June 29, 2022 | Volume IV, Issue 13

Rebecca Wilcox

Wilcox Selected for 2022-23 Class of Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Fellows

Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, has been selected as a member of the 2022-2023 class of fellows participating in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Established in 1995, ELAM is the nation’s only in-depth program focused on preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health for institutional leadership positions, where they can affect positive change. Wilcox is one of 72 fellows selected following a highly competitive application process for the 2022-23 class. The work for this incoming class began in June with online assignments and community-building activities that continue through the end of the program in April 2023.

According to Nancy D. Spector, M.D., executive director of ELAM, “The women are exceptional leaders who are capable of making critical systemic change in their institutions. The need for the highest quality leaders in academic health care has never been greater, and we are doing everything we can to help meet that need by providing outstanding and innovative leadership training for women.”

Wilcox joined the UVM faculty in 2009. In addition to her current associate dean role, her leadership positions include directing the first-year medical school course “Nutrition, Metabolism and Gastrointestinal System in Health and Disease,” and the Advanced Integration Surgical Pathology Elective, serving as vice chair for education for her department and as section leader of the Gastrointestinal/Liver Pathology Service at the UVM Health Network, and serving as a faculty coach for the Association of American Medical Colleges' Leadership Education and Development certificate program.

Read the full article.

Pictured above: Dr. Wilcox. (Photo: David Seaver)

Brundage Investiture

Brundage Invested as Green & Gold Professor in the Division of Otolaryngology

In a formal ceremony held at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine on June 28, 2022, Associate Professor of Surgery William Brundage, M.D., was invested as the inaugural Green and Gold Professor in the Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Brundage also serves as division chief of otolaryngology at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

 In 2013, the Department of Surgery’s generous faculty collectively established 14 Green and Gold Professorships – one in each of the department’s divisions – to demonstrate their high regard for resident and medical student training, research and innovation, as well as patient care. This professorship will provide Brundage with endowed financial support to provide leading-edge care and to advance educational activities in his field.

 “Dr. Brundage combines both the heart of a born educator, mentoring both residents and medical students, with the skill and inquiring mind of a natural innovator,” said UVM Provost and Senior Vice President Patty Prelock, Ph.D., during the ceremony.

With more than 20 years of service to UVM and the surrounding community, Brundage has twice served as division chief and concurrently served as residency program director for eight years. An expert in the treatment of head and neck cancer, thyroid and parathyroid disease, salivary gland disease, and chronic ear disease, his specialty includes sialendoscopy, an endoscopy of the salivary ducts. He has also pioneered new methods of ultrasound use to ensure patients undergo a minimum of invasive procedure.

Read the full article.

Pictured above (left to right): Mitchell Norotsky, M.D., associate professor of surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Brundage, and Richard Page, M.D., dean of the Larner College of Medicine.

VCCBH Symposium

VCCBH Symposium Highlights Early-Career Investigators, Innovative Multidisciplinary Research

Over 100 in-person and dozens of virtual participants attended the second annual Vermont Center for Cardiovascular and Brain Health (VCCBH) Symposium, held at the University of Vermont’s Davis Center June 2-3, 2022. The VCCBH, one of three National Institutes of Health Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)-funded programs at UVM, is co-directed by Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., professor and vice chair for emerging researchers in the Department of Medicine, and  Mark Nelson, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology.

The VCCBH aims to improve the understanding of – and optimize treatments for – cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases through research conducted by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, physician-scientists, basic scientists, statisticians, and other researchers.

Highlights of the two-day event included a poster session, research presentations by a number of early-career investigators including VCCBH project directors, pilot grant awardees, and faculty members, and a Pipeline Investigator Flash Talk session. In addition, two keynote addresses were delivered. The Science Keynote Address, titled “What is Disease? Defining Pathobiology and Therapeutics in the Era of Big Data,” was presented by Joseph Loscalzo, M.D., chair of medicine and Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The Diversity and Inclusion Keynote Address was presented by Michelle Albert, M.D., president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine and director of the CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center) at the University of California at San Francisco, who discussed “Breaking the Shackles: Addressing the Taxonomy of Medical Training to Achieve Health Equity.”

Read the full article about the VCCBH Symposium.

