Vermont Center on Behavior & Health
Upcoming VCBH Events

Friday, December 13: UVM Psychiatry Grand Rounds & VCBH Lecture Series featuring, Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA
Time & Location: 10:30am, UVM Davis Auditorium
Eliminating Tobacco Dependence in the United States: A Clinical and Policy Path to Achieve that Goal

Wednesday, January 15: VCBH Lecture Series featuring, Alan Budney, PhD
Time & Location: 10:30am, UVM Davis Auditorium
*Title to come soon*

Click here to read the 2018-2019 VCBH Year in Review.

2017-2018 VCBH Year in Review

VCBH NIH Research Fellowship Opportunities

We are currently recruiting for two NIH Postdoctoral Fellowships working with Dr. Stephen Higgins or Dr. Stacey Sigmon.

Please visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more about these positions and to review the application instructions. 


Drs. Stacey Sigmon and Allison Kurti present at the 2019 New England Rural Health Conference. Dr. Sigmon's presentation focused on the "Innovative Approaches to Expanding Opioid Addiction Treatment in Rural Communities", and Dr. Kurti presented on "Leveraging Science, Technology, and Creativity to Improve Rural Health".

Elias Klemperer, PhD, receives the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Dean's Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Klemperer was awarded the best postdoctoral research presentation titled, "Who remits from opioid use disorder without treatment? Findings from a nationally representative US Survey?"

Stacey Sigmon, PhD, presents a poster at the 2019 Lisbon Addictions Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Dr. Sigmon's poster titled, "Innovative treatment for opioid use disorder", outlined the findings of her novel Interim Buprenorphine Treatment (IBT) to mitigate risks during treatment delays for opioid-dependent individuals using technology-aided devices to deliver pharmacotherapy.

UVMMC Cardiologist and VCBH Pilot Project Director, Sherrie Khadanga, MD, was awarded "Young Investigator of the Year" at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) held in Portland, OR. The title of her study was, "Optimizing the Exercise Training Response in Women in Cardiac Rehabilitation."

Diann Gaalema, Ph.D., recieves acceptance on paper titled, "Systematic Review of Cardiac Rehabilitation Guidelines: Quality and Scope", in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology!

VCBH Research News

NIDA Grant Award Prepare VCBH Researchers for HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study

Drs. Hugh Garavan, Sarah Heil, and Alexi Potter have been awarded a Phase I grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse as part of preparations for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study.  The first few years of life are a period of exponential brain growth and development and the effects of early exposure to opioids on infant and child development are unknown.  To address this knowledge gap, the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study aims to better understand typical brain development, beginning in the prenatal period and extending through early childhood. As part of the Phase I grant, the UVM researchers, along with collaborators at New York University School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, and University of Pittsburgh, will conduct feasibility studies to assess the ability to recruit pregnant women, newborns and toddlers to participate in research; figure out barriers to participation; and establish best practices for retention.  This work will lay the foundation for the Phase II study that will establish a large cohort of pregnant women from regions of the country significantly affected by the opioid crisis and follow them and their children for at least 10 years.


VCBH Hosts 7th Annual Conference to Discuss Tobacco Regulatory Science & Control

The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health hosted its 7th annual national conference, October 10-11, in Burlington, Vermont. The topic of this year's conference was complementary contributions of tobacco regulatory science and tobacco control to protecting the public health. Renowned researchers shared their expertise on the goals of both fields, advances and challenges of reducing tobacco use in vulnerable populations, tobacco use in populations with medical co-morbidities, and issues regarding e-cigarettes and non-combusted nicotine delivery systems. Keynote speaker, Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD, gave an excellent presentation discussing the role of tobacco harm reduction in tobacco control that paved the way for an outstanding line-up of speakers and discussion.

For more information on this conference and to few the recorded talks, please visit our conference webpage!

Sigmon Awarded HRSA Center Grant to Reduce Impact of Opioid Epidemic in Rural Communities Stacey Sigmon headshot

Stacey Sigmon, PhD, has been awarded a $6.7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) to establish the University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction. This center will aim reduce impact of the opioid epidemic, specifically in rural communities as there is a critical need to leverage evidence-based tools to expand opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment capacity and reduce opioid-related morbidity and mortality in rural communities, which have been disproportionately impacted. The Center will work to identify, translate, disseminate and implement science-based practices to address the rural OUD epidemic, as well as future substance use disorder epidemics as they emerge. 

Sigmon and colleagues will bring a science-based approach to addressing OUD in rural communities through dissemination of best practices, enhanced and integrated clinical care services, development and evaluation, epidemiological surveillance, and rural addiction prevention. The collaborating partners include the University of Vermont, University of Vermont Medical Center, University of New Hampshire, and University of Southern Maine. Through close collaboration with partners in each state, a common “menu” of technological-based tools, and a comprehensive surveillance and evaluation infrastructure, we will aim to support expansion of evidence-supported OUD treatment capacity in rural communities.

Read the full press release, here.