March 9, 2022 | Volume IV, Issue 5

Gender Equity awardees 2022

Celebration of Gender Equity Recognizes Advocates and Mentors

On March 3, the Larner College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted the third annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science, via Zoom.

The event featured remarks from Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., and Director of Gender Equity Anne Dougherty, M.D., M.S., and recognized changemakers from across the College community. A  keynote on the critical role of data in gender equity advocacy, titled “Shining A Light on Gender Equality in the Health Sector: The Role of Global Health 50/50 in Using Data for Advocacy,” was presented by Sarah Hawkes, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., professor of global public health at the Institute for Global Health, University College London,

Award recipients included:

Gender Equity Champion

  • Eli Goldberg, M.D., Class of 2020 medical student alum and Clinical Instructor in Family Medicine
  • Montana Kay Lara, Neuroscience Graduate Program doctoral student

Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award

  • Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

    The Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship

  • Isabelle Desjardins, M.D., UVM Medical Center Chief Medical Officer and Larner Associate Professor of Psychiatry

    The Rising Star Emerging Professional Award

  • Joanna Conant, M.D., Class of 2012 medical student alum and Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    The Gender Equity Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Paula Tracy, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry

View the 2022 Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science program.

Read the full article.

Pictured above (clockwise, from top left): Dr. Kirkpatrick; Dr. Goldberg; Montana Lara; Dr. Desjardins; Dr. Conant; Dr. Tracy.


Colorectal Cancer Research: New Treatments Offer Better Quality of Life

A new paper in Clinical Colorectal Cancer by University of Vermont Cancer Center members Christopher Anker, M.D., Nataniel Lester-Coll, M.D., Dmitriy Akselrod, M.D., Peter Cataldo, M.D., and Steven Ades, M.D., looks at the negative impact of Total Neoadjuvant Treatment (TNT) and highlights a variety of new colorectal cancer treatments that take into account both a patient’s likely health outcome and quality of life factors.

To gather information on the new treatment protocols—which offer differing combinations and schedules of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgical techniques—the research team conducted a comprehensive review of published studies. 

“The lower gastrointestinal team has a variety of new treatment options to choose from,” says Dr. Ades, senior author and associate professor of medicine. “Our goal is to give context to key advances that have the potential to de-escalate treatment, so clinicians can translate the published outcomes in a way that will help them make decisions in partnership with their patients.”

The authors conclude that an approach they call Total Definitive Treatment (TDT) is often a viable alternative to TNT in institutions staffed with multidisciplinary teams experienced with the approach. While TNT implies that chemotherapy and radiation therapy will be followed by surgery, TDT acknowledges that chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be potentially curative without the need for surgery.

Read the full article.

Pictured above (left to right): Drs. Cataldo, Anker, Ades and Lester-Coll.

Join us


The theme is “Floral,” so grab your favorite flowered apparel and help celebrate this milestone event in the lives of future doctors in the medical Class of 2022!

Friday, March 18, 2022, 11:45 AM

Grand Maple Ballroom, UVM Davis Center

Unable to attend in person? The event will also be available here via livestream.


Annual CVRI Viridis Montis Challenge Highlights Top Early-Career Cardiovascular Researchers

Cardiac remodeling, chronic kidney disease, brain cell energy generation, hypertension-related stroke risk, and links between socioeconomic status and cardiac rehabilitation outcomes, were the topics presented at the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) of Vermont’s annual Viridis Montis Early Career Investigator Challenge. The event, which highlights top cardiovascular research being conducted by early career investigators from across Larner, the University of Vermont (UVM), and the UVM Health Network, took place virtually on February 2, 2022.

Five finalists were selected from the record number of abstracts submitted for the competition by the abstract review committee—comprised of members of the CVRI Early Career Advisory Committee, Board of Directors, and Distinguished Investigators.

“The finalists not only exceled in the merit-based scientific abstract competition, but also committed to cardiovascular wellness and service,” said CVRI leaders in a communication sent following the competition.

