Save the Date!
CVRI Burton E. Sobel Visiting Professor: Paul M. Ridker, MD

September 26-27, 2019

Formally trained in cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology, Dr. Paul M Ridker is the Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and directs the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, a translational research unit at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Dr. Ridker’s research focuses on the design and conduct of multi-national randomized trials, the development of inflammatory biomarkers for clinical and research use, the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases, and on novel strategies for cardiovascular disease detection and prevention. As a preventive cardiologist, Dr. Ridker is best known for his work developing the inflammatory hypothesis of heart disease, the clinical application of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) testing as a method to better evaluate cardiovascular risk, and the demonstration in 2008 in the large-scale JUPITER trial that statin therapy is highly effective at reducing heart attack and stroke when given to men and women with elevated hsCRP levels.

Currently, Dr. Ridker serves as Trial Chairman and Principal Investigator of two multi-national, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials designed to address whether reducing inflammation can reduce cardiovascular event rates. These trials are the Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS) and the NHLBI funded Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT).

Dr. Ridker is a graduate of Brown University (1981), the Harvard Medical School (1986), the Harvard School of Public Health (1992), and has received honorary medical degrees from several international institutions.  Dr. Ridker’s primary research brings together classical tools of large-scale, population based epidemiology with emerging genetic and molecular techniques designed to improve our ability to predict and prevent vascular disease. Particular areas of interest involve inflammatory mechanisms of heart disease and molecular and genetic determinants of hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation with a focus on “predictive medicine”, early disease diagnosis, and the underlying causes and prevention of acute coronary syndromes. Dr. Ridker’s research efforts have been supported by multiple RO1 research grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (New York), and through philanthropic research grants from the Leducq Foundation (Paris FR), and the Donald W Reynolds Foundation (Las Vegas, NV).

Dr. Ridker directs an NHLBI-funded institutional National Research Service Award (training grant) in cardiovascular epidemiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ridker has been the recipient of both a Clinician Scientist Award (1992-1997) and an Established Investigator Award (1997-2002) from the American Heart Association, and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Epidemiological Society (AES), and the American Association of Physicians (AAP).  Dr. Ridker currently serves on the Board of External Experts for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Dr. Ridker's events include a Scholar's Tea and Career Development talk "Conducting Clinical Trials" for early career junior investigators, fellows and trainees, a Cardiology Case Studies Conference, and a Medicine Grand Rounds program.  *These events are made possible by a generous gift from Martin Bloomfield, MD, '60 to the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont.

In advance of Dr. Ridker's visit, CVRI's Early Career Advisory Committee is co-sponsoring a journal club in review of his work on Antiinflammatory Therapy with Canakinumab for Atherosclerotic Disease.  The article can be found here.

19th Annual Jim Ray Memorial Heart Ride!

Taqueti_Jim Ray Heart Ride pic

The annual Jim Ray Memorial Heart Ride never ceases to amaze us with their dedication & support to UVM CVRI, cardiovascular research and especially to early career investigators.  Please read the following letter from the founders of this amazing event!

On Saturday, June 15, we crossed bridges, caught ferries, enjoyed great water views, and climbed some unexpected and very steep hills as we rode almost 140 miles around Lake Champlain to support the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont (CVRI) during the 19th annual Jim Ray Memorial Heart Ride.

Thanks to the incredibly generous support of family and friends, through the years we’ve now raised more than $185,000 for heart disease prevention and research. With your help, we’re also helping to educate the next generation of researchers.

In late April, a portion of the funds donated were used to sponsor the CVRI’s Early Career Lecture Series at the UVM Medical Center/Larner College of Medicine. Viviany Taqueti, M.D., M.P.H., the director of the Cardiac Stress Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, came to Vermont to speak to a standing-room-only hall of health care professionals. She noted (as did all of the promotional materials) that “this event was made possible by a generous gift from the many donors to the Jim Ray Memorial Heart Ride.”

Since 2000, Mark Ray and Steve Gronlund have selected one day every year to cycle 100 miles or more to raise money for heart disease and research. The annual ride honors Mark’s dad Jim Ray – an avid cyclist who died of heart disease at age 64 – plus Mark’s grandfather; Steve’s grandmother, grandfather and uncle; other family members and friends; and the millions impacted by heart disease and stroke.

