University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Neurological Sciences ~ 2014 Annual Report

Gregory Holmes, M.D., Chair

The Department of Neurological Sciences is devoted to becoming one of the best translational research departments in the country through integration of the basic neurosciences with the clinical neurosciences in our three missions: research, teaching and clinical care. Understanding the basic underpinnings of neurological disorders is central to our educational and clinical mission. To this end, the past year has been an exciting one for the department.

Research, clinical, and educational faculty all worked to further the educational mission of the College of Medicine by teaching undergraduates, graduates, medical students, residents and fellows. At the 2014 Foundation Awards, Assistant Professor Ellen Black, Ph.D., was awarded the Foundations Teaching Award. Dr. Black will be hooding the Class of 2015 at their graduation and will be recognized with other Teachers of the Year from the past. Dr. Black also received the Above and Beyond Award that recognizes the faculty member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help the students in their learning objectives. The Center for Teaching and Learning announced that Professor Diane Jaworski, Ph.D., received a 2014 Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of her overall excellence in instruction of UVM students. Christopher Commichau, M.D., developed a three-year, basic science curriculum for residents that is being implemented by faculty.

Our basic science faculty continued to seek out grant funding with a strong record of success. There were several new grants awarded including a competitive renewal to Marilyn Cipolla, Ph.D. of her RO1 entitled “The role of the blood-brain barrier in seizures during pregnancy and pre-eclampsia”. Rodney Parsons, Ph.D., was awarded an equipment grant for the purchase of a Yokogawa CSU-W1 spinning disk confocal microscopy system. Charitable grants from the Migraine Research Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society were also obtained. These awards are allowing closer collaboration between the basic science and clinical faculty and are greatly increasing the translational impact of the department’s research. The faculty have also been productive having published approximately 50 manuscripts in high impact general and specialty journals.

Our clinical programs at The University of Vermont Medical Center continued to provide excellent neurological care. In addition, the clinical faculty continue to be active in clinical trials. There are currently 19 clinical trials relating to treatment of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, myasthenia gravis and movement disorders. Of these, six trials began in the previous fiscal year.

In 2014, Neurological Sciences faculty published 44 articles in a variety of scientific journals and served on 19 editorial boards and review committees.

In summary, the past year has been a productive one for the Department of Neurological Sciences. As we continue to recruit outstanding clinicians, teachers and investigators we are excited about the new heights the department will achieve.

Last modified January 29 2015 02:20 PM