• Larner Grants Lead in Record-Setting Year for UVM Research Funding
    August 7, 2020 by Jeff Wakefield
    The University of Vermont received $181.7 million in research funding during the 2020 fiscal year - the largest in UVM history by a wide margin. The Larner College of Medicine had the largest number of grants.
  • Kirkpatrick Featured in Elemental Article on COVID-19 Vaccine
    July 29, 2020 by Jennifer Nachbur
    (JULY 29, 2020) Comments from Chair and Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., were featured in a July 29 article, titled "One Man's Quest to Infect People With Covid-19 for Science," in Elemental, a new Medium publication for science-backed health and wellness coverage.
  • Lee and Raszka's Commentary on Kids & COVID-19 Transmission Garners Broad Media Coverage
    July 20, 2020 by Jennifer Nachbur
    (JULY 10-20, 2020) Significant national and international media coverage was generated in response to the publication of a Pediatrics Commentary, titled “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” authored by Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Benjamin Lee, M.D., and Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases William Raszka, M.D.
  • Kids Rarely Transmit COVID-19, Say Pediatric Infectious Disease Experts Lee and Raszka
    July 13, 2020 by Jeff Wakefield
    A commentary published in the journal Pediatrics by Benjamin Lee, M.D. and William V. Raszka, Jr., M.D., concludes that children infrequently transmit COVID-19 to each other or to adults and that many schools, provided they follow appropriate social distancing guidelines and take into account rates of transmission in their community, can and should reopen in the fall.
  • Kirkpatrick Quoted in Two ABC News Stories on COVID-19 Vaccine & Antibodies
    June 24, 2020 by Jennifer Nachbur
    (JUNE 19 & 24, 2020) Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., chair of microbiology and molecular genetics and director of the Vaccine Testing Center, was quoted in two ABCNews.com stories - one on a potential COVID-19 vaccine and the other on the durability of COVID-19 antibodies.
  • TGIR Hosts Virus "Slam" on 2019-nCoV
    February 13, 2020 by Joshua Brown
    University of Vermont scientists, physicians, and students gathered at the Larner College of Medicine February 6 for the first-ever on-campus “virus slam” hosted by the Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center. At the event, some twenty experts, from five UVM colleges and institutes, gave five-minute mini-talks that ranged from explaining the biochemistry of the virus’ interaction with the human immune system to interpreting the latest data from the World Health Organization.
  • Research Excellence and Scholarship Highlighted at Annual Celebration Events
    October 30, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur
    The Larner College of Medicine's fourth annual "Celebrating Excellence in Research" series featured two days of presentations and recognition designed to highlight research performed by junior faculty, senior faculty, postdoctoral trainees, and graduate students at the College.
  • Innovative Research Model Sheds Light on Immune Response in Dengue Infection
    March 28, 2019 by Sean Diehl, Ph.D., and Jennifer Nachbur
    Investigators in UVM's Vaccine Testing Center and Center for Translational Global Infectious Disease Research (TGIR) have uncovered details of the human immune response to infection with dengue - a close "cousin" of the Zika virus - which 40 percent of the global population is at risk for contracting. Their study findings were reported recently in the Lancet’s open-access journal EBioMedicine.
  • $12.3 Million NIH Grant Establishes Translational Global Infectious Disease Research Center
    October 11, 2018 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Leaders at the University of Vermont and Larner College of Medicine announced $12.3 million in funding for a new Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) called the “Translational Global Infectious Disease Research Center” (TGIR) that will join together two traditionally distinct groups of scientists to develop innovative approaches to prevent and control infectious disease.
  • Vaccine Testing Center a Site for New NIH Live, Attenuated Zika Vaccine Trial
    August 16, 2018 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Md., and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
