Tracy Honored as University Distinguished Professor

April 26, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

Russell P. Tracy, Ph.D., professor of pathology & laboratory medicine and biochemistry at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, is among three faculty members who were selected for recognition as a University of Vermont Distinguished Professor at the UVM Main Commencement ceremony on May 19, 2019.

In over 30 years as a member of the faculty at the University of Vermont, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Biochemistry Russell Tracy, Ph.D., has built a reputation as an inquisitive, collaborative researcher with an extensive body of work rooted in the improved understanding of mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. Tracy's accomplishments were recognized in April by UVM President Tom Sullivan, who announced his selection as one of three new University of Vermont Distinguished Professors.

The University Distinguished Professor Award is the highest academic honor UVM bestows upon a member of its faculty. Holders of this title are recognized as having achieved international eminence within their respective fields of study and for the truly transformative nature of their contributions to the advancement of knowledge. There can be no more than ten active holders of the appointment at any given time. Tracy and two other faculty members were formally appointed at the UVM Main Commencement ceremony on May 19, 2019.

 A faculty member of the Larner College of Medicine since 1984, Tracy has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 35 years and, earlier this year, was recognized as one of the most Highly Cited Researchers in 2018, according to a Clarivate Analytics report. In addition, he was previously recognized as one of the 400 most highly influential biomedical researchers between 1996-2011, based on data obtained from Elsevier. The recipient of several international research awards, including the 2015 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Tracy is a distinguished investigator of the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont.

Tracy heads up the Clinical Laboratory for Biochemistry Research at the Larner College of Medicine's Colchester Research Facility and is an international leader in the field of biomarkers for blood clotting, inflammation and adaptive immune systems in cardiovascular disease (CVD). He contributed to the development of the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) test for inflammation, now commonly used clinically and featured in the seminal AHA/CDC Guidelines of 2003. Tracy has made major contributions to the biomedical community’s understanding of inflammation in atherosclerosis and as a major cause of CVD and non-CVD morbidity and mortality in “well-controlled” HIV infected individuals.

“Dr. Tracy is an accomplished senior investigator and proven leader, and has been colleague, friend, confidante and mentor to several generations of students, faculty, deans, and staff,” says Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D. “He has a broad understanding of biologic research throughout our University, across the nation, and around the world and his ‘out of the box’ thinking concerning the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis in the mid-1990’s played a major role in shifting the research agenda and led to new therapeutic interventions and diagnostic tools.”

“Russ is valued not only because the core lab functions under his direction in large collaborative studies are impeccable . . . but because of his scientific ideas and input,.” says Steven Shea, M.D., M.S., Hamilton Southworth Professor of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology and senior vice dean at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “He is imaginative, open and sharing with his ideas, eager to engage with collaborators on the scientific questions, and quick to help to move grant applications and papers forward . . . he is a leader and role model for the entire scientific community.”