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News & Notes from the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine

Winter 2013

Resident's Dinner

Above: From left to right, back row: Department Faculty, Mark Capeless, MD, Friederike Keating, MD, Joseph Winget, MD, Edward Terrien, MD, Robert Lobel, MD, Markus Meyer, MD. Front row: Prospero Gogo, Jr., MD, and David Schneider, MD.

Calendar of Events, In the News, and Contact Information


Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign has been embraced by more than 25 medical groups and 13 consumer-oriented organizations - including the Department of Medicine at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Read more >>

SPARK is Launched!

The Department of Medicine is implementing the SPARKVT Initiative using Stanford University's SPARK Program success as a reference to help foster highly innovative research to move promising diagnostics, devices, and therapies from the bench to the bedside. Read more >>

Tisdale Speakers for 2013-2014

Mark Moss, MD, Professor and Critical Care Director, University of Colorado (Host: Dr. Gil Allen)

Erol Fikrig, MD, Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, Yale University (Host: Dr. Mercedes Rincon)

Donna Arnett, PhD.
, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); President of the American Heart Association (Host: Dr. Mary Cushman)

Keynote Speakers and Presentations

Left to right: Susan Lakoski, M.D., UVM assistant professor of medicine; Donna Arnett, PhD., M.S.P.H., president of the American Heart Association and chair of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health; Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., UVM professor of medicine; and Lynne Braun, PhD., C.N.P., professor of nursing at Rush University College of Nursing. (Photo provided courtesy of the American Heart Association.) Though American Heart Association (AHA) advocacy, education and research initiatives are making promising strides in the U.S., cardiovascular disease remains the world's largest killer. On December 1, 2012, University of Vermont cardiovascular physician-researchers Mary Cushman, MD, MSc, and Susan Lakoski, MD, MS, took a long-distance step toward helping address this international public health issue. Read more >>

Muriel Nathan, MD, PhD, presented a poster at the American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting, September 19-23, 2012, in Quebec City, titled "A post-menopausal woman with a new thyroid nodule and a history of metastatic bronchial carcinoid." Laura C. DePouli, Maria Burnett, Janusz K. Kikut, MD, and Muriel H. Nathan, MD, PhD, University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Anne Dixon, MD, was a Visiting Professor at Woolcock Institute, University of Sydney, October 2012. See video >>

See other Keynote Speakers and Presentations >>

House Staff News

Research Highlights

Ben Keveson, MD (PGY2) – Abstract recently accepted by the American Thoracic Society - Title: "Patient Handoffs in the Medical ICU: A Survey of US internal Medicine Training Programs."

Samreen Raza, MD (PGY2) – Abstract recently accepted by the American Thoracic Society – Title: "When biopsy prevails and therapy fails – a fascinating case of Rheumatoid Meningitis (necrotizing granulomatous meningitis) while on TNF blocking therapy."
First author: Samreen Raza, MD, Second author: Jasmol Jayaprakash Sardana, DO

Patrick Hohl, DO, MPH (PGY3) – Abstract recently accepted by the American Thoracic Society – Title: "Lyme Carditis in an Elderly Man with Native Conduction Disease: A Treatment Dilemma." Patrick Hohl, DO, MPH, Robert Lobel, MD. University of Vermont / FAHC Internal Medicine Residency Program, Burlington, Vermont

The New "4+1" Schedule Template

This academic year the residency instituted a new schedule that allows residents to completely separate inpatient and ambulatory responsibilities. This is partially in response to an ACGME mandate that residencies develop models and schedules for ambulatory training that accomplish that goal. Through this change we hope to enhance the educational and clinical experience in all settings. Read more >>

Recognition and Awards

College of Medicine Class of 2015 Foundation Awards:

  • Outstanding Foundations Course: Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Systems
  • Foundations Course Director Award:
    William Hopkins, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Course Director, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Systems
  • Above and Beyond Award:
    William Hopkins, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine. This award recognizes the faculty member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help the students in their learning objectives.

Renee Stapleton, MD, PhD, was awarded the University of Vermont Medical Group Junior Researcher of the Year for "exemplary performance in representing the Medical Group in the Advancement of medical research."

Jason H.T. Bates, PhD, has been invited to serve as a member of the Respiratory Integrative Biology and Translation Research (RIBT) Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, for the term beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2017. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

Bonita Libman, MD, was recently granted a $25,000 Rheumatology Research Foundation Award for 2013 from the American College of Rheumatology. This is the fourth consecutive year Dr. Libman has received this award.

Naomi Fukagawa, MD, PhD – Her research proposal, titled "Community-Based Nutrition Intervention in Affordable Housing for Elders" was chosen by the Center On Aging review committee as the recipient of the 2013 Armin Grams Memorial Research Award.

More Recognitions and Awards >>

Publication Highlights

Dan Weiss, M.D., PhD. A new study, led by Daniel Weiss, MD, PhD, was the first-ever clinical trial examining the potential of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy to reduce chronic pulmonary and systemic inflammation in patients with moderate to severe COPD. The results were published online Nov. 22, 2012 in CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. Read more >>

Anne Dixon, MD - Dixon, AE: Obesity: changing asthma in the 21st Century, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2012 Sep 1;186(5):395-6.

