University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

Vermont Lung Center ~ 2013 Annual Report

Charles Irvin, Ph.D., Director

The Vermont Lung Center (VLC) investigates lung biology and the pathogenesis of lung disease. Diseases of the lung are significant and devastating. The increase in lung disease shows no sign of abating; for example, asthma is the leading chronic disease of children and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is now the third leading cause of death in America. Lung cancer is the only major type of cancer whose incidence is still rising.

The VLC is a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is home to a training grant, also funded by NIH, which trains and educates the next generation of scientists to battle these rises in devastating lung disease. The center is currently supported annually by $2.2 million of extramural support. In 2012–13, the VLC faculty members published more than 66 articles, reviews and book chapters and currently have 38 open clinical studies to which participants are being actively recruited.

The VLC played host this year to two outstanding scientific meetings: first, the Fifth Biennial "Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology Conference," funded in part by the NIH, brought leading researchers from around the globe to Burlington to discuss advances in the science of stem cells and their use in recent clinical trials. The second, “Obesity and Metabolism: An Emerging Frontier in Health and Disease” is the second conference that the center has hosted on this topic. It brings national and international leaders together to discuss this rapidly expanding field and the profound impact that obesity has on lung health. VLC member Polly Parsons, M.D., Amidon Professor and Chair of Medicine, has been appointed to the Council of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH. Dr. Parsons was also recognized this year with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society. Both of the flagship clinical trials programs of the VLC were rated top tier within the respective national programs this year.

Faculty associated with the Vermont Lung Center published research in 2013 in such journals as: the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Pediatric Pulmonology, Pharmacogenetic Genomics, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, PLOS One, Chest, Cell Stem Cell, and the Journal of Immunology.

Last modified January 02 2014 09:03 AM