Pictured above (clockwise, from top left): Debora Kamin-Mukaz, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in medicine, presenting her research; Thomas Heppner, Ph.D., and Gerald Herrerra, Ph.D., assistant professors of pharmacology, attending the poster session; Maddie Hatch, Dr. Cushman, and Rusul Mustafa, posing for a photo in the Davis Center. (Note: Hatch and Mustafa are graduate students studying with David Punihaole, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, who is a VCCBH pipeline investigator and pilot grant co-awardee.)

Check it out

Did you know that you can now access BioRender through UVM Libraries?

With 40,000+ images, an abundance of templates, and 30 fields of science to choose from, figures, diagrams and charts will be easier to create.

Learn more and access BioRender. 


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Accolades & Appointments


The Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont recently announced the names of its 2022 Early Career Research Award recipients, who include:

  • David Coggin-Carr, M.D., Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology & reproductive sciences (mentors: Ira Bernstein, M.D., and Nga Ling (Theresa) Ko, Ph.D.), for the project, “Effects of low-frequency electroacupuncture on uterine arterial function in a high fat, high sucrose diet-induced rat model of maternal obesity”;
  • Margaret Infeld, M.D., clinical instructor of medicine and fellow in cardiovascular medicine (mentor: Daniel Lustgarten, M.D., Ph.D.), for the project, “Efficacy of Atrial Anti-Tachycardia Pacing Based on Atrial Lead Position”;
  • Shanmugasundaram Nallasamy, DVM, Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences (mentor: Dr. Bernstein), for the project, “The role of uterine type V collagen in the establishment of uterine-placentalvascular interface in mice”;
  • Lucy Pilcher, Ph.D., Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences program alum (mentor: Jeffrey Spees, Ph.D.), for the project, “Uncovering the role of Snord116 lncRNA in cardiac ischemic response and metabolism using living myocardial slices.”

Note: 2022 CVRI Early Career Research Award recipient Margaret Phillips, Ph.D., was recognized in the Accolades section of the May 18 Larner Medicine.

Chris Holmes
Chris Holmes, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and a UVM Cancer Center member, received an $182,325 National Cancer Institute award to study a protein found on the surface of platelets – called FcɣRIIa – to determine whether it can be used in a test to identify whether patients are at a high or low risk for blood-clotting complications during cancer treatment. Researchers believe that the expression of this protein may help predict whether cancers may recur despite treatment. This study will investigate the expression of this protein with a goal of reducing blood-clotting complications and improving patient outcomes. Learn more about the project, titled, “Platelet FcGammaRIIa and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism in Cancer.”

Ginger Lubkowitz
Ginger Lubkowitz, interim chief development officer and executive director of administration for Academic Health Sciences Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Vermont Foundation and UVM Medical Center, has been appointed as chief development officer, Academic Health Sciences, following a national search. According to a recent announcement issued by John Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO of the UVM Health Network (UVMHN), and Monica Delisa, president and CEO of the University of Vermont Foundation, Lubkowitz will lead and advance the comprehensive, collaborative development work of UVMHN, the UVM Larner College of Medicine, and the UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “She and her team will continue to work closely with faculty, clinicians, administrators, and volunteers to implement development strategies that allow our organizations to fulfill their missions,” the leaders stated in their announcement.

Gabriela Sarriera-Valentin
Class of 2025 medical student Gabriela Sarriera-Valentin was selected to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the University of Utah Department of Neurosurgery Summer Clinical Internship to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A two-month paid medical student clinical internship, the program goal is to increase diversity in the medical sub-specialty of neurosurgery. “The Division of Neurosurgery at UVM was fantastic in supporting my application and were instrumental in my success,” said Sarriera-Valentin, who added, “so while I’m off to Utah, I would like to acknowledge that they have been incredibly generous with their time and knowledge.”

Emmett Whitaker
Emmett Whitaker, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology, was elected as an Associate Member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA). The mission of the AUA is to promote excellence in academic anesthesiology through  mentorship; promotion of diversity and inclusivity; and professional growth throughout the careers of educators, academic leaders, and researchers. It strives to advance academic anesthesiology as a dynamic specialty that makes substantive contributions to medicine, science, and society.



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