Mary Cushman, MD MSc - Safford MM, Brown TM, Muntner P, Durant RW, Glasser S, Halanych J, Shikany JM, Prineas R, Samdarshi T, Bittner V, Lewis CE, Gamboa C, Cushman M, Howard V, Howard G for the REGARDS investigators. Association of race and sex with risk of incident acute coronary heart disease events. JAMA 2012;308:1768-74.

See additional Recent Publications >>

Research & Grants

Elizabeth Chen, MD - PI: Liz Chen 1 R01 LM011364-01 (Chen/Melton) 09/01/2012 – 08/31/2016 NIH/NLM $1,332,435 (Year 1: $341,672)
"Leveraging the EHR to Collect and Analyze Social, Behavioral & Familial Factors" The overall goal of this multi-site proposal is to develop computational approaches for generating knowledge regarding the relationships between diseases and social, behavioral, and familial factors. The evaluation will involve validating known and candidate new relationships for two conditions: epilepsy and pediatric asthma. The collection and analysis of social and family history information in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and other health resources is a core part of the project.

Anne Dixon, MD - Department of Medicine Translational Medicine Pilot project award, December 2012

David Kaminsky, MD - was awarded by United Therapeutics, Inc. Changes in the Diffusing Capacity of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide (DLCO) in Response to Vasodilator Therapy in Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension PI: David Kaminsky, MD 11/1/12-11/30/13

Mark Greenblatt, MD - NCI RO1 University of Utah, in collaboration with Sean Tavtigian, PhD
"Classifying DNA mismatch repair gene variants of unknown significance"
M. Greenblatt, CO-PI, 20%
Annual Direct: $70,644

Mary Cushman, MD, MSc – U01 NS041588 NIH-NINDS – Etiology of Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Mortality; G. Howard, PI, University of Alabama at Birmingham; M. Cushman, Subcontract PI; Funding 8/1/02-11/30/17.

Daniel Weiss, Md, PhD - $100,000 from United Therapeutics Inc. to study pig lungs for ex vivo organ regeneration and use in xenogeneic lung transplants.

Mary Cushman, MD, MsC – DiaDexus – 1/1/12-12/31/13; Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A1 (Lp-PLA2) Activity and the Risk of Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease and Cognitive Decline in REGARDS

New Research Projects and Collaborations

Vanessa Lichon, MD and Glenn Goldman, MD, are working with med student Naira Barbosa on a series of in vivo experiments to measure rotation flap design in a porcine model. With help from Ruth Blauwiekel, DVM, PhD, a series of experiments are being undertaken to precisely measure flap tension in vivo based on design changes. This cooperative venture uses a tension measuring apparatus created by Doug Gomez, who is the scientific instrument developer at UVM. This has been a multigroup investigation with the labs of Daniel Weiss, MD, PhD, and Bradley Palmer, MD, assisting. Findings will be analyzed and presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Mohs Surgery in Washington, DC this May.

Charlotte Teneback, MD is collaborating with Dr. Christopher van der Gast, PhD (NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK), and George O'Toole, MD, (Dartmouth) on a study of "Microbial community ecology of cystic fibrosis lung infection."

Alan Rubin, MD, Richard Pinckney, MD, Halle Sobel, MD, and Tania Bertsch, MD, from the Department of Medicine have joined Lee Rosen, PhD, Cate Nicholas, MS, PA, and Sally Bliss, RN, MSB, in a Macy Foundation Initiative in Humanism. They meet bi-weekly to reflect on and improve teaching skills.

Who Knew?

Marc Tischler, MD and Steven Grunberg, MD both serve on the Board of Directors of Lyric Theatre of Vermont.

Dr. Grunberg's most recent production was "Annie Get Your Gun" with Stowe Theater Guild last summer.

Dr. Tischler became involved in the Theatre in 2006 and has appeared in "West Side Story," "Hello Dolly," "Chorus Line," "Peter Pan," "Titanic," and "Sweeney Todd." He is currently cast as Oliver's grandfather in a production of "Oliver" going up at the Flynn Theatre in April. Dr. Tischler commented, "Most difficult show was "Sweeney Todd" because Stephen Sondheim is a genius (and a sadist). Most fun was a pirate in "Peter Pan." And most memorable was "Titanic" which we actually performed on the exact 100th anniversary of the tragedy. Not a dry eye on stage for that one."

Jennifer Borofsky, MD (PGY-3) and Justin Stinnett-Donnelly, MD (PGY-3) were former Ski Patrol members.

Medicine Residents, Ian Odell, MD, Johann Patlak, MD and Patrick Hohl, DO, (the "brewmaster"), as well as Medicine faculty Gil Allen, MD, and Mitch Nimmich, MD,, all take part in beer brewing.

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Save The Date:

  • House Staff Banquet Saturday, June 8, 2013
    Quarry Hill Club
    South Burlington
    6:00 p.m.

Calendar of Events:

Medicine In the News:

Burlington Free Press

U.S. News & World Report

Contact Us:

Department of Medicine
University of Vermont/Fletcher Allen Health Care
111 Colchester Avenue,
Fletcher 311
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone:(802) 847-4950
Fax:(802) 847-5368