Kirkpatrick Appointed Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

February 9, 2018 by Jennifer Nachbur

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., has been appointed as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Vermont, effective March 1, 2018.

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D. (Photo: Andy Duback)

University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Dean Frederick Morin, M.D., and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Thomas Vogelmann, Ph.D., have announced the appointment of Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) at the Larner College of Medicine and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Kirkpatrick’s appointment will be effective March 1, 2018, when founding chair and University Distinguished Professor Susan Wallace, Ph.D., steps down.

A nationally and internationally recognized physician-scientist and specialist in infectious diseases, translational immunology, and global vaccine development, Kirkpatrick launched the Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) at UVM in 2001. Under her leadership, the VTC has grown to assume a prominent international role in the development and evaluation of vaccines for globally-important infectious diseases such as dengue, cholera, rotavirus, and other pathogens. The VTC, which performs both clinical and laboratory-based research in vaccines and human immunity, has garnered support from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other funders. Their work has a major positive impact on the health of millions of people around the globe, particularly in the developing world.

A graduate of Albany Medical College, Kirkpatrick completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester, and an infectious disease fellowship at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She joined the UVM faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Disease in the Department of Medicine. She was promoted to tenured professor in 2013. In addition, she served as interim associate dean for clinical research at the Larner College of Medicine from 2014 to 2016. Her many awards and honors include: the 2017 UVM Health Network Medical Group Senior Researcher of the Year award; election as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation; 2013-14 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® Fellow; and receipt of the 2012 Bailey K. Ashford Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She was a 2010 Professor in Residence at the Infectious Disease Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Kirkpatrick will retain leadership of the VTC and will continue to see patients in her role as an infectious disease specialist at the UVM Medical Center.

“Dr. Kirkpatrick brings to this position a breadth of expertise in translational science, clinical research, and patient care that will continue the work of this important department,” said Deans Morin and Vogelmann. “The addition of her research team, the UVM Vaccine Testing Center, to the Department will also strengthen and expand opportunities for translation of the Department’s basic research into clinical applications. Dr. Kirkpatrick brings new perspectives to advance MMG’s nationally-recognized and unique undergraduate teaching programs that have been a long-time collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Medicine."


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