Department News

  • Higgins Comments on Rewards to Help Addiction Recovery in Associated Press Article
    (SEPTEMBER 7, 2022) Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, explained in an Associated Press story that the same dopamine reward system that’s the basis for addictions can be used to promote healthy behavior change.
  • Higgins Interviewed by WCAX about Nicotine Study
    (AUGUST 18, 2022) “Cigarette smoking — that’s the largest killer in terms of tobacco products,” Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and psychological science and director of UVM’s Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), told WCAX-TV Channel 3.
  • Center on Rural Addiction Studies Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use in Maine
    (AUGUST 5, 2022) A new survey by UVM’s Center on Rural Addiction — which is headed by Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry — working with the University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute highlights challenges in access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders in Maine’s rural areas.
    Read full story at Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)
  • Althoff Named Chair and Health Care Leader of Psychiatry
    University of Vermont Associate Professor of Psychiatry Robert Althoff, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the Department of Psychiatry and health care service leader for psychiatry, effective August 1, 2022.
  • Our Time Press Reports on Albaugh Study of Effects of Cannibis Use on the Adolescent Brain
    (JULY 14, 2022) A new study by Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, and colleagues has found that smoking marijuana as a teen likely affects the still-developing brain, Our Time Press reports.
    Read full story at Our Time Press
  • Deerfield Valley News Covers CORA Webinar on Rural Naloxone Distribution
    (JULY 14, 2022) As part of its Community Rounds Workshop series, UVM's Center on Rural Addiction (CORA), led by Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., held a webinar on July 13 about the importance of distributing naloxone in rural communities, according to the Deerfield Valley News.
    Read full story at Deerfield Valley News
  • Albaugh Cannabis Use & Brain Development Study in HealthDay Article
    (JUNE 17, 2022) A study published in JAMA Psychiatry and authored by Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., University of Vermont assistant professor of psychiatry, and colleagues, was featured in a HealthDay article, titled "Pot Use May Change the Teenage Brain, MRIs Show."
  • VCBH Study Tests Novel App-Delivery of Financial Incentives for Pregnant Smokers
    A new study, led by University of Vermont Center on Behavior and Health researchers and colleagues and published in JAMA Network Open, found that using a smartphone app that monitored smoking and delivered incentives to participants’ debit cards showed promise in achieving similar results to traditional best practices with financial incentives.
  • Medical Class of 2022 Honors Night Recognizes Faculty, Students & Staff
    On May 13, the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont held Honors Night for graduating medical students in the Class of 2022. Accolades presented included the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society faculty, housestaff, and community physician awards; the Arnold P. Gold Foundation's Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine faculty and student awards; Area Health Education Center Scholars; department awards to students; and awards from the Class of 2022.
  • Integrating Mental Health into Pediatric Primary Care
    UVM Pediatric Primary Care is removing barriers to mental health care with an evidence-based Primary Care Mental Health Integration program, piloted with support from the UVM Health Network.
  • Higgins’ Contingency Management Work in The Guardian Article
    (FEBRUARY 8, 2022) A contingency management program developed by psychologist Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, to treat patients with addictions was mentioned in The Guardian.
  • Potter & Garavan Receive Grant to Study Earliest Brain Development Milestones
    Researchers at the University of Vermont recently received a $5.5 million, five-year grant to participate in the Phase II portion of the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study, an initiative focused on gathering data on brain development from birth through early childhood.
  • 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.
  • Higgins' & Colleagues' Study Highlighted in Medpage Today Article
    (AUGUST 4, 2021) A MedPageToday article focused on a JAMA Psychiatry article by Professor of Psychiatry Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., and colleagues that examined the effectiveness of using contingency management to address comorbid behaviors like cigarette smoking in patients receiving medication for opioid use disorder.
  • 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.