September 23, 2020 | Volume II, Issue 18

Margaret Tandoh

Tandoh Invested as Gamelli Green and Gold Professor

Margaret A. Tandoh, M.D., associate professor of surgery and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, was invested as the inaugural Richard L. Gamelli, M.D.’74 Green and Gold Professor in Surgery during a virtual ceremony held remotely on September 22, 2020.

Established by Class of 1974 by medical alum Richard Gamelli, M.D., and his wife Mary, this professorship honors his accomplished 40-year medical career and aims to support the work of Dr. Tandoh and her colleagues in the Department of Surgery and contribute to the missions of research, education, and clinical care.

Dr. Gamelli earned a medical degree from UVM, completed a five-year surgical residency at what is now the UVM Medical Center and was as an attending surgeon caring for burn patients at the medical center for 11 years, serving as vice chair of surgery, mentoring countless medical students and residents, and conducting research. His burn care expertise led him to a distinguished career at Loyola University Chicago, where he served as senior vice president and provost of Health Services, the Robert J. Freeark Professor of Surgery, and director of the Burn Center at Loyola University Medical Center before retiring as professor emeritus in 2014.

Known for her extraordinary commitment to the local, regional and global community, Dr. Tandoh has dedicated her medical career to acute care surgery and the treatment of trauma and burn patients. She serves as the medical director of the Burn Program at the UVM Medical Center and travels throughout Vermont and upstate New York educating hospital staff and emergency medical services on the care of burn patients. Dr. Tandoh earned a medical degree from Meharry Medical College and completed a general surgery internship at University Hospitals of Cleveland, a general surgery residency at Akron General Medical Center, and a critical care/trauma fellowship at MetroHealth Medical Center of Cleveland. Prior to joining UVM in 2011, she was an assistant professor of surgery and assistant dean of multicultural affairs at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. A member of both the Advisory Council and the Learning Environment and Professionalism Committee, Dr. Tandoh also serves on the New England Surgical Society Task Force on Diversity in Surgical Leadership and was appointed to the Vermont Medical Board in 2019.

Read more about the Gamelli Green and Gold Professor in Surgery.

Pictured above: Margaret Tandoh, M.D., Richard L. Gamelli, M.D.’74 Green and Gold Professor in Surgery (Photo: Medical Communications)


Red blood cell image

Larner Team Participates in NIH COVID-19 Blood Clotting Treatment Trials

The University of Vermont is participating in a new multicenter initiative announced September 10 by the National Institutes of Health, which will evaluate potential COVID-19 treatments.

Part of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative, these trials will be conducted at more than 100 sites worldwide and will involve COVID-19 patients who have not been hospitalized, who are currently hospitalized, and who have been discharged after hospitalization for moderate to severe disease. Collectively known as ACTIV-4 Antithrombotics, the common goal of the three trials is to give doctors critical insights to improve the care of patients with COVID-19 and prevent life-threatening blood clots. All three trials will be coordinated by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and funded through Operation Warp Speed.

Leading the efforts at UVM are University Distinguished Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Biochemistry Russell Tracy, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., and Assistant Professor of Surgery Christos Colovos, M.D., Ph.D.

Under the director of Dr. Tracy, the Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research drafted the biospecimen collection protocols for the three ACTIV-4 trials and will receive and house all biosamples collected as part of ACTIV-4 protocols. The lab will also serve as the central laboratory for the studies. Dr. Cushman is a lead investigator on the RAPID COVID COAG anticoagulation trial that will form a key part of the ACTIV-4 Antithrombotics inpatient clinical trial. Dr. Colovos will lead the ACTIV-4 Antithrombotics inpatient trial at UVM Medical Center. This trial will investigate the safety and effectiveness of different doses of the blood thinner heparin to prevent clotting events and improve outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Read more about the ACTIV-4 Antithrombotics clinical research.

Pictured above: Red blood cells (Stock image)

Woman looking at computer in lab

$5.4 Million NIH Grant Funds UVM Center for Biomedical Shared Resources

The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont has received a new $5.47 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the creation of the UVM Center for Biomedical Shared Resources.

