LCOM & Department News

Larner College of Medicine Faculty Inventions Recognized at Annual I2V Conference

April 8, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

More than a dozen Larner College of Medicine faculty and scientists were recognized during the awards portion of the 14th annual Invention to Venture (I2V) conference April 5, 2019.

Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., & V.P. for Research Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2019 I2V awards ceremony. (Photo: UVM Innovations)

More than a dozen Larner College of Medicine faculty and scientists were recognized during the awards portion of the 14th annual Invention to Venture (I2V) conference April 5 at the Davis Center at the University of Vermont. Hosted by the UVM Innovations office, the conference brings together academic researchers, students, entrepreneurs, business leaders and experts from across Vermont and New England to talk about how to protect, develop and finance ideas.

Kyle Clark, founder of South Burlington-based Beta Technologies, a two-year-old startup focused on building electric aircraft and recharging systems, was the keynote speaker.

Corine Farewell, DVM, director of UVM Innovations, presented the Awards Ceremony, in which Vice President for Research Richard Galbraith, Ph.D., participated.

Patent Award recipients included:

  • Victor May, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences; Karen Braas, Ph.D., research associate professor of neurological sciences; Sayamwong E. Hammack, Ph.D., professor of psychological science; and Donna Toufexis, Ph.D., associate professor of psychological science for “Diagnostic and therapeutic methods and products related to anxiety disorders” (2 patents)
  • Mercedes Rincon, Ph.D., professor of medicine, and Tina Thornton, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, for “Methods and products relating to GSK3 beta regulation.”
  • Jason Botten, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine; Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology; and Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry for both “Methods and compounds for reducing threonyl-tRNA synthetase activity” and “Methods and compounds for increasing threonyl-tRNA synthetase activity.”
  • Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory science; David Earl Heppner, Ph.D.; and Karamatullah Danyal, Ph.D., Class of 2020 medical student, for “Covalent inhibitors of dual oxidase 1 (DUOX 1).”
  • Francklyn; Lounsbury; and Tamara Williams, Ph.D., for “Methods and compounds for diagnosing threonyl-RNA synthetase-associated diseases and conditions.”
  • Christopher Danforth, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and statistics; Kathleen Brummel-Ziedins, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry; Thomas Orfeo, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry; Stephen Everse, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry; and Kenneth Mann, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biochemistry, for “Methods for dynamic visualization of clinical parameters over time.”

License Award recipients included:

  • Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine – license to Celdara Medical, LLC.
  • Markus Meyer, M.D., associate professor of medicine – license to Medtronic, Inc.
  • Mercedes Rincon, Ph.D., professor of medicine – license to EMD Millipore

Learn more about the 2019 I2V conference.

Department Highlights

Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph. D., our department chairand the Genomic Medicine Team announce the start of the Genomic Population Health Initiative. A pilot project offering Genomic DNA Testing is now underway within the University of Vermont Health Network. Read more here... (2019)

Dr. William Pendlebury, M.D., professor emeritus of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2019 Vermont Medical Society’s (VMS) Founders’ Award. The award recognizes Pendlebury’s leadership role and advocacy in “the fight for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Vermont for the past 35 years.” He will receive the award November 2 at the VMS 206th Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt.(2019)

Yvone Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Jos van der Velden, Ph.D. (both Pathology & Laboratory Medicine faculty) and senior author, Charles Irvin, Ph.D. (Medicine), published "The Effect of Flavored E-cigarettes on Murine Allergic Airways Disease" in Nature Scientific Reports. The study has been cited in stories by several news outlets: U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay; American Journal of Managed Care; Medical News Bulletin; and Medical Daily. (2019)

Dr. Mark Fung, M.D, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Population Health, was recently named to the board of directors for the Project Santa Fe Foundation, which “focuses on demonstrating the power of longitudinal clinical laboratory data to proactively augment population health in a value-based healthcare environment.” (2019)


Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D. was named a 2019 Frymoyer Scholar for her project, “Validating Entrustable Professional Activity-Based Assessment to Determine On-Call Competency in Pathology Residents”. (2019)


Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.DDr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was selected, by the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019, to be the commencement keynote speaker. Read more... [Photo credit: Andy Duback 2019] (2019)

Please join Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger in congratulating Allison Manuel and Evan Elko

Dr. Allison Manuel is a post-doctoral fellow in our group.  Her abstract to be presented at the American Thoracic Society conference was chosen to receive an Abstract Scholarship . The scholarship includes a full In-Training Registration to the 2019 ATS International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  

Evan Elko is a PhD student. He just received notice that his F31 NIH application entitled: “Role of peroxiredoxin-4 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”  will be funded.

Congratulations to Evan and Allison.


Department alumni, Dr. Bobbi Pritt, M.D. featured in Vermont Medicine Magazine. To read her story click on the photo below.




Dr's Leonard and HuberA Remarkable Gift from Dr. Sally Huber, Ph.D.

At the end of last week's Research Day, Dr. Leonard gave a surprise announcement: a very generous bequethment of $5 million by research faculty emerita, Dr. Sally Huber! The funds will go toward two endowed professorships for junior investigators in our department. The endowments will be named for her parents, Elmer R. Huber and Blodwen S. Huber, and will support junior research faculty for five years.(9/2018)

This amazing support will allow junior faculty time and funds to gain independence while pursuing the milestone achievement of being awarded their first R01 grant.

Heintz Awarded 2018 Distinguised Graduate Alumni Award

Dr. Nick Heintz, Ph.D. received the 2018 UVM Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award​, which is presented to Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the LCOM community.

He accepted his award at the college's Celebrating Research Excellence event at the end of October. (September 2018)

Kida Received Certificate of Commendation

Dr. Kida receives award from the State of more here. (August 2018)

Leonard and Committee Publish Through National Academies Press

Dr. Debra Leonard, along with a committee under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ​published "Returning Individual Research Results to Participants: Guidance for a New Research Paradigm" through The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2018 (Committee Member). (August 2018)

Excellence in Education

The Larner College of Medicine’s second year medical students nominate and elect faculty who they want to recognize for their outstanding teaching and support over their first years of the Foundations education. (February 2018)

Pathology nominees (winners in bold):

AMWA Gender Equity Award  - Pamela Gibson; Sharon Mount; Rebecca Wilcox

Dean Warhsaw Integration Award - Rebecca Wilcox

Silver Stethoscope Award - Scott Andreson; Maureen Harmon; John Lunde

Above and Beyond Award - Ronald Bryant; Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Course Director Award -Rebecca Wilcox

Outstanding Foundations Course Award

  • Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Systems: (Ron Bryant; Kelly Butnor; and Pam Gibson are the primary pathologists in each section of the course, respectively)
  • Nutrition, Metabolism & the Gastrointestinal System: Course Director is Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Teaching Award - Ronald Bryant; Pamela Gibson; Rebecca Wilcox; Christina Wojewoda

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger Receives Patent

Yvonne Janssen-Heinger was awarded a patent on the ​concept that strategies to inhibit GSTP has utility for the treatment of patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Congratulations, Yvonne! (January 2018)

Drs. Bronwyn Bryant and Phillip Munson inducted into the Teaching Academy

Last week Bronwyn and Phillip were inducted into University of Vermont's Teaching Academy. The Teaching Academy sustains and supports an interdisciplinary community of educators who value the scholarship of teaching and learning while facilitating educator development; improve the efficiency and quality of medical education through collaboration and scholarship; and promote an academic environment that increases the value and impact of educators locally, regionally, and nationally. (January 2018)