May 20, 2020 | Volume II, Issue 10

Commencement 2020

College Celebrates Class of 2020 at Commencement

The ceremony began traditionally, with “Vermont Passacaglia,” the Larner College of Medicine’s alumnus-composed processional. But instead of graduates and faculty marching into Ira Allen Chapel, a slideshow of photos depicting the Class of 2020’s medical school journey played on the screens of viewers in remote locations across the country and globe.

On Sunday, May 17, Dean Rick Page, M.D., College of Medicine and UVM Medical Center leaders, and guest speakers celebrated the College’s more than 100 graduates through the most extensive live online commencement ceremony held at a medical school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pictured above: Class of 2020 member photos from moments in their medical school journey.

Gary Stein and Gregory Holmes

Holmes and Stein Named 2020-21 University Scholars

Larner College of Medicine faculty members Gregory Holmes, M.D., professor and chair of neurological sciences, and Gary Stein, Ph.D., Perelman professor and chair of biochemistry and professor of surgery, have been selected to join the 40th class of University Scholars at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Holmes is an internationally renowned pediatric neurologist with expertise in pediatric epilepsy, whose research has improved understanding of the pathophysiological basis of cognitive impairment and other co-morbidities in children with epilepsy. Dr. Stein is recognized worldwide for his development of paradigm-shifting concepts and strategies that have opened the field of skeletal biology and pathology to molecular, cellular and epigenetic investigation. 

Learn more about the UVM Graduate College’s University Scholars program

Read more about Dr. Holmes’ and Dr. Stein’s scholarship here

Pictured above: Dr. Stein (left) and Dr. Holmes 


"Research Slam" Highlights Transdisciplinary Collaborations

On May 7, faculty members from three UVM colleges presented on COVID-19 research projects ranging from computer models of infection interventions to durable immunity in inpatient and outpatient patient cohorts at an online “research slam."

Hosted on Zoom by the Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and the Larner College of Medicine Dean's Office, the event featured 16 presentations by investigators in the Larner College of Medicine, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

Larner College of Medicine presenters included: Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H.; Gary An, M.D., and Chase Cockrell, Ph.D.;  James Hudziak, M.D.; Jessica Crothers, M.D.; Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc.; Allen Repp, M.D.; Leigh-Anne Cioffredi, M.D., M.P.H.; Renee Stapleton, M.D., Ph.D., and Matthew Poynter, Ph.D.; Brett Giblin, M.D.; David Krag, M.D.; Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.; Markus Thali, Ph.D.; Sean Diehl, Ph.D.; Jason Botten, M.D.; and Dev Majumdar, Ph.D. 

Link to a full list of Research Slam projects and presenters. 



Vermont Medicine Spring Issue

The spring 2020 issue of Vermont Medicine is now online! View the latest issue, including a feature story that explores efforts to help students build a positive professional identity, on our website.


Alumni Panel Discusses Residency During COVID-19

On May 6, roughly 30 Class of 2020 graduates attended an online panel discussion featuring five recent alumni serving in residencies around the country. Titled “Residency in the Era of COVID-19,” the panel included Danielle Leahy, M.D. ’17, third-year anesthesiology resident at UVM Medical Center (UVMMC); Daniel Haddad, M.D. ’16, fourth-year anesthesiology resident at Yale New Haven Hospital; Justin Genziano, M.D. ’17, third-year anesthesiology resident at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; Dylan Devlin, M.D. ’17,third-year emergency medicine resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals; and Hillary Anderson, M.D. ’17, third-year pediatrics resident at UVMMC. 

Hosted by Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., Lee Rosen, Ph.D., director of student well-being and assistant professor of psychiatry, and Nathalie Feldman, M.D., director of the learning environment and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, the alumni shared reflections on working during the pandemic and answered questions about protecting themselves and loved ones from infection, using childcare for essential workers, how rescheduled surgical services may affect new interns, and anticipated changes to residency orientation. They also addressed non-COVID-related concerns, such as how to handle feeling overwhelmed, how to prepare for intern year, and intern teaching duties.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Dr. Anderson; Dr. Haddad; Dr. Leahy; Dr. Genziano; and Dr. Devlin.

Megan Malgeri

Quote MarksI am impressed at the collective spirit and responsibility that Vermonters are showing by following physical distancing guidelines and adapting to the drastic changes to our day-to-day activities to help flatten the curve and protect the most vulnerable in our community. This is tough, and it will continue to be tough. I think we will eventually emerge from this with a profound appreciation for our community and all that it has to offer, and with an enhanced safety net for those in greatest need.”
~Excerpted from a UVM Larner College of Medicine blog post by Megan Malgeri, M.D., a Class of 2012 alum and family medicine physician at the UVM Medical Center’s Milton Family Practice. (Read the blog post.)