The 2022 finalists included: Ying Loo, Class of 2024 medical student; William Middleton, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Experimental Psychology; Maria Noterman-Soulinthavong, Ph.D., postdoctoral associate in pharmacology; Lucy Pilcher, Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences program; and Samuel Short, Class of 2023 medical student.

More than 50 people, including several international researchers, attended the event, which took place on Zoom and featured an oral presentation by each finalist, as well as questions from an expert panel of Larner and guest judges.

Read the full article.

Pictured above: A screen capture taken during Lucy Pilcher’s presentation via Zoom shows a PowerPoint slide on the left and a thumbnail of Pilcher on the right.

Deadline maRCH 28

Are you looking for a paid learning opportunity this summer?

The UVM Cancer Center’s Summer Student Fellowships in Cancer Research are open to medical students, nursing students, and graduate students in the Larner College of Medicine, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and UVM Graduate College (master’s or doctoral levels). Students receive a stipend of $3,000 for cancer-related basic, clinical/translational, or population science research conducted over an 8-12 week period under the mentorship of a UVM Cancer Center full, associate, clinical or core clinical member.

Deadline: March 28, 2022 at Noon.

For more details and to apply:

NEw blog
Newsletter Patient Quote and Blog(2)(1)

For decades, physicians at Larner and the UVM Medical Center have been pioneering a safer way to administer anesthesia to pediatric patients without putting them “to sleep.”

Watch this video to learn more about how and why our pediatric anesthesiology faculty members continue the practice to this day and how they’re training colleagues in other institutions to take the same approach.

Image at left: Stock photo of newborn infant’s feet. 

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Accolades & Appointments

Diego Adrianzen Herrera

The Board of Directors of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society (HTRS), Inc., has selected Diego Adrianzen Herrera, M.D., Early Career Green & Gold Professor of Medicine and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, for a 2022 HTRS Mentored Research Award. The award will support his project, titled “Identifying Patient and Treatment Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Mortality in Myelodysplastic Syndromes.”

Carney 150x150
Larner Associate Dean for Public Health and Health Policy Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., is author of a book, titled “A History of Public Health: From Past to Present,” which was published by Jones & Bartlett Learning on March 8, 2022. Amazon describes the book as “a structured format to study public health from antiquity to the present time,” featuring “many transformative public health topics and current public health issues.”

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Tripp Henderson has been named senior administrator for REDCap at Larner. This new position represents the next step in the College’s commitment to providing excellent technology in support of the Larner research enterprise. Henderson comes to UVM with significant experience in REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture)—a secure, web-based software platform designed for the collection of research data and management of research projects that is used by nearly 5,800 institutions in 145 countries. Most recently, Henderson served as the senior REDCap administrator at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas and, prior to that, he was the REDCap administrator at Wake Forest University. He will consolidate current training, administration, security and project consulting efforts and work in conjunction with the Office of Clinical Trials Management.


Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., Donaldson Professor, vice chair of psychiatry, and director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, has been selected by the Society of the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) as the recipient of the 2022 SABA Award for Scientific Translation. This award recognizes Dr. Higgins’ work using behavior science principles and methods to address the relationship between drug use and addiction with other maladaptive behaviors and outcomes. The notification letter from SABA CEO Maria Malott, Ph.D., stated “your work in the science of drug dependence has made you not only a leader, but indeed a standard-bearer in this area. Your impact as a researcher has been felt in the field of behavior analysis and beyond, via your hundreds of publications, multiple research grants, and many leadership and editorial positions.”

