Medical Students”–medical student and AAMC Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) member Gia Eapen ’22; “Impact of an Online Prematriculation Program on Readiness for Medical School”–medical student and OSR member Charles Nicoli ’20; “Gratitude in Medical Education: Antidote to Burnout?”–medical student Abby Belser ’22, Nathalie Feldman, M.D., Summer Griffin, and Holterman; “Where Do We Go from Here? The UVM? Voice in Building Diversity”–medical student Adam Ross ’22, Elizabeth A. Mcelhinney M.Ed., Cary Jewkes, M.Ed., Dr. Holterman, Eileen CichoskiKelly, Ph.D., and Janice Gallant, M.D.

In addition, Dennis Beatty, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and Doctoring in Vermont course director, attended as a member of the AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies.

Read more about the AAMC Learn Serve Lead 2019 conference here.

Nina Jaffe

Nina Jaffe, Editorial Assistant- Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics

Nina Jaffe helps to produce one of the most reputable medical journals in the world – Pediatrics. For over seven years she’s worked with Chair of Pediatrics and Pediatrics Editor-in-chief Lewis First, M.D., to ensure the 71-year-old publication maintains its high quality and prestige.

Among her many responsibilities is the daunting task of checking roughly 4,500 submitted manuscripts per year to determine their compliance with a long list of required elements. Many, she says, are missing information, and must be returned for corrections. She also preps spreadsheets for Dr. First’s “triage call” with the executive editorial board, and manages the appeal process for rejected manuscripts.

Before joining the Pediatrics team, Ms. Jaffe was a freelance proofreader and copyeditor for both Vermont Medicine and Vermont Quarterly. As a child, she often visited the Given Building where her father was a professor of pharmacology for nearly 30 years.

“I appreciate any opportunity to ease someone’s burden, or lower their stress,” says Ms. Jaffe, in reference to both the researchers trying to navigate the article submission process or Chief of Pediatrics Dr. First. “When he tells me I make his life easier, that is very gratifying.


Dominique Lessard

Lessard Demystifies at KIF1A at KAND Family & Scientific Conference

KIF1A Associated Neurological Disorder (KAND) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder with no cure or treatment. Caused by a mutation in the KIF1A gene, the condition typically appears at birth or in early childhood and can affect both the brain and the body. In August, Dominique Lessard, a senior graduate student working with Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Christopher Berger, Ph.D., presented on her KIF1A research to family members navigating the disease at the 2019 KAND Family & Scientific Engagement Conference.

In conjunction with her presentation, KIF1A.ORG created a 12-minute, family-friendly video featuring Ms. Lessard, who clearly and articulately explains the basic science behind KIF1A. Watch the video on YouTube.

Accolades & Appointments

Marie Wood, M.D.

Glenn Goldman, M.D., professor of medicine and division chief of dermatology, is currently the 2019-2020 vice president of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS). He will become the organization's president in 2020. ACMS is a membership organization of fellowship-trained skin cancer and reconstructive surgeons specializing in the Mohs micrographic surgical technique used to treat skin cancer.

Thomas Achenbach, Ph.D.

Kim Dittus, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and medical director of the UVM Cancer Center Steps to Wellness oncology rehabilitation program, has been awarded a grant through the Vermont Department of Health to assist the state in improving the duration and quality of life of cancer survivors in Vermont through implementation of cancer survivorship strategies in the 2016-2020 Vermont Cancer Plan.

Julian Sprague

Associate Professor of Medicine and UVM Cancer Center member Julian Sprague, M.D., Ph.D., was named to the Alliance Myeloma Committee, which focuses on developing trials that will improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma.


The pediatric cystic fibrosis program at UVM Children's Hospital received a Quality Care Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The award recognizes CFF-accredited care centers that have continuously demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of care they provide to people with cystic fibrosis. Thomas Lahiri, M.D., professor of pediatrics, is chief of pediatric pulmonology.


Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine John Brooklyn, M.D., medical director of the Howard Center’s Chittenden Clinic, received the Nyswander/Dole “Marie” Award at the 2019 American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference on October 22, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to opioid treatment.

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Beth Bouchard, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the 2020 Vermont Go Red For Women Luncheon, which will take place at the Hilton Burlington on March 19, 2020.

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Carson E, Wilcox R. Choosing Wisely in Pre-clinical Medical Education: a Direct Comparison of Active Learning Methods for Teaching Metabolic Liver Disease. Medical Science Educator. 28 Oct 2019. 

Feldman N, Lewis J, Patel C, Ackerman S, Howe A, Harari D, Evans K, Adams D. The Other Side of Medical Student Mistreatment: Teaching Cultural Competency Across the Generational Divide. MedEdPORTAL. 25 Oct 2019. 

Greene SJ, Rosen L. Sharing personal information about anatomical body donors: What first‐year medical students want to know and how it affects emotional responses to dissection. Clin. Anat. 32:1019–1032, 2019.

Raza A, Xie Z, Chan EC, Chen WS, Scott LM, Robin Eisch A, Krementsov DN, Rosenberg HF, Parikh SM, Blankenhorn EP, Teuscher C, Druey KM. A natural mouse model reveals genetic determinants of systemic capillary leak syndrome (Clarkson disease). Commun Biol. 2019 Oct 31;2:398. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0647-4.eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 31701027; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6823437.

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Evans CR, Long DL, Howard G, McClure LA, Zakai NA, Jenny NS, Kissela BM, Safford MM, Howard VJ, Cushman M. C-reactive protein and stroke risk in blacks and whites: The REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke cohort. Am Heart J. 2019 Nov;217:94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2019.08.003. Epub 2019 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 31520899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6861684.

González-Roz A, Gaalema DE, Pericot-Valverde I, Elliott RJ, Ades PA. A Systematic Review of the Diagnostic Accuracy of Depression Questionnaires for Cardiac Populations: IMPLICATIONS FOR CARDIAC REHABILITATION. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2019 Nov;39(6):354-364. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000408. PubMed PMID: 30870244.

Elko EA, Cunniff B, Seward DJ, Chia SB, Aboushousha R, van de Wetering C, van der Velden J, Manuel A, Shukla A, Heintz NH, Anathy V, van der Vliet A, Janssen-Heininger YMW. Peroxiredoxins and Beyond; Redox Systems Regulating Lung Physiology and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2019 Nov 10;31(14):1070-1091. doi:10.1089/ars.2019.7752. Epub 2019 Apr 5. PubMed PMID: 30799628; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6767868.

Veith C, Boots AW, Idris M, van Schooten FJ, van der Vliet A. Redox Imbalance in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Role for Oxidant Cross-Talk Between NADPH Oxidase Enzymes and Mitochondria. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2019 Nov 10;31(14):1092-1115. doi: 10.1089/ars.2019.7742. Epub 2019 Apr 5. PubMed PMID: 30793932; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6767863.

Leclair TR, Zakai N, Bunn JY, Gianni M, Heyland DK, Ardren SS, Stapleton RD. Vitamin D Supplementation in Mechanically Ventilated Patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2019 Nov;43(8):1037-1043. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1520. Epub 2019 Feb 12. PubMed PMID: 30756402.

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Published by the Office of Medical Communications
The Larner College of Medicine
at The University of Vermont
Copyright 2019