Read an article about how Dr. Malgeri and her husband, Ben Katz UVM’02, are serving on the front line in different ways.

Pictured above: Dr. Malgeri

Accolades & Appointments

Vermont Seal

Fifteen Larner faculty members were honored with emeriti status in conjunction with the UVM 2020 Commencement Celebration: 

  • Mark A. Capeless, M.D., Professor of Medicine Emeritus; 
  • Candace Fraser, M.D., Associate Professor of Family Medicine Emerita; 
  • Ruth Heimann, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Radiology Emerita;
  • Virginia L. Hood, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine Emerita;
  • John R. Hughes, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus; 
  • Craig Lawrence Kien, M.D., Ph.D., Mary Kay Davignon Green and Gold Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus; 
  • Martin M. LeWinter, M.D., Professor of Medicine Emeritus;
  • John H. Lunde, M.D., Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Emeritus; 
  • Scott D. Luria, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine Emeritus; 
  • Keith Peter Mintz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Emeritus;
  • George J. Osol, Ph.D., Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences Emeritus; 
  • Mercedes Rincón, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine Emerita;
  • Brenda V. Tessmann, M.S., Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Emerita; 
  • Guy Tousignant, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Emeritus; 
  • Richard C. Wasserman, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus.

Vitor Mori
Vitor Mori, Ph.D., a postdoctoral student in the Vermont Lung Center, has been awarded a Quantitative Biology Fellowship by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation for his research on delivering chemotherapy directly to lung tumors. Mori's mentors are Jason Bates, Ph.D., Sc.D., professor of medicine, and C. Matthew Kinsey, M.D., assistant professor of medicine. Read more.

Stas Amato
Stas Amato, M.D., clinical instructor and resident in the Department of Surgery, received the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA) Housestaff Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration on Monday, May 11. The award recognizes an individual who possesses the key AOA Society values and attributes, including scholarship, professionalism, leadership, and service, and who shows dedication to the profession and to the art of healing.

Shaden Eldakar-Hein
Shaden Eldakar-Hein, M.D., M.S., interim assistant dean for students and associate professor of medicine, received the AOA Society Faculty Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. Dr. Eldakar-Hein was recognized for exemplifying the key AOA Society values and attributes, including scholarship, professionalism, leadership, and service and was inducted into the AOA Honor Medical Society.

Emma Faustner, coordinator for Advanced Integration and residency placement, was awarded the Collette Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. The award recognizes a staff member who provided outstanding support during the clinical level of the curriculum.

Garth Garrison, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the pulmonary and critical care fellowship program, received the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. The award recognizes his commitment to the central tenants of professionalism, his active role in teaching at every level of the curriculum, and his creation of a clinical skills exam that  prepares the members of the class to be physicians.

Fuyuki Hirashima, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, was awarded the Harry E. Howe, M.D. & Theo O. Howe Outstanding Teacher of Surgery Prize at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration, in recognition of her skills as a natural teacher and outstanding surgeon with a unique ability to teach as she is performing surgery. She challenges students to go outside their comfort zones, helping them grow into independent and critical thinkers.

Anya Koutras
Anya Koutras, M.D., associate professor and director of fourth-year programs in the Department of Family Medicine, received the Gold Humanism Honors Society Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. This award highlights the importance of compassion and sensitivity to emotional needs in the provision of excellent clinical care.

Katherine Menezes, M.D., clinical instructor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, received the Clinical Resident of the Year Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration.

John Thomas Quaresima, M.D., M.Ed., clinical assistant professor of family medicine and clinician at Hudson Headwaters Health Network, was awarded the AOA Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. This award recognizes a community physician who contributes with distinction to the education and training of clinical students.

J. Steele Taylor, M.D., clinical instructor and clinical neurophysiology fellow in neurological sciences, was awarded the AOA Housestaff Award. The award recognizes an individual who possesses the key AOA values and attributes, including scholarship, professionalism, leadership, and service, and who shows dedication to the profession and to the art of healing.

The Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Surgery at the University of Vermont Medical Center received the Clinical Department of the Year Award at the Class of 2020 Honors Celebration. The department “collectively and consistently created the most welcoming, instructive learning environment for students,” and its faculty and staff “demonstrated humanism in medicine and excellence in patient care.”