This year, Mark and Steve were joined by Tim Pudvar, who has participated in a number of our crazy rides, including the first double century from the Canadian to the Massachusetts border back in 2011.

The ride is over, but you can still contribute -- we haven't cured heart disease yet! To give, please click on the "Donate" button on this site or send a check to Mark Ray at 227 Hullcrest Road, Shelburne, VT 05482 that's made payable to "UVM Medical Center" with "Jim Ray Memorial Heart Ride 2019" in the notes section. (Sending a check means you have to buy a stamp but you also avoid the online service fee.)

Many thanks for your support, now and during the past 19 years. Your heartfelt generosity keeps us going.

Mark and Steve and Tim

CVRI Recognizes Newly Selected Distinguished Investigator, Michael J. Toth, PhD

Michael J. Toth, PhD

The CVRI seeks to highlight excellence in research and to foster the next generation of cardiovascular researchers.  As such, the CVRI Board of Directors has recently selected Michael J. Toth, PhD for designation as CVRI Distinguished Investigator. 

Dr. Toth, nominated by Dr. Philip Ades, has established extraordinary success as a UVM researcher in the field of muscle physiology.  His studies over the years have related to the role of skeletal muscle dysfunction as is seen with aging, chronic heart failure, disuse, and the presence of chronic disease such as arthritis and cancer.  His studies utilize ingenious techniques developed by himself and his colleagues that include mounting single muscle fibers for detailed functional testing.  Dr. Toth has also published a total of 106 peer reviewed publications, many in the strongest journals including J Appl Physiol, Am J Physiol, Circlulation, JACC and Metabolism.

CVRI-VT  recognizes investigators who are performing sustained, impactful cardiovascular research by naming them as "Distinguished Investigators."  Candidates for this award are nominated by members of the Board of Directors and previous Distinguished investigators.  Those accepted for the award will hold the designation, are expected to participate in key CVRI-VT activities, and are recognized by CVRI-VT with a reception and a commitment for funding. 

Dr. Toth joins the following group of prestigious Distinguished Investigators: Philip Ades, MD, Joseph Brayden, PhD, Martin LeWinter, MD, George Osol, PhD, Russell Tracy, PhD, and Kathleen Trybus, PhD.

Mark Your Calendars

September 26-27: Sobel Visiting Professor Paul M. Ridker, M.D., Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

October 17-18: Visiting Professor Alisa Wolberg, PhD, FAHA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Have a cardiovascular speaker you'd like to bring to campus?

Information on CVRI Co-Sponsorship of Cardiovascular Seminars can be found on the Application for Visiting Professor Funding

Internal Grant Review

CVRI provides internal review of grant applications to support cardiovascular research. E-mail CVRI for more information.  *NOTE: The request for internal review must be made at least 6 weeks before the submission deadline.

CVRI Travel Awards

CVRI travel awards are available to support trainees and junior investigators presenting abstracts at regional and national scientific meetings.  These competitive awards are for reimbursement of presentation-related expenses of up to $2,000 and offered on a limited rolling basis throughout the academic calendar year; more details can be found on the application for funding.

CVRI Annual Report

Annual Report for 2017 Cover View the Flipbook>>


Lewinter Award Announcement

CVRI Funding Announcement
Martin M. LeWinter (MMLW) Young Investigator Award

The MMLW Funding mechanism is an initiative designed to provide funding for potentially high reward pilot projects proposed by innovative young investigators.

It is the purpose of this award to provide seed funding for a junior UVM/UVMMC cardiovascular faculty member or trainee with a novel concept that has the potential to lead to a significant advance in fundamental knowledge about the nature of living systems and/or to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. Basic, translational and clinical research may be supported.

Eligibility - UVM/UVMMC junior cardiovascular faculty member (within 5 years of initial faculty appointment) or trainee

Funding - up to $5,000 may be requested. Funding may be added to existing funding from other sources providing the total award does not exceed $20,000.

Applications will be accepted on an open basis contingent on availability of funds. 

Click here for full instructions and guidelines.

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