University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Neurological Sciences ~ 2013 Annual Report

Gregory Holmes, M.D., Chair

On August 1, 2012, the Departments of Neurology and Anatomy & Neurobiology merged to form the Department of Neurological Sciences. This new department was created to bring together basic scientists and clinicians with a shared interest in neuroscience in order to promote translational research and further the research, teaching, and clinical missions of the College of Medicine.

Under the joint leadership of Rodney L. Parsons, Ph.D., and Rup Tandan, M.D., the Department of Neurological Sciences’ first year of existence proved at once productive and exciting, culminating with the appointment of Gregory L. Holmes, M.D., as chair of the new Department, effective May 1, 2013.

The Department’s basic science faculty continue to seek out grant funding with a strong record of success. The National Institutes of Health Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Neuroscience, now in its thirteenth year, continued to support two multi-user core facilities as well as a pilot project. Gary Mawe, Ph.D., was awarded a competing renewal of his NIH/NIDDK R01 research project on “Neural excitability and motility in colitis,” while Margaret Vizzard, Ph.D., likewise received a competing renewal of her NIH/NIDDK R01 for “Cystitisinduced plasticity of micturition reflexes.”

UVM/Fletcher Allen Health Care clinical programs continued to provide excellent neurological care. Clinical faculty contributed to a total of 25 new and ongoing clinical trials. Assistant Professor Angela Applebee, M.D., continued to serve as director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of New England. In this role she oversaw nine studies and was awarded the 2013 Hillel Panitch Clinical Care Award for her efforts. Professor Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., co-led the team that identified a mutation linked to migraine in the gene casein kinase 1 delta (CK1δ). This discovery generated significant press attention, including an article in USA Today in May, while Dr. Shapiro’s contributions to the field of migraine research were recognized by the Headache Cooperative of New England, which awarded him a 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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 2013 Foundation Awards, Assistant Professor Ellen Black, Ph.D., was awarded the Silver Stethoscope Award, presented annually to a faculty member with few lecture hours but who nevertheless made a substantial contribution to medical student education.

In 2013, Neurological Sciences faculty published in a variety of scientific journals, and served on 27 editorial boards and review committees. Taken together with the success of the Department’s clinicians, instructors, and basic scientists, these accomplishments suggest the true breadth of capabilities, experience, and expertise to be found in the newly formed Department of Neurological Sciences.

With the Department’s first year drawing to a close, Dr. Holmes would like to take this opportunity to thank Drs. Hamill, Parsons, and Tandan for their service as Chairs and Interim Chairs. Their extraordinary skill and dedication helped to guide the department through a successful first year of existence while pointing the way to a bright and successful future.

Last modified December 20 2013 11:48 AM