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Sarfo FS, Akinyemi R, Howard G, Howard VJ, Wahab K, Cushman M, Levine DA, Ogunniyi A, Unverzagt F, Owolabi M, Ovbiagele B. Vascular-brain Injury Progression after Stroke (VIPS) study: concept for understanding racial and  geographic determinants of cognitive decline after stroke. J Neurol Sci. 2020 May 15;412:116754. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.116754. Epub 2020 Feb 19. PMID:32120131.

Darzi AJ, Karam SG, Charide R, Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta I, Cushman M, Gould MK, Mbuagbaw L, Spencer FA, Spyropoulos AC, Streiff MB,    Woller S, Zakai NA, Germini F, Rigoni M, Agarwal A, Morsi RZ, Iorio A, Akl EA, Schünemann HJ. Prognostic factors for VTE and bleeding in hospitalized medical patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Blood. 2020 May 14;135(20):1788-1810. doi:10.1182/blood.2019003603. PMID: 32092132.

Pouliot RA, Young BM, Link PA, Park HE, Kahn AR, Shankar K, Schneck MB, Weiss DJ, Heise RL. Porcine Lung-Derived Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel Properties are Dependent on Pepsin Digestion Time. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2020 May 10. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2020.0042. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32390520.

Ku BC, Zonfrillo MR, Periyanayagam U, Bisanzo M, Rice B, Maling S, Cohn KA. The Association of Malnutrition and Disease Conditions in Mortality of Pediatric Patients Presenting to a Rural Emergency Department in Uganda. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020 May 8. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002102. Epub ahead of print. PMID:32398596.

Durbin AP, Pierce KK, Kirkpatrick BD, Grier P, Sabundayo BP, He H, Sausser M, Russell AF, Martin J, Hyatt D, Cook M, Sachs JR, Wen-Tseng Lee A, Wang L, Coller BA, Whitehead SS. Immunogenicity and Safety of a Tetravalent Recombinant Subunit Dengue Vaccine in Adults Previously Vaccinated with a Live Attenuated Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine: Results of a Phase-I Randomized Clinical Trial. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 11. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0042. Epub ahead of print PMID: 32394880.

Li Z, Lindner DP, Bishop NM, Cipolla MJ. ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) Inhibition Reverses Vasoconstriction and Impaired Dilation of Pial Collaterals in Chronic Hypertension. Hypertension. 2020 May 18:HYPERTENSIONAHA11914315. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.14315. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32418498.

Sakkaki S, Barrière S, Bender AC, Scott RC, Lenck-Santini PP. Focal Dorsal Hippocampal Nav1.1 Knock Down Alters Place Cell Temporal Coordination and  Spatial Behavior. Cereb Cortex. 2020 May 7:bhaa101. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa101. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32377688.

Bossier H, Roels SP, Seurinck R, Banaschewski T, Barker GJ, Bokde ALW, Quinlan EB, Desrivières S, Flor H, Grigis A, Garavan H, Gowland P, Heinz A, Ittermann B, Martinot JL, Artiges E, Nees F, Orfanos DP, Poustka L, Fröhner Dipl-Psych JH, Smolka MN, Walter H, Whelan R, Schumann G, Moerkerke B; IMAGEN Consortium. The empirical replicability of task-based fMRI as a function of sample size. Neuroimage. 2020 May 15;212:116601. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116601. Epub 2020 Feb 7. PMID: 32036019.

Hagan JF Jr, Shaw JS. Is Latency Lost to Screen Time? Pediatrics. 2020 May 14:e20200560. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-0560. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32409483.

Börger V, Weiss DJ, Anderson JD, Borràs FE, Bussolati B, Carter DRF, Dominici M, Falcón-Pérez JM, Gimona M, Hill AF, Hoffman AM, de Kleijn D, Levine BL, Lim R, Lötvall J, Mitsialis SA, Monguió-Tortajada M, Muraca M, Nieuwland R, Nowocin A, O'Driscoll L, Ortiz LA, Phinney DG, Reischl I, Rohde E, Sanzenbacher R, Théry C, Toh WS, Witwer KW, Lim SK, Giebel B. ISEV and ISCT statement on EVs from MSCs and other cells: considerations for potential therapeutic agents to  suppress COVID-19. Cytotherapy. 2020 May 16. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2020.05.002. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32425691; PMCID: PMC7229942.

Haynes JM, Ruppel GL, Kaminsky DA. Weight-based reference equations for the 6-min walk test can be misleading in obese patients. ERJ Open Res. 2020 May 11;6(2):00028-2020. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00028-2020. PMID: 32420311; PMCID: PMC7211947.

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Published by the Office of Medical Communications
The Larner College of Medicine
at The University of Vermont
Copyright 2020