Holmes and Stein Named 2020-21 UVM University Scholars

May 8, 2020 by Jennifer Nachbur

Larner College of Medicine faculty members Gregory Holmes, M.D., professor and chair of neurological sciences, and Gary Stein, Ph.D., Perelman professor and chair of biochemistry, have been selected as University Scholars for the 2020-21 academic year.

Gary Stein, Ph.D., left, and Gregory Holmes, M.D.

The University of Vermont Graduate College has announced four new University Scholars for the 2020-21 academic year. Larner College of Medicine faculty members Gregory Holmes, M.D., professor and chair of neurological sciences, and Gary Stein, Ph.D., Perelman professor and chair of biochemistry, have been selected to join the 40th class of scholars in the history of the program.

Other honorees include Joseph Acquisto, Ph.D., professor of French and chair of the Department of Romance Languages, and Asim Zia, Ph.D., professor of public policy and computer science in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics and Department of Computer Science, director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security, and co-director of the Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation Lab.

The University Scholars program recognizes distinguished UVM faculty members for sustained excellence in research, creative and scholarly activities. The Scholars are selected by a faculty panel based upon nominations submitted by UVM colleagues.

An internationally renowned pediatric neurologist with an expertise in pediatric epilepsy, Holmes is an investigator whose research has improved understanding of the pathophysiological basis of cognitive impairment and other co-morbidities in children with epilepsy. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed residencies in pediatrics at Yale and pediatric neurology at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining UVM as chair of neurological sciences in 2013, Holmes held several positions, including as the inaugural chair of neurology at Dartmouth Medical School, and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed research articles, books, book chapters and review articles and has enjoyed continuous funding for more than 40 years from federal agencies, primarily the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Holmes has served on the editorial boards of 12 epilepsy and neurology journals and has been on multiple NIH study sections and FDA advisory committees. He is the past president of the American Epilepsy Society and has received many honors, including research awards from the American Epilepsy Society, NIH, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, International League Against Epilepsy and the Child Neurology Society. From 2010-2012, he was a member of the National Academy of Science sponsored Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies culminating in the book Epilepsy Across the Spectrum.

Recognized worldwide for his development of paradigm-shifting concepts and strategies that opened the field of skeletal biology and pathology to molecular, cellular and epigenetic investigation, Stein joined the UVM faculty in 2012 as director of the UVM Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Biochemistry. He received his Ph.D. in biology from UVM and completed postdoctoral studies at Temple University. Prior to joining UVM, he held faculty appointments at the University of Florida College of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School. A champion of transdisciplinary team research, Stein has adhered to this approach in his own research group and been an advocate for collaboration in all of his leadership roles—as director of the UMass Cancer Center, director of the Massachusetts Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, chair of the UMass Medical School Department of Cell Biology, chair of biochemistry at UVM, and as director of the UVM Cancer Center. He continues to emphasize partnerships as principal investigator of the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network, and as co-director of the Vermont Cancer Coalition and has facilitated effective transdisciplinary collaborative research within institutions and research centers across geographic regions, and researchers around the globe. He has directed graduate, post-graduate and faculty development programs and serves on regional, national and international scientific advisory boards that establish science policy research priorities and incentivize clinical trials. Stein has received the most prestigious research awards from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Orthopedic Research Society and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) and has also been recognized by the ASBMR with the Gideon Rodan Award for mentorship, by Brown University with the Steroid-Hormone Research Award and by UVM Larner College of Medicine with the Outstanding Faculty Research Award  in 2018. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held the Haidak Distinguished Professorship at UMass Medical School in 1999, and currently holds the Arthur Perelman Professorship at the University of Vermont. The central theme of his research is control of proliferation and differentiation with emphasis on cancer-compromised genetic and epigenetic regulation. He has more than 950 publications and has edited more than 25 books that illustrate his significant research contributions and his standing in the scientific community.

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