Department News

  • A Symbol of Scientific Rigor: Neuroscience Graduate Students Receive White Coats
    Tis the season for coats – white coats that is! On Friday, October 15, the University of Vermont Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) hosted its annual White Coat Ceremony in the Livak Ballroom of the UVM Davis Center. While often associated with medical education, the White Coat Ceremony for new graduate degree students has its own history, dating back to 1989, according to Haley Olszewski, NGP program administrator. The ceremony is a rite of passage for many graduate students, she says, both “marking the transition of graduate students, particularly in the sciences, from the early, largely course-based phase of their education to the more research intense phase of their training.” The event also serves to “emphasize the relationship between the student and their mentor,” she adds.
  • Heil's Study Tests Co-location of Contraceptive Services with Opioid Treatment Programs
    More than 75% of women with Opioid Use Disorder report having had an unintended pregnancy, but they are less likely to use effective contraception compared to women who do not use drugs. Results from a multi-year trial led by UVM Professor Sarah Heil found that a two-part intervention featuring co-located contraceptive services in opioid treatment programs and financial incentives could offer an effective solution.
  • Chaarani & Colleagues Publish Largest-ever Pre-Adolescent Brain Activation Study Findings
    UVM scientists and colleagues published youth brain activation data from the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study to date in Nature Neuroscience. The findings provide valuable new information on the cognitive processes and brain systems that underlie adolescent development and might contribute to mental and physical health challenges in adulthood.
  • WCAX-TV Interviews Dickerson about Long-Term Effect of Pandemic on Kids
    (APRIL 15, 2021) Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Jeremiah Dickerson, M.D., was interviewed by local Burlington, Vt. CBS affiliate WCAX-TV for a story, titled "Should parents worry about pandemic’s long-term effects on kids?"
  • Rubin Honored for 46 Years of Service at College of Medicine
    Faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and family gathered virtually March 12 to celebrate Alan Rubin, M.D., associate professor of medicine and psychiatry, whose 46-year-long career at the University of Vermont has touched thousands of lives. Serving as a clinician, teacher, and mentor over the past nearly five decades, Rubin developed an extensive following through the deep connections he forged with his patients, students, and colleagues.
  • Virtual Online Foundations Celebration Honors Medical Class of 2023, Faculty, Staff
    Members of the Larner College of Medicine’s medical Class of 2023, leaders, medical educators, and staff gathered virtually January 28 to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize the faculty and staff who have supported them during an online Foundations Celebration event.
  • Higgins and Colleagues Report Incentives Could Enhance COVID-19 Vaccine Adherence
    While public health and infectious disease experts have discussed strategies to enhance adherence, including the potential use of financial incentives, an examination of the scientific evidence on incentivizing vaccine adherence has not been discussed. A new Commentary in Preventive Medicine by Vermont Center on Behavior and Health Director Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., and colleagues addresses that gap.
  • Copeland Study Evaluates College Student Wellness in a Pandemic
    A study by UVM faculty members published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that in a group of first-year university students, COVID-19 mitigation protocols had a modest, but persistent, impact on mood and wellness behaviors. Students enrolled in the university's wellness program, however, had improved mood levels and fewer attention problems.
  • Villanti, Copeland Named to List of World’s Most Influential Researchers
    UVM faculty members Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of psychiatry, and William Copeland, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, have been named to a list of the world’s most influential researchers - the Highly Cited Researchers list is compiled and published annually by Clarivate Analytics.
  • Hudziak Featured in National Geographic Regarding Music as Tool for Kids' Pandemic Stress
    (NOVEMBER 6, 2020) James Hudziak, M.D., Director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, creator and director of the UVM Wellness Environment (WE), and professor of psychiatry, was quoted in a National Geographic article, titled "Why Music Might be the Perfect Tool to Decrease Kids' Pandemic Stress."
  • Study Finds Lowering Nicotine Reduces Smoking Addictiveness in Vulnerable Populations
    A JAMA Network Open study, led by Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine, provides evidence that, even in smokers from vulnerable populations, reducing nicotine content to low levels decreases addictiveness – a timely finding as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers a policy to lower nicotine content in all cigarettes sold in the U.S.
  • Rosen Appointed Interim Associate Dean for Students
    Lee Rosen, Ph.D., has been appointed interim associate dean for students at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, effective August 3, 2020. He replaces Christa Zehle, M.D., who served as associate dean for students since 2012 and accepted the position of senior associate dean for medical education on March 9, 2020.
  • Villanti Substance Use Prevention Studies' Novel Approach Keeps Youth Engaged
    New findings from a collaborative Vermont study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research highlight how having a uniquely flexible survey instrument and using incentives can help capture the most relevant data and keep young Vermonters engaged.
  • Sigmon Featured on Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business List
    University of Vermont Associate Professor of Psychiatry Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., has been selected by Fast Company for its 11th annual list of the Most Creative People in Business, which honors an influential and diverse group of leaders from a vast range of global industries including tech, design, entertainment, healthcare, media, government, nonprofit, sports, food, and more.
  • Larner Grants Lead in Record-Setting Year for UVM Research Funding
    The University of Vermont received $181.7 million in research funding during the 2020 fiscal year - the largest in UVM history by a wide margin. The Larner College of Medicine had the largest number of grants.
  • Sigmon Listed in Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business" for 2020
    (AUGUST 4, 2020) Associate Professor of Psychiatry Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., is featured in the September 2020 issue of Fast Company as one of the 74 “Most Creative People in Business for 2020.” Sigmon is featured under the category of "For Designing A Superior Solution" for her work developing new models of opioid treatment delivery.
  • VT Substance Use Prevention Studies Use Novel Approach to Keep Young People Engaged
    Ensuring the effectiveness of policies and media campaigns targeting young people is critical to achieving substance use prevention, but state surveillance systems are often not nimble enough to capture quickly changing substance use trends. New findings from UVM researchers and colleagues highlight how a uniquely flexible survey instrument and use of incentives help capture relevant data and keep young Vermonters engaged.
  • Villanti Featured WCAX-TV Channel 3 news story
    (JULY 24, 2020) Andrea Villanti, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of psychiatry, is featured in a July 24 WCAX-TV Channel 3 news story, titled "Collaborative effort gives insight on Vt. youth drug use, vaping."
  • VT Center on Behavior & Health Experts Provide Tips for Getting Used to “New Normal”
    UVM Vermont Center on Behavior & Health faculty members Allison N. Kurti, Ph.D., and Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., discuss how to manage the natural urge to socialize, how to understand our reactions and feelings, and how to establish new, healthy routines to help us cope with our “new normal” and help keep our communities safe.
  • Study Highlights Impact of COVID-19 on Tobacco and E-cigarette Use and Motivation to Quit
    A new study from researchers at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health suggests that, for some, knowledge of COVID-19 is associated with a reduction in cigarette and e-cigarette use, as well as an increase in motivation to quit.