University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Pharmacology ~ 2015 Annual Report

Mark T. Nelson, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Pharmacology, with its international reputation in neurovascular research, continues to play important roles in the research and educational missions of the College of Medicine and the University. Faculty members have been invited to present at important international meetings and academic institutions around the world. The department hosted two international research meetings at UVM for the Fondation Leducq study of cerebral small vessel disease, co-led by Mark Nelson, Ph.D.

Research highlights included the identification of an enzyme, phosphodiesterase 9, by Wolfgang Dostmann, Ph.D., and collaborators from John Hopkins University as the missing culprit in the faulty molecular messaging system that leads to heart failure. A collaboration between Frances Carr, Ph.D., the UVM School of Engineering, the UVM Rubenstein School of Environmental Studies, and the Department of Surgery created a study of the incidence of thyroid cancer in a rural population, which was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society and published in the Journal of the American Thyroid Association. Faculty published over 30 peer reviewed articles in top biomedical journals, and were cited nearly 3,000 times.

Dr. Nelson was honored as the Kaley Lecturer and awarded the American Physiological Society’s Reviewer Award at Experimental Biology 2016. He was invited to speak at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke workshop “Small Blood Vessels: Big Health Problems?” with a goal to foster nationwide interdisciplinary collaboration in the broad research area of small blood vessel biology in health and disease. Dr. Nelson became chair of the newly formed Steering Committee for the O’Brien Urology Cooperative Centers for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The department is committed to maintaining high quality teaching and mentoring for medical, graduate, advanced undergraduate students, and our many postdoctoral fellows. Faculty efforts include one-on-one research mentoring, didactic lectures in Pharmacology courses, including the Medical Summer Pharmacology, and virtually all courses in the Foundations level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum.

The addition of a new non-thesis based master’s program and a new accelerated master’s program generated significant interest, with twenty new master’s students currently enrolled.

The minor in Pharmacology for undergraduates continues to grow with 15 graduates in May 2015 and 37 students currently enrolled including 20 seniors. The department fosters communication and collaboration with faculty and postdocs presenting current research in weekly journal clubs and monthly interactive research forums.

Committed to service, Pharmacology faculty serve on many grant review committees for the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association; peer review committees for the American Cancer Society and the America Heart Association; Program Committee for the American Thyroid Association; and on numerous editorial boards including the Physiological Reviews, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, American Journal of Physiology, and Molecular Pharmacology. Our faculty serve important roles on UVM committees including the Faculty Standards Committee, the Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Recruitment Committee, and several committees for the University of Vermont Cancer Center.

Last modified January 29 2016 11:14 AM