Fuyuki Hirashima, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, has been appointed chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Hirashima, who joined the UVM faculty in 2017, has been instrumental in establishing and developing the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) at UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) and serves as co-director of the program. In 2019, she and surgery colleagues were awarded a Frymoyer Scholarship grant to establish UVMMC as a training institute and center of excellence for Cardiac Surgical Unit Advanced Life Support. Dr. Hirashima received her medical degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and completed a general surgery residency at UVMMC, followed by a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Richard Rawson, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, co-director of dissemination for the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, and senior advisor for the best practices core of the UVM Center on Rural Addiction, was selected by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to receive the 2022 ASAM Presidential Award. This award, which will be presented to Dr. Rawson at the ASAM 53rd Annual Conference March 31 to April 3, 2022, recognizes his outstanding contributions to the field of addiction medicine and “for outstanding dedication and service in addressing issues or promoting education, training or awareness of the specialty of addiction medicine.”


Sarah Gillett, M.D., Ph.D., a hematology/oncology fellow and clinical instructor in medicine, Hibba Rehman, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Alissa Thomas, M.D., associate professor of neurological science, have received a Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society (NNECOS) Collaborative Research Grant, titled “'Immunobrain:' Evaluating neurocognitive effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients." Drs. Gillett and Thomas will serve as co-principal investigators and Dr. Rehman will serve as a co-investigator for the NNECOS study, which launches this spring and aims to enroll 20 cancer patients on immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) immunotherapy. The research team will measure neuro-cognitive impact through a series of cognitive assessments at baseline, three-, six-, and 12-month intervals.

Pictured at left: A patient and clinician in the infusion bay at the UVM Medical Center.

Nikkole Turgeon, a Class of 2022 medical student, is the recipient of an American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) and Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association’s (EMRA) National Outstanding Medical Student Award. This award recognizes up to 10 fourth-year medical students who excel in humanism/professionalism, leadership/service to medical organizations, community service, research, and academic excellence who are current members of ACEP/EMRA at the time of nomination and applying for a position in emergency medicine in the National Resident Matching Program  or the military match. Award recipients will be recognized at the EMRA virtual Spring Medical Student Forum on March 12, 2022.



Carney, Jan K. A History of Public Health: From Past to Present. Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2022.

Zubler JM, Wiggins LD, Macias MM, Whitaker TM, Shaw JS, Squires JK, Pajek JA, Wolf RB, Slaughter KS, Broughton AS, Gerndt KL, Mlodoch BJ, Lipkin PH. Evidence-Informed Milestones for Developmental Surveillance Tools. Pediatrics. 2022 Mar 1;149(3):e2021052138. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-052138. PMID: 35132439.

Al-Dorzi HM, Stapleton RD, Arabi YM. Nutrition priorities in obese critically ill patients. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2022 Mar 1;25(2):99-109. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000803. PMID: 34930871.

Cohen MB, Aban I, Artman M, Binney G Jr, Blake A, Boney C, First L, Gessouroun M, Rubin BK, Taylor M, Emmanuel P. Pediatric Chair Turnover and Demographics. J Pediatr. 2022 Mar;242:4-7.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.08.003. Epub 2021 Aug 12. PMID: 34390691.

Wang H, Rosendaal FR, Cushman M, van Hylckama Vlieg A. Association between cardiovascular risk factors and venous thromboembolism in the elderly. Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2022 Mar 1;6(2):e12671. doi: 10.1002/rth2.12671. PMID: 35252737; PMCID: PMC8886533.

Villanti AC, LePine SE, Peasley-Miklus C, West JC, Roemhildt M, Williams R, Copeland WE. COVID-related distress, mental health, and substance use in adolescents and young adults. Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2022 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/camh.12550. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35253363.

Ranney SE, Lee TH, Callas PW, Patashnik L, An GC, Malhotra AK. Defining Risk and Risk Factors for Unplanned ICU Admission of Trauma Patients. J Surg Res. 2022 Mar;271:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.10.008. Epub 2021 Nov 20. PMID: 34814050.

Leventhal AM, Dai H, Higgins ST. Smoking Cessation Prevalence and Inequalities in the United States: 2014-2019. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 Mar 8;114(3):381-390. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab208. PMID: 34850047.



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