LCOM & Department News

Virtual Online Foundations Celebration Honors Medical Class of 2023, Faculty, Staff

January 29, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur

Members of the Larner College of Medicine’s medical Class of 2023, leaders, medical educators, and staff gathered virtually January 28 to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize the faculty and staff who have supported them during an online Foundations Celebration event.

A collage of video screen images of Larner Medical Class of 2023 Student Council members (clockwise, from top left) Vinh Le, Lud Habtu, Cyrus Thomas-Walker, and Kyle Kellett.

Members of the Larner College of Medicine’s medical Class of 2023, leaders, and medical educators, and staff gathered virtually January 28 to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize the faculty and staff who have supported them during an online Foundations Celebration event.

A special Foundations Celebration event web site launched January 28 at 3:30 p.m. and featured videotaped remarks from Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., Interim Associate Dean of Students Lee Rosen, Ph.D., Foundations Director Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., and Level Director for the Core Clinical Clerkship Elise Everett, M.D. The event provided an opportunity for leaders to congratulate Class of 2023 medical students on their achievements and completion of the Foundations level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum and recognize the challenges they navigated while taking courses during an unprecedented pandemic.

Student Council representative Vinh Le delivered the Class of 2023 Foundations Ceremony speech, highlighting the students’ collective accomplishments over the past 18 months of their medical school careers.

“As we prepare to begin this next stage, let's take a moment to reflect on how far we've come: Over the past 18 months, we, as a class, have attended 100s of sessions, conquered 49 TBLs, taken 306 readiness quizzes, and completed 34 major exams . . . and served our community on local and national levels during this pandemic," said Le. “We have to remember that our calling is to care for one another as much as we would for our patients . . . Our strength as a community hinges on every member feeling cared for, valued, and understood."

Le and Class of 2023 Student Council representatives Lud Habtu, Alex Jenkins, Kyle Kellett, and Cyrus Thomas-Walker, presented the following awards from the Class of 2023:

  • AMWA Gender Equity Award: A. Evan Eyler, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine. This award honors a male or female faculty member who promotes a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians and gender diversity in the field.
  • The Dean Warshaw Integration Award: William Raszka, M.D., Course Director, Attacks & Defenses, and Professor of Pediatrics. This award recognizes the faculty member whose teaching best captured the spirit of the VIC.
  • The Silver Stethoscope Award: Nicholas D’Alberto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. This award recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education.
  • Above and Beyond Award: Nicholas D’Alberto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. This award recognizes the faculty member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help the students in their learning objectives.
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Sean Meagher, Class of 2021. This award recognizes the teaching assistant who was the most helpful in teaching and facilitating within a Foundations course.
  • Best Support Staff (Non-teaching) Award: Julie Chiappinelli, Curriculum Coordinator, Foundations. This award recognizes the staff member who best supported students in areas besides teaching.
  • Standardized Patient Award: Nicole D'Elisa. Standardized Patients play an integral role in the education of Larner College of Medicine medical students. They foster an environment in which students can practice interviewing and examinations skills and receive honest feedback. The ability of a physician to develop rapport with a patient, perform a focused examination, and gather an accurate history are vital skills that Larner College of Medicine students are fortunate to practice early and often. The Standardized Patients share their experience, knowledge, and time with students during both Foundations and Clerkship years.
  • Foundations Course Director Award: Andrew Hale, M.D., Course Director, Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Systems, and Assistant Professor of Medicine. This award recognizes the foundations course director who showed the highest degree of dedication to the successful design and implementation of their course curriculum.
  • Foundations Teaching Award: Ronald Bryant, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. This award is presented to the faculty member who provided the most outstanding teaching activities within the Foundations curriculum.
  • Curriculum Innovation Award: Jesse Moore, M.D., Director of Active Learning and Associate Professor of Surgery. This award is present to a faculty member in recognition of contributions to new curriculum development.