The new Center, which will be led by Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon L. Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator on the grant, will integrate five of the leading UVM laboratory-based, shared resource core facilities, including the Vermont Integrative Genomics Resource, the Vermont Genetics Network, the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Facility, the Microscopy Imaging Center, and the Mass Spectrometry Facility. The grant will fund completion of the Center's home on the first floor of the new Firestone Medical Research Building, which will be located on the south end of the College's Health Sciences Research Facility.

In addition, the Center will provide services to institutions across northern New England and support large, regional research programs, enhancing long-term sustainability through efficiencies of scale, improved access, cross training of personnel, and sharing of resources. ‚Äč

Read more about the grant.

Pictured above: Roxana del Rio-Guerra, Ph.D., director of the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Facility, works in one of UVM's five laboratory-based, shared resource core facilities. (Photo: Medical Communications)

Screenshot of YouTube video with red play button.

Larner College of Medicine faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to watch the “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity” video by Osmosis, which was created in collaboration with medical students Luke Higgins, Emerson Wheeler, and Rachel Harrison, and Curricular Design & Delivery Manager Cara Simone, M.A.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Image above: Screenshot of YouTube video with red play button.

Save the dateOctober 1, 2020 | 5:30-7pm
Imbasciani LGBTQ Health Equity Lecture

with Lourdes Dolores Follins, Ph.D., LCSW-R
October 2, 2020 | 1pm
White Coat Ceremony

October 2, 2020 | All Day
Women's Health and Cancer Conference

Learn more about these events

Accolades & Appointments

Three Larner faculty members were elected to the prestigious Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering (VASE) by the VASE Board of Directors at their August meeting. On October 26, 2020, VASE will formally induct Larner Dean and Professor of Medicine Richard L. Page, M.D., Professor of Pharmacology Frances Carr, Ph.D., and Professor of Biochemistry Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D. UVM Professor of Biology Bryan Baliff, Ph.D., was also elected. Chartered by the State of Vermont in 1995, VASE has a mission “to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions in the broadly defined areas of science and/or engineering, to foster a deeper understanding and promote discourse on scientific and technical matters among the citizens of the State of Vermont, and to provide expert and impartial technical advice to the people and the government of the State of Vermont.”


Mary Cushman and Timothy Plante
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, titled “Life’s Simple 7 and Incident Hypertension: The REGARDS Study,” and authored by Timothy Plante, M.D., M.H.S. (bottom left), assistant professor of medicine, Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc. (top left), professor and vice chair of medicine, and colleagues, found that better heart health, as measured by the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7 scale, was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing high blood pressure in middle-aged, Black and white adults. The study received broad media attention and was featured such outlets as, Philadelphia Tribune, and Healio/Cardiologytoday. Dr. Plante was recently appointed the Bloomfield Early Career Professor in Cardiovascular Research. Dr. Cushman chaired the writing group for “Ten-Year Differences in Women’s Awareness Related to Coronary Heart Disease: Results of the 2019 American Heart Association National Survey: A Special Report From the American Heart Association,” published this week in Circulation and covered in a number of national media outlets.

Professor of Medicine Renee Stapleton, M.D, Ph.D., received a notice of grant award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for a roughly $15.5 million-dollar, seven-year, 20-site, phase 3 randomized controlled trial of ganciclovir to prevent reactivation of cytomegalovirus (CVM) in patients with sepsis-associated acute respiratory failure. Dr. Stapleton and colleagues will be working to demonstrate that if CVM reactivation in critically ill patients can be prevented, patients will experience more ventilator-free-days, as well as other positive secondary outcomes at six months

Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences graduate student Nicolas Chamberlain successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, titled “Pathological consequences of PDI oxidoreductase activity on viral protein maturation,” on August 27. Mr. Chamberlain’s mentor is Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., M.Sc., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine.

Christopher Dustin
Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences graduate student Christopher Dustin successfully defended his dissertation on September 11, 2020. His thesis was titled “Redox Regulation of SRC Kinase: Implications for Innate IL-33 Signaling in Allergen Responses.” Mr. Dustin’s mentor is Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine.



Miller HN, Charleston J, Wu B, Gleason K, White K, Dennison Himmelfarb CR, Ford DE, Plante TB, Gelber AC, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd, Juraschek SP. Use of electronic recruitment methods in a clinical trial of adults with gout. Clin Trials. 2020 Sep 15:1740774520956969. doi: 10.1177/1740774520956969. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32933342.

