News & Events
Phil Ades, MD, VCBH Associate Director and Professor of Medicine, Lectures at the Mayo Clinic
Phil Ades, MD, Associate Director of the COBRE Grant at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health and Professor of Medicine, gave two notable lectures at the Mayo Clinic on January 22, 2014. The first was a Medical Grand Rounds lecture on the topic of "The Future of Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Programs". His second talk delivered to the Mayo Cardiovascular Society was part of the Gau Lectureship on Preventive Cardiology and addressed "Obesity and Weight Loss in Coronary Patients".
JAMA Psychiatry Study Evaluates Outpatient Detoxification in Prescription Opioid Abusers
A recently-published study by VCBH faculty shows that patients addicted to prescription painkillers may respond favorably to a carefully-crafted, four-week buprenorphine taper plus naltrexone maintenance treatment. These clinical trial results were reported by Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D. and colleagues and published in the October 23, 2013 Online First edition of the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Abuse of prescription opioid drugs, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone, are a serious public health problem. Since 1990, drug overdose death rates have more than tripled in the U.S., with nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses caused by prescription painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sigmon and colleagues conducted a 12-week randomized clinical trial in an outpatient research clinic with 70 prescription opioid-dependent patients to compare the efficacy of varying durations of outpatient detoxification. After a two-week period of stabilization on buprenorphine, an opioid agonist medication, patients were randomized to gradually reduce the dose of the buprenorphine over one, two or four weeks followed by treatment with naltrexone, a drug that blocks opioid receptors and prevents a return to opioid dependence. Patients in all groups also received individual behavioral therapy, HIV and hepatitis education, and urinalysis monitoring.
The study findings indicate that opioid abstinence was greater in patients receiving the four-week taper compared with the two- and one-week taper conditions. These results suggest that a meaningful subset of prescription opioid abusers may respond favorably to outpatient treatment with buprenorphine detoxification in combination with naltrexone and behavioral therapy, say Sigmon and her colleagues.
VCBH receives $34.7 million in Funding for Behavioral Health Research
September 20, 2013 - Professor of Psychiatry Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., and colleagues received an unprecedented $34.7 million in funding for behavior and health-related research that will be housed in the VCBH at the University of Vermont. On Monday, the College announced the receipt of an $11.5 million NIH Institutional Development Award COBRE grant. On Thursday, the FDA and NIH announced that UVM is one of 14 institutions to receive a TCORS award, bringing an additional $19.5 million to the University. In addition, Dr. Higgins received notice of a $3.7 million NIH award to study smoking cessation incentives in disadvantaged pregnant women.
UVM's VCBH Awarded $19.5M to Study Tobacco
September 19, 2013 - The VCBH received $19.5 million in funding from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today as part of an on-going interagency partnership. UVM officials announced today the school is one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS), which are receiving a total of up to $53 million for tobacco-related research in fiscal 2013. The TCORS are designed to generate research to inform the regulation of tobacco products and protect public health.
Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry will direct the center with John R. Hughes, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry serving as associate director, assisted by internationally recognized collaborators and consultants from Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Minnesota, and University of Pittsburgh. The Vermont TCOR will focus on researching tobacco products in vulnerable populations, including economically disadvantaged women of childbearing age/pregnant women, individuals with other substance use disorders, and individuals with serious mental illness, all of whom are at increased risk for smoking and its adverse health effects. Yet despite these serious vulnerabilities, these populations are typically excluded from tobacco regulatory studies. For the FDA to effectively execute its tobacco regulatory responsibilities, it must have sound scientific evidence on how existing and new tobacco products impact vulnerable populations. Providing that information will be the mission of the Vermont TCOR.
New COBRE grant funded!
Stephen Higgins, Ph.D. of Psychiatry and Philip Ades, M.D. of Cardiology are pleased to announce the awarding of a $11.5 million COBRE research grant from the National Institutes of Health to support development of the VCBH. This center studies the relationships between personal behaviors and risk for chronic disease and premature death.
This grant will support research projects led by five outstanding UVM junior faculty that include studies of weight control in breast cancer patients and overweight pregnant women; an intervention to increase cardiac rehabilitation participation in Medicaid patients; a study of heart disease risk in women with breast cancer and a study of the origins of obesity and heart disease risk in childhood psychiatric syndromes.
Directors of individual projects include Drs. Gaalema and Althoff of Psychiatry, Drs. Dittus and Lakoski of Medical Oncology and Dr. Phillips of Obstetrics. These investigators will receive mentoring by outstanding UVM scholars including Drs. Harvey-Berino of Nutrition, Hudziak of Psychatry, and Bernstein of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.
Dr. Sigmon of Psychiatry will oversee a behavioral economics research core to support these investigators and others on the UVM campus and she and Dr. Higgins will co-direct a collaboration and dissemination core that focused on tackling health-related behavior problems with regional, state, national, and international colleagues.
A highly accomplished team of UVM internal and external scientists (i.e., Brown University, University of Kentucky, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at San Francisco, University of New York at Buffalo, Virginia Tech University) will also contribute to this vibrant center of research excellence.
In summary, the VCBH integrates an interdisciplinary group of accomplished senior scientists, promising junior investigators, and distinguished advisors and collaborators to establish a center of excellence in an area of clinical research that is vitally important to U.S. public health.
Postdoctoral Fellow Position Available
The University of Vermont's Center on Behavior and Health announces the availability of NIH postdoctoral research fellowships in tobacco regulatory science and other addiction research.
Appointment: 2-3 yrs.
Eligibility: Applicants must have completed doctoral training in psychology, behavior analysis, or a related discipline and be U.S.
citizens or permanent residents. Trainees are selected on the basis of scholastic record and commitment to a career in substance abuse research.
Salary: Competitive commensurate with experience (PGY 1-7) and supported by NIH Institutional Training Awards. Read more>>
To apply: Forward curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and 3 letters of reference to:
Last modified February 04 2014 09:34 PM