Cushman and Nelson Receive COBRE Award for Vermont Center for Cardiovascular and Brain Health

August 13, 2020 by Tammy Higgins

The University of Vermont is now home to a new Center of Biomedical Research Excellence–the Vermont Center for Cardiovascular and Brain Health–thanks to funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Co-led by Professor of Medicine Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., and Chair and Professor of Pharmacology Mark Nelson, Ph.D., the center will bring together junior and senior researchers to conduct team science across disciplines to determine causes and suggest optimal treatments for cardiovascular disease, the leading causes of death and dementia in the U.S. The award is expected to bring nearly $12 million to UVM over five years, with $2.6 million in funding the first year. “The Center is providing a platform to build sustainable research programs built on the exceptional potential of early career faculty, and addressing vital health problems facing society, in cardiovascular disease, stroke and cognitive impairment,” said Dr. Cushman. In addition to Cushman and Nelson, key faculty involved in the project include Neil Zakai, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of medicine, and Peter Durda, Ph.D., faculty scientist in pathology and laboratory medicine, who will direct the Study Design and Molecular Epidemiology Core. Todd Clason, M.S., researcher/analyst in pathology and laboratory medicine, who will direct the Customized Physiology and Imaging Core. Three junior faculty members from the Larner College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Science will direct projects in the center: • Katharine Cheung, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine: “Trajectories and Vascular Mechanisms of Cognitive Impairment in Chronic Kidney Disease;” • Masayo Koide, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology: “Crippled Cerebral Blood Flow Regulation in Chronic Hypertension;” and • Denise Peters, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., assistant professor of rehabilitation and movement science: “Neuromechanisms Associated with Response to Gait Training in Chronic Stroke.” “We are quite proud that the center is launching with research support for three early career women faculty members across two colleges of UVM,” said Dr. Nelson.