Jaffray J, Branchford B, Goldenberg N, Malvar J, Croteau SE, Silvey M, Fargo JH, Cooper JD, Bakeer N, Sposto R, Ji L, Zakai NA, Faustino EVS, Stillings A, Krava E, Young G, Mahajerin A. Development of a Risk Model for Pediatric Hospital-Acquired Thrombosis: A Report from the CHAT Consortium. J Pediatr. 2020 Sep 10:S0022-3476(20)31144-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.09.016. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32920105.

Plante TB, Koh I, Judd SE, Howard G, Howard VJ, Zakai NA, Booth JN 3rd, Safford MM, Muntner P, Cushman M. Life's Simple 7 and Incident Hypertension: The REGARDS Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Sep 15:e016482. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016482. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32928039.

Suthahar N, Lau ES, Blaha MJ, Paniagua SM, Larson MG, Psaty BM, Benjamin EJ, Allison MA, Bartz TM, Januzzi JL Jr, Levy D, Meems LMG, Bakker SJL, Lima JAC, Cushman M, Lee DS, Wang TJ, deFilippi CR, Herrington DM, Nayor M, Vasan RS, Gardin JM, Kizer JR, Bertoni AG, Allen NB, Gansevoort RT, Shah SJ, Gottdiener JS, Ho JE, de Boer RA. Sex-Specific Associations of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Biomarkers With Incident Heart Failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Sep 22;76(12):1455-1465. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.07.044. PMID: 32943164.

Liu YH, Gao X, Na M, Kris-Etherton PM, Mitchell DC, Jensen GL. Dietary Pattern, Diet Quality, and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. J Alzheimers Dis. 2020 Sep 11. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200499. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32955461.

Atherly A, Van Den Broek-Altenburg E, Hart V, Gleason K, Carney J. Consumer Reported Care Deferrals Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Role and Potential of Telemedicine: Cross-Sectional Analysis. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020 Sep 14;6(3):e21607. doi: 10.2196/21607. PMID: 32833661.

Ste Marie EJ, Wehrle RJ, Haupt DJ, Wood NB, van der Vliet A, Previs MJ, Masterson DS, Hondal RJ. Can Selenoenzymes Resist Electrophilic Modification? Evidence from Thioredoxin Reductase and a Mutant Containing α-Methylselenocysteine. Biochemistry. 2020 Sep 15;59(36):3300-3315. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00608. Epub 2020 Aug 30. PMID: 32845139.

Conrad DJ, Billings J, Teneback C, Koff J, Rosenbluth D, Bailey BA, Jain R. Multi-dimensional clinical phenotyping of a national cohort of adult cystic fibrosis patients. J Cyst Fibros. 2020 Sep 15:S1569-1993(20)30825-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2020.08.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32948498.

Gollapudi BB, Su S, Li AA, Johnson GE, Reiss R, Albertini RJ. Genotoxicity as a Toxicologically Relevant Endpoint to Inform Risk Assessment: A Case Study with Ethylene Oxide. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2020 Sep 14. doi: 10.1002/em.22408. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32926486.

Green AE, Weinberger SJ, Harder VS. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a Mental Health Screening Tool for Newly Arrived Pediatric Refugees. J Immigr Minor Health. 2020 Sep 22. doi: 10.1007/s10903-020-01082-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32960360.

Nelson SR, Li A, Beck-Previs S, Kennedy GG, Warshaw DM. Imaging ATP Consumption in Resting Skeletal Muscle: One Molecule at a Time. Biophys J. 2020 Sep 15;119(6):1050-1055. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.07.036. Epub 2020 Aug 15. PMID: 32857963.

Abbott LF, Bock DD, Callaway EM, Denk W, Dulac C, Fairhall AL, Fiete I, Harris KM, Helmstaedter M, Jain V, Kasthuri N, LeCun Y, Lichtman JW, Littlewood PB, Luo L, Maunsell JHR, Reid RC, Rosen BR, Rubin GM, Sejnowski TJ, Seung HS, Svoboda K, Tank DW, Tsao D, Van Essen DC. The Mind of a Mouse. Cell. 2020 Sep 17;182(6):1372-1376. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.010. PMID: 32946777.


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