  • 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.
  • Diehl and Scarpino Receive Inugural UVM Biomedical Engineering Pilot Research Grant
    June 8, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Researchers Sean Diehl, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and a Vaccine Testing Center immunologist, and Sam Scarpino, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, have been awarded the inaugural University of Vermont Biomedical Engineering Program Pilot Research Program grant for their project, “Integrating omics and clinical data to study dengue infection.”
  • Lyon Leads Trial to Test Vaccine Aimed to Protect Military Troops
    May 16, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Acute respiratory disease (ARD) due to infection with adenovirus is a major cause of morbidity at military training centers. In addition to ARD, adenovirus infection can cause sore throat, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, and urinary infections.
  • Diehl and Pierce Discuss Dengue Vaccine & Zika at Community Medical School 11/1
    October 27, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur
    According to an October 11 "Viewpoint" article in theJournal of the American Medical Association, "nearly 1700 cases of travel-associated Zika infection, including 479 in pregnant women, had been reported in the continental United States" as of August 4, 2016.
  • UVM Clinical Trials Lead to First FDA Approved Cholera Vaccine in U.S.
    July 22, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Cholera outbreaks continue to plague areas like South Sudan, Eastern Uganda, and Kerala, India, but there’s hope for addressing this infectious disease: Last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the only vaccine for use in the U.S. to protect against cholera infection. The University of Vermont’s Vaccine Testing Center was one of three national sites to test the vaccine – called Vaxchora – for effectiveness.
  • Kirkpatrick and Colleagues’ Study Reveals Effective, Single-Dose Dengue Vaccine
    July 22, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Researchers at the University of Vermont (UVM) Vaccine Testing Center, along with collaborators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, have been working since 2008 to develop a dengue vaccine that will protect against all four dengue strains.
  • Vaccine Testing Center Receives Funding to Advance New Treatments for Parasitic Infection
    July 22, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur
    Limited treatment options and no vaccines exist to treat or prevent a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children in the developing world: Cryptosporidium, a single-celled intestinal parasite found in soil, food and water that also causes significant illness and death in immunocompromised individuals.
  • UVM Vaccine Testing Center to Play Role in Zika Virus Vaccine; Experts Answer Questions
    July 21, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur
    The University of Vermont Vaccine Testing Center has announced that it will be involved in the clinical trials and research on a vaccine for Zika virus, which was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on February 1, 2016.
  • Lee Earns Hood Foundation Grant for Rotavirus Vaccine Research in Bangladesh
    July 12, 2016 by Carolyn Shapiro
    University of Vermont researcher Benjamin Lee, M.D., is studying whether a higher dose will help make the rotavirus vaccine more effective in developing countries, where the disease causes more than 200,000 children’s deaths each year due to related dehydration.
  • UVM Vaccine Testing Center Featured in Multiple Media Outlets for Role in Zika Virus Vaccine
    February 4, 2016 by Brittany Willette
    A recent announcement that the UVM Vaccine Testing Center will be involved in the clinical trials and research on a vaccine for Zika virus, which was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on February 1, 2016, attracted wide local and regional media coverage. Read more from ABC 22/Fox 44 NewsWCAX-TV CBS 3,WPTZ-TV NBC 5Vermont Business Magazine, St. Albans MessengerTimes-ArgusWCAX-TV CBS 3 HealthWatchU.S. News HubVT DiggerKillington Mountain Times, Burlington Sun TimesVermont NEAVermont Public Radio Here and NowRome SentinelRutland HeraldThe Waltonian, Press Telegraph (no longer available), University Echo

