University of Vermont

Neuroscience Graduate Program


NGP News

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Students Present at the Women Can Do Conference:

On Thursday, October 13th, four of our students (Stellie Spear, Riley St. Clair, Alisha Linton, and Megan Perkins) presented "Women in the Lab" at the 18th annual Women Can Do Conference, a one-day career immersion experience for 9-12th grade girls that showcases careers in the skilled trades and STEM fields. Great work, ladies! 


NGP White Coat Ceremony:

On Monday, September 26th at the Waterman Manor at UVM, our second-year students received their white coats from Director, Tony Morielli, and Assistant Director, Mark Bouton. Congratulations to all!


Left to Right:
Mark Bouton, Daniella Thorsdottir, Brittany Fair, Patrick Mullen, Megan Perkins, and Tony Morielli.

NGP Student Highlight:

NGP Student, Estelle Spear, was one of 15 trainees selected to participate in the Young Investigator Forum at the Federation of Neurogastroenterology and Motility Meeting in San Francisco. Here she is after her talk titled, “Evidence for antibodies targeting the enteric nervous system in multiple sclerosis.”

Upon her return, she reflects on the great opportunity this was, and the importance of not taking this for granted:

“Part of being a scientist is doing science, the other part is sharing your research with the community, and a lot of good science can be obscured by poor communication skills and talks, powerpoints that are thrown together the night before!”


Left is Dr. John Wiley, the president of the ANMS, center is Dr. Braden Kuo, who led the forum, and Spear is on the right receiving her certificate.

NGP Student Highlight:

Shout out to NGP 5th year James Bishop for his co-first authored paper that resulted from his work at a six-week intensive workshop held by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, The Multimodal Neuroimaging Training Program.

The Multimodal Neuroimaging Training Program encompasses a broad range of imaging methods including: positron emission tomography (PET), animal optical imaging, magnetoencephalography (MEG), near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). Each year, twelve students are admitted to the program with the ideology that they are already proficient in a single modality and would like to acquire the skills to integrate an additional method into their current research.

Bishop reflects on his work there:

"Coming from a background in fMRI, I was admitted to the diffusion weighted imaging cohort where I was mentored by Dr. Timothy Verstynen and Dr. Frank Yeh at Carnegie Mellon University. In partnership with another trainee, Sarah Lichenstein, we spearheaded a project comparing common diffusion reconstruction algorithms in human and phantom datasets with an objective of aiding researchers in the analysis decision process. We have since presented this work at the annual Organization for Human Brain Mapping Conference in Hawaii (2015) and just recently published our findings titled, 'Diffusion Capillary Phantom vs. Human Data: Outcomes for Reconstruction Methods Depend on Evaluation Medium', as co-first authors in the Journal Frontiers in Neuroscience."

Congrats James!

Congratulations to NGP Alumni!

Matt LeComte, PhD, has matched for a residency in radiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine at Tucson.

bbbc2016 Brain Bee Bootcamp

High school students arrived at the University of Vermont on Saturday February 6th for the annual Brain Bee Boot Camp, in preparation for the Vermont Brain Bee that will be taking place on Saturday February 20th. The boot camp was run by Liana Merrill, PhD and Sean Flynn, PhD, Assistant Professors in the Department of Neurological Sciences and also faculty supervisors of the NGP Journal Club. Riley St. Clair, a 3rd year graduate student, gave the opening presentation on the nervous system. Riley and fellow graduate students, Matt McCabe, Willie Curry, and Megan Perkins gave brain tours in the anatomy lab so students could practice their neuroanatomy. Graduate students will be involved in making and grading the practical exam during the Vermont Brain Bee in two weeks.

NGP Student Highlighted!

Estelle Spear was interviewed for the February 2016 edition of the UVM IMPACT newsletter. To read the full interview, click here.

The Neuroscience Graduate Program recently celebrated the successful completion of a dissertation defense.

Stephanie Spohn defended November 20, 2015. Her dissertation was titled: “Protective Actions of 5-HT4 Receptors in the Colonic Epithelium." Stephanie worked in the lab of Gary Mawe, PhD, department of Neurological Sciences.

NGP Student Presents Research at the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics Retreat

Rehan Ali gave an oral presentation entitled "Regulation of microtubule dynamics by tau" on November 12, 2015. Rehan is a member of Christopher Berger's lab.


The Neuroscience Graduate Program recently celebrated the successful completion of a dissertation defense.

Anthony Pappas defended October 23, 2015. His dissertation was titled: "Impact of subarachnoid hemorrhage on astrocyte Ca2+ signaling: Implications for impaired neurovascular coupling.”  Anthony worked in the lab of George Wellman, PhD, department of Pharmacology.

2015 COM Research Day collage

The 2015 COM Research Day was  a success! Students participated in judged platform talks and a research poster showcase. Awards for the platform talks were awarded to junior and senior students. Junior Division award recipients: First place - Nicholas D'Alberto, NGP; second place - Phill Munson, CMB; and third place - Miranda Redmond, CMB. Senior Division award recipients: First place - Jamie Stern, CMB; second place: Michael Secinaro, CMB; and third place (tied) - Joyce Thompson and Rajiv Jumani, CMB. To see a full program of events click here.

NGP Students participate in the Catamount Classic

NGP students Alisha Linton , Matt McCabe, Brittany Fair and Biology student Ashley Waldron participated in the Catamount Classic. The NGP team completed a 12 mile portion of the Long Trail. In total, the UVM community covered the entire Long Trail during the weekend long event. That is almost 273 miles! The event was successful - two high school students have been funded to go on Outward Bound trips. For more information on the Catamount Classic click here.


Congratualtions to Dr. Gene Cilento!

Gene recently received funds from