LCOM & Department News

Tracy Honored as University Distinguished Professor

April 26, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

(APRIL 26, 2019) 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.

(APRIL 26, 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.”

Department Highlights

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.

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

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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 Vermont...read 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)

Dr. Leonard Video Recording Available 

Dr. Leonard gives a series of talks on Genomic Medicine in Vermont for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)​. A video recording of the talk is available here >> (October 2017)

Department Members Took Part in the March For Science

Banner carriers: Dr. Debra Leonard, Sara Kwolek & Dr. Sharon Mount. Also, in view are Doug Taatjes,Ph.D., and Dr. Rebecca Wilcox. (April 2017)

Janssen-Heininger Featured Woman in Science

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., was chosen as the featured ​Woman in Science by the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine! She got pretty colorful with some of her answers, so definitely worth a read. (March 2017) Read the story >>

Buskiewicz Publishes in Science Signaling

Dr. Iwona Buskiewicz, Ph.D., publishes study in Science Signaling, revealing potential key to alternative Lupus treatment.  (February 2017)

Genomic Medicine Laboratory Grand Opening (January 2017)
Larner College of Medicine Foundations Awards

Pamela Gibson, M.D. won the AMWA Gender Equity Award, which honors a male or female faculty member who promotes a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians and gender diversity in the field. Pam is Co-advisor of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. (January 2017)

Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. won the Foundations Course Director Award, and her Nutrition, Metabolism, and Gastrointestinal System (NMGI) course won Outstanding Foundations Course Award. Rebecca was also nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award. (January 2017)

Mark Fung, M.D., Ph.D. and Andy Goodwin, M.D. were also nominated for the Silver Stethoscope awards, which recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education. (January 2017)