VTC Helps with COVID-19 Testing

As the state worked to ramp up COVID-19 testing, the Vaccine Testing Center was able to address a shortage of viral transport media that is critical that effort. See the article about our work with colleagues throughout the state to increase testing capacity.

Special thanks to Marya Carmolli, Cassandra Ventrone, Forida Nazib, and Josephine Lenski for their awesome work!

VTC's Sean Diehl, PhD Offers Insights on Vaccines and COVID-19 

Recently the VTC's Sean Diehl, PhD discussed his work at UVM, vaccine development, and the current COVID-19 pandemic with a reporter from Vermont's Seven DaysVisit this link to read the full article.

VTC's Benjamin Lee, M.D. Receives Rising Star New Investigator award from the Larner College of Medicine

Congratulations to Benjamin Lee, MD on receiving this year's Rising Star New Investigator award from the Larner College of Medicine, one of the Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards presented to faculty. Dr. Lee is pictured above with Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics Lewis First MD, MS, VTC Director Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, and Dean Richard L. Page, MD.  Read more about the fourth annual "Celebrating Excellence in Research" series of events that took place on on October 28 and 29th 2019.

Vaccine Testing Center, Johns Hopkins & NIH Celebrate 10-Year Collaboration

A shared mission to reduce the global health threat of dengue viruses and other cousins of the Zika virus family is what brought together researchers from the UVM Vaccine Testing Center, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in late 2008. On June 29, members of the three collaborating institutions gathered for a celebratory ten-year anniversary dinner at Vermont's Inn at Shelburne Farms.

The consortium is led by UVM Vaccine Testing Center Director and Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.Stephen Whitehead, Ph.D., senior scientist and virologist at the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the NIAID, and Anna Durbin, M.D., professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition to this ongoing collaboration, the UVM team has garnered additional funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to examine ways to prevent and gain a better understanding of dengue virus infections.

Innovative Research Model Sheds Light on Immune Response in Dengue Infection

Investigators Sean Diehl, Ph.D.Huy Tu, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Sciences program, and colleagues in the University of Vermont's Vaccine Testing Center and Center for Translational Global Infectious Disease Research (TGIR) have uncovered details of the human immune response to infection with dengue - a close "cousin" of the Zika virus - which 40 percent of the global population is at risk for contracting. Study findings, reported recently in the Lancet’s open-access journal EBioMedicine, illustrate new critical information that could provide much-needed help to evaluating dengue vaccine formulations and assist with advancing safe and efficacious candidate vaccines to help combat the most important mosquito-borne viral infection in our time.

Learn more about the study or read the full paper.

TGIR: $12.3 million Award Announced

The Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine are pleased to announce the receipt of a $12.3 million award for a new Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) called the “Translational Global Infectious Disease Research Center” (TGIR). The TGIR will join together two traditionally distinct groups of scientists to develop innovative approaches to prevent and control infectious disease. The TGIR will be housed within MMG and will be led by MMG Chair and VTC Director Beth Kirkpatrick, MD along with Chris Huston, MD and Jason Bates, PhD.

News coverage: WAMC Radio interviewWCAX and  Fox44 MyChamplainValley coverage. Learn more or go to the TGIR website.

Podcast feature: How we improve global health

MMG/Vaccine Testing Center Faculty Scientist Ross Colgate, PhD, MPH, recently met with UVMMC to talk about the global importance of the work we do and how it is changing lives for the better, especially for the world's children.  Listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

Podcast feature: Flu season - How the flu turns deadly (and how to protect yourself)

Benjamin Lee, MD, a researcher at the Vaccine Testing Center at the University of Vermont and pediatric infectious diseases physician at the UVM Children's Hospital talks about what makes the flu deadly, why the flu vaccine is important, and how to stay healthy. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

Dr. Kristen DeStigter wins the Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, Citizen of the World Award

The Robert Larner, MD, College of Medicine recently presented the Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, Citizen of the World Award, which recognizes an outstanding leader and scholar who dedicates their work towards the advancement of humanitarian pursuits, to Kristen DeStigter, MD. Dr. DeStigter is a Tapas Green and Gold professor and chair of radiology. The award was created in honor of the founder and Director of the Vaccine Testing Center Beth Kirkpatrick, MD. Congratulations Dr. DeStigter!

Dr. Carrie Lyon, VTC Researcher, on WCAX's "The :30" 

Dr. Caroline Lyon of the Vaccine Testing Center was recently interviewed on local news WCAX's show "The :30", where she shared information about the VTC's new adenovirus trial. Adenovirus causes respiratory illness which can be severe and is a particular problem for military recruits who are in close quarters and under the stress of intense training. Vaccine manufacturer PaxVax is modernizing the vaccine and the VTC is testing it for tolerability and safety.  See the interviewlearn more about the trial or volunteer  

Excellence in Research Awards

UVM's Larner College of Medicine held its annual Excellence in Research Day on November 13, 2017. Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, Director of the Vaccine Testing Center, was awarded Senior Researcher of the Year while Christopher Huston, MD, Faculty Researcher with the VTC, received the Mid-Career Investigator Award. Congratulations Dr. Kirkpatrick and Dr. Huston!

2017 Symposium on Rotavirus Human Immunology Held

On May 15-16, 2017, the University of Vermont’s Vaccine Testing Center hosted fifteen of the world’s leading Rotavirus researchers at their Symposium on Rotavirus Human Immunology: Advancing Science, Decreasing Disease. These scientists joined investigators from the Vaccine Testing Center to tackle major outstanding scientific issues needed for the control of disease burden from Rotavirus diarrhea, the leading cause of child death due to severe diarrhea. Scientists representing The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the non-governmental organization PATH, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in attendance. In addition, eleven U.S. and international academic institutions were represented, including those from Columbia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Dr. Manuel Franco Cortes), India ( Christian Medical College, Dr. Gagandeep Kang), and Bangladesh (icddr,b; Dr. Rashidul Haque). Full article.

Dr. Kristen Pierce Receives UVM Early Achievement Award

Kristen Pierce, MD ’02, has been awarded the prestigious Early Achievement Award by the Larner College of Medicine’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations. This award is presented to an alumnus of UVM who has graduated within the past 15 years in recognition of their outstanding community or College service, scientific, or academic achievement. Dr. Pierce, an Associate Professor who specializes in Infectious Diseases, is a Principal Investigator at the Vaccine Testing Center where she has led trials and research on dengue, zika and other globally infectious diseases. We’d like to congratulate Dr. Pierce on this achievement!

Partners in Dhaka Fight Diarrheal Diseases...and Win!

The Vaccine Testing Center has collaborated with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease and Research (icddr, b) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, since 2002.  This partnership has yielded valuable information and deep relationships between the two centers. Our colleagues were recently featured in a New York Times article entitled Turning the Tide Against Cholera, which highlights the low-tech, highly effective treatment for diarrhea that was developed by icddr, b and which the World Health Organization estimates has saved 50 million lives worldwide in the past four decades.

Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, Director of the Vaccine Testing Center Inducted into ASCI

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and Director of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center, was recently inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), one of the oldest and most well-respected medical honor societies in the nation. Made up of more than 3,000 physician-scientists, ASCI elects members "for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research." The council elects just 80 new members every year out of the hundreds of nominations received.

E. Ross Colgate Featured on UVM's "Meet a Scientist" Series

Vaccine Testing Center Researcher and Analyst E. Ross Colgate, MPH, was recently featured as part of UVM Graduate Education's "Meet a Scientist" series, as well as the Larner College of Medicine's LarnerMed Instagram page. Colgate's research into rotavirus vaccine underperformance in Bangladesh is an important step toward understanding why a vaccine that has proven effective in the U.S. is far less effective at disease prevention in certain other populations. View Ross' Instagram post and learn more by reading the Meet a Scientist article.

VTC Faculty Member Kelly Cowan, MD, Receives Grant to Study Environmental Influences on Child Health

Vaccine Testing Center faculty member Kelly Cowan, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont, received a $1.84 million four-year grant as part of the National Institutes of Health’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). The ECHO program aims to discover how early childhood exposure to certain environmental factors might influence the health of children and adolescents. The Vermont program is called IMproving Pediatric Access to Clinical Trials in Vermont – or IMPACT VT.

Article features VTC Researcher/Analyst

Mary Claire Walsh, P.A., Study Clinician, Researcher, and Analyst at the VTC, was recently featured in The Exeter Bulletin's Nex-Gen Medicine article "Meet Five Alumni Whose Science is Saving Lives". The piece features Philips Exeter Academy alumni who are among the current pioneers on the medical frontier and whose passion for their work and commitment to patients goes above and beyond. Read the article..

Vaxchora: Groundbreaking Cholera Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Vaxchora, the first adult cholera vaccine available in the United States. Testing for the vaccine was conducted by researchers at the UVM Vaccine Testing Center with the help of local volunteers. Read the FDA Press Release.

VTC Helps Develop First Effective Single Dose Dengue Vaccine

UVM Vaccine Testing Center recently had an article published in Science Translational Medicine on the results of a groundbreaking clinical trial conducted by the VTC, the National Institutes for Health, and John Hopkins University that revealed an effective, single-dose dengue vaccine. See the story in Science Translational Journal.  

Rotavirus Interview on VPR

Researcher/Analyst Ross Colgate of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center was recently interviewed on VPR Vermont Edition regarding the VTC's recent Rotavirus immunology award. Listen to the full interview here.

Publications and Awards

VTC Researchers and colleagues publish major article: "Rotavirus-Specific Immunoglobulin A Responses Are Impaired and Serve as a Suboptimal Correlate of Protection Among Infants in Bangladesh" was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Drs. Kirkpatrick and Pierce publish new Dengue research..

Dr. Kirkpatrick, et al. publish new Rotavirus and Oral Polio Vaccine research..