University of Vermont

Graduate Alumni Awardee Aiken Delivers Lecture at Graduate Student Research Day

James Aiken, Ph.D.’70
Graduate Alumni Award winner James Aiken, Ph.D.’70

The University of Vermont College of Medicine held the 2012 Graduate Student Research Day on September 20. The day’s events, which will took place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., included graduate student poster and oral sessions, the Medical Alumni Association’s presentation of a 2012 Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award to James Aiken, Ph.D.’70, and a lecture by Aiken.

The Graduate Student Research Day poster session will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Hoehl Gallery on the first floor of the Health Science Research Facility (HSRF) and the oral presentations will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in HSRF 400. The event will culminate with a reception and awards presentation in the Hoehl Gallery from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award is presented to alumni from the College of Medicine’s Ph.D. or M.S. programs who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the College of Medicine community.

Aiken discussed “The Value of Scientific Conferences” at 12:30 p.m. in the College of Medicine’s Health Science Research Facility Room 400 during the Research Day event. Aiken, who received his Ph.D. in pharmacology at UVM in 1970, is president and chief executive officer of Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, a 40-year-old, educational nonprofit organization that annually conducts 50 to 60 biomedical conferences attended by about 14,000 scientists. Prior to his work with Keystone Symposia, he had a 32-year-long distinguished career as a research scientist and research executive in the pharmaceutical industry. Aiken served as senior director of therapeutic area strategy for Pharmacia Corporation in Peapack, N.J., until the company was acquired by Pfizer in 2003. Prior to that position, he served as director of biology for the Swedish branches of Pharmacia & Upjohn, director of metabolic diseases research for the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Mich., and held various additional research positions at Upjohn in the areas of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and diabetes. He also conducted research in the field of smooth muscle function, as it relates to vascular biology and hypertension, as well as uterine physiology and parturition, at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Ind. The recipient of numerous honors, Aiken has served on committees influencing research direction, was a long-term member of the Pharmacology Advisory Committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhARMA) Foundation; a former member of the board of directors and on various committees of the Michigan Affiliate of the American Heart Association; a member of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research Boards for Cardiovascular Diseases and Biopolymers and Biocompatible Materials. In addition, Aiken was an adjunct professor of pharmacology at Michigan State University and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. In 1998, he received a Graduate College Alumni Scholar Award from the University of Vermont. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Global Food Protection Institute. Aiken received his undergraduate degree in biology from Dartmouth College.

A second 2012 Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award will be presented to David C. Lyden, M.D., Ph.D.’86, who will visit the UVM College of Medicine campus on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

For more information, contact the Medical Alumni Association at