Students and faculty members presented the following awards to members of the Class of 2023:

  • B. Albert Ring, MD, Memorial Grant Award for best exemplifying compassion, humor, humility, and devotion to family and friends, and intellectual curiosity – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Class of 2023 students Isaac Adams, Sydney Chatfield, Kisha Kalra, and Sean Muniz.
  • CVRI Summer Research Fellowship Merit Award – presented by Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont (CVRI) Director and Professor of Medicine David Schneider, M.D., to Samuel Short ’23 (mentor: Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc.).
  • Durwood Smith Award for Excellence in Pharmacology – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Joel Feier ‘23
  • Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology – presented by Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., associate professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine to Jennifer Risi ’23
  • Exemplary Clinical Exam Skills Award – presented by Shirley McAdam, Standardized Patient educator, to Class of 2023 students Anna Corbalan, Aggie Forstein, Catrina Hood, Stellar Levy, and Alexy Novelli.
  • Helen and Phyllis Wasserman Phorplus Prize for excellence in the Basic Sciences – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Class of 2023 students Delaney Sztraicher, Joel Feier, and Sydney Chatfield.
  • Summer Research Fellowship Merit Awards – presented by Renee Stapleton, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical student research and professor of medicine, to Class of 2023 students Dana Allison (mentor: Marilyn Cipolla, Ph.D.), Valerie Braddick (mentor: Bader Chaarani, Ph.D.), and Emma Dunne (mentors: Stas Amato, M.D., and Gary An, M.D.).
  • Wellness Award: presented by Class of 2023 Wellness Committee members Jesse Naumann and Aggie Forstein to classmate Vinh Le ’23.

 

Past Department Highlights

vandervliet-habibovic420x280A new study by Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and a team of University of Vermont (UVM) researchers is honing in on why people with asthma often have worse symptoms if they are obese. This new research demonstrates that the gene DUOX1 likely contributes to the connection between obesity and asthma.  The research was published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was highlighted as an APSselect article for March 2023. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., was the senior author on the paper, along with department of pathology and laboratory medicine coauthors Aida Habibovic, lab research technician;Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., visiting scholar; Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., associate professor; University Distinguished Professor Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.; and additional team members and authors from UVM. Read the full LCOM News story LCOM News (4/2023)

Congratulations to Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, for having your proposal, Consequential Validity of Entrustable Professional Activities in Pathology Residency Training selected to receive a Frymoyer Scholars Program project of $48,000 to be funded July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Martin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., on accepting the new role as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Joanna Conant, M.D., on becoming the new Pathology Student Fellowship Director starting July 1, 2023. (4/2023)

Congratulations to The Cunniff Lab, on receiving funding to support research focused on malignant mesothelioma. The funding was from The Butler Family Foundation Fund for Cancer Research at the University of Vermont Cancer Center. The Butler Fund was established by the Butler family in memory of two loved ones lost to mesothelioma. (03/2023)

Congratulations to the following recipients that received pathology research support funding. Nathaniel Shannon in Brian Cunniff's, Ph.D., lab was awarded $1800 towards the cost of travel to the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM). Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., and faculty mentor Albert van der Vliet, PhD., were awarded $2622 for her project "Characterization of Laminin Oxidative Modifications by Peroxidasin in Pulmonary Fibrosis"Nels Olson, PhD., MPH., $14,582 for the purchase of an Agilent BioTek 405 TS Touch Microplate Washer, Model 405 TSRS. Ashley Volaric M.D.Joanna Conant M.D., and David Seward, M.D, Ph.D., were awarded $13,680 for their project, "The Effect of Epstein Barr Virus Latency on Cellular DNA Methylation Profile of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma". (3/2023)

A number of faculty and students from the pathology and laboratory medicine department presented research at the American Heart Associations Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health (EPI/Lifestyle) Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston February 28 - March 3. Students presenting were Maggie King, a master in science pathology degree student who was mentored by faculty scientist J. Peter Durda, Ph.D. pathology and laboratory medicine. Maggie presented on "Complete Blood Count Analysis in the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) Cohort Study with a Point of Care Instrument." Her study is supported by NHLBI. And second-year medical student and 2022 Cardiovascular Research Institute Summer Research Fellow Megan Zhou, mentored by pathology and laboratory medicine associate professor Nels Olson, Ph.D. Megan presented on "Coagulation Factor IX and Incident Diabetes Risk: The Reasons for Geographic and Race Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study." Also, pathology and laboratory faculty members that were coauthors of presentations given, assistant professor Margaret Doyle, Ph.D., and University Distinguished Professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Russell Tracy, Ph.D. (3/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bei Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected for a Distinguished Scholar Award by the Association of Biochemistry Educators for her submission entitled "Activate Students' Learning Outside Classroom". Dr. Zhang will be presenting this submission at the 2023 Association of Biochemistry Education Conference. (3/2023)

Congratulations to our 2023 Gender Equity Award Nominees. Gender Equity Champion Award nominee, Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Our departmental nominees for The Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship- an award for informal or formal mentorship for women or gender diverse college community members, Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Pam Gibson, M.D., Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Christi Wojewoda, M.D. (2/2023)  

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., on being selected to receive the Association of Pathology Chairs 2023 Margaret Grimes Distinguished Achievement Award in Graduate Medical Education. This award was made in recognition of Dr. Anderson's outstanding contributions to graduate medical education and his stature as a nationally recognized leader in pathology education. (2/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Dr. Kelly Butnor, M.D., Dr. David "Bebo" Seward, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Sharon Mount, M.D., on their news story in The Charlotte News, on their "giant steps in cancer research." Read the full article here:  Humble Superstar (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Bundock, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Examiner of Vermont and clinical assistant professor of pathology, for her appointment by the American Board of Pathology, to the Test Development and Advisory Committee for Forensic Pathology 2023. (1/2023)

Dr. Beri Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, presented a panel, at the Snow Season Education Retreat, titled "The Pearls and Pitfalls of Publishing in Medical Education", with three clinicians Dr. Hale, Dr. Halle, and Dr. Rideout. (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine on her Awards for  Teaching and Educational Excellence, Learner Assessment, conferred at the Teaching Academy Induction and Award Ceremony on January 11, 2023. (1/2023)

Albert in JapanCongratulations to Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., pro-fessor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected as an Invited Fellow to Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, to participate in research in the laboratory of Takaaki Akaike, M.D., Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine and molecular toxicology. The invitational fellowship relates to a Tohoku University initiative that allows Tohoku faculty members to host invited researchers to promote collaborative research in the host lab for up to three months. The objective is to promote joint publications and expand international collaborations. Dr. van der Vliet's visit coincided with a medley of scientific meetings and symposia collectively termed  Redox Week In Sendai 2022 and held October 27-November 1, 2022. The events brought together leading scientists from around the world in the specific research fields of nitric oxide biology, polysulfur biochemistry, and biology. Van der Vliet was co-organizer and speaker at one of the symposiums, and Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., both professors of pathology and laboratory medicine, also participated as invited speakers. Additional Japanese federal funding supports the exchange of invited researchers, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars to collaborate on research. Read more about the redox research collaboration  between UVM and Tohoku University. (01/2023) 

Congratulations to Dr. Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and director of the Center for Biomedical Shared Resources, at the UVM Cancer Center's recent annual scientific retreat he and Dr. Alan Howe, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, were chosen from a group of five cross-disciplinary teams that competed for $25,000 in seed funding. They were chosen by a vote of the membership. Each team had 30 minutes to develop an idea with an actionable research plan that aligned with one of several proposed Cancer Center initiatives to address research relevant to the populations of Vermont and northern New York. The funds were awarded for the "Spatialomics and Precision Medicine Pipeline" project. This will be co-led by Dr. Taatjes, Ph.D., and Dr. Howe, Ph.D. (12/2022)

DebraDr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., was the invited speaker for the Women in Cytometry reception at the 2022 International Clinical Cytometry Society Annual Meeting in Montreal on October 23. Dr. Leonard presented a talk titled "Leading from Within". Dr. Nicholas Haslett presented a poster at this same meeting. (10/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., on her Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association. Read the full article here: VermontBiz (10/2022)

Larner Medicine profiles Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and her research. Read the full profile here: Probing Oxygen's Mysteries (10/2022)

Research News see the news on UVM vaccine trials on eradicating polio and lead investigator Dr. Jessica Crothers, M.D., Read the full article here:  Research News (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Laura Greene, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and assistant dean for admissions, who recently accepted an appointment as program director of the Pathology Residency Program, effective July 1, 2023. Thank you to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, who as served as the program director since 2009. (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Jason Brazelton, M.D., for being named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society. "Dr. Brazelton's thoughtful and collabrative approach has improved care in our community and Porter's Medical staff has been incredibly fortunate to work with him." (09/2022)

Litele Cezar de Cruz, Ph.D., a visiting scholar from Brazil in the lab of Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., and Nathaniel Shannon, a graduate student in the CMB program, in the lab of Dr. Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., based on their abstracts, have both received a Travel Award from SfRBM to attend the SfRBM Annual Meeting in Orlando later this year. https://sfrbm.org/meetings/2022-annual-conference/. In addition, Nate's abstract was selected to be presented as a talk at the conference. Chris Dustin, a former RBP Ph.D. student, and now a post-doc candidate at University of Pittsburg will also give an oral presentation at the conference. RBP is again well represented at this major conference in our field.

Research Day 2022, the fifth pathology research day was an incredible success. Thank you to the organizers Vice Chair for Research Dr. Mark Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., post doctoral associate, Nate Shannon, CMB graduate student, and Dr. Rosemary Mattaino, M.D. Thank you as well to the presenters, and moderators for an engaging experience. Four sessions were held spanning the topics of: emerging technologies, and advances in knowledge using new technologies, a panel discussion on having a well-balanced academic career, and presentations from trainees, and internal award recipients. A well attended reception was help in the Hoehl Gallery after the event. (09/2022)

Research Day organizers - 2

(Dr. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., Nate Shannon, Dr. Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.,)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, has received a two-year, $200,000 Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association (ALA). The grant will support her research project, titled "Glutaredoxin, Glutathione Metabolism and Lung Cancer." According to the ALA, "The Lung Cancer Discovery Award is for highly meritorious research projects with the potential to significantly improve and transform diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms; foster innovation, use novel approaches; and/or accelerate progress in lung cancer research that improves patient care and helps save lives." (08/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Christina Wojewoda on her acceptance, as a Master Teacher, into the Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy. (8/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Kaloff on receiving The University of Vermont Medical Center Leadership Award for the second quarter of 2022. (7/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Wilcox on being 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. Read more (06/2022)

Dr. Elizabeth Corteselli, a post-doctoral fellow in our department and trainee on the VLC T32 training program, is the recipient of a prestigious Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award. She will be recognized during a reception at the ATS conference in San Francisco this coming week. Congratulations Elizabeth! (05/2022)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine has been recognized by the Provost and Senior Vice-President for the university of Vermont Distinguished Professor recognition. This recognition is reserved for the most prominent faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing knowledge in their disciplines. This is a significant honor for Dr. Janssen-Heininger. This accolade will be awarded during the spring 2022 UVM Commencement ceremony. Congratulations!! (05/2022)

Dr. Mount and Dr. Threlkeld won a Stout award at USCAP, a Stout award recognizes and awards an individual for the best English language peer-reviewed paper published, which resolves scientific medical problems by studying the anatomic features. Congrats to both! Read paper here: Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021 May 1 (04/2022)

Congratulations! Jo Conant, M.D. has received the ‘Gender Equity in Medicine and Science Rising Star’ award. This award recognizes a woman or gender minority* faculty or staff member at the Larner College of Medicine who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. The awardee also shows the promise for future contributions and leadership in their field as well as in achieving goals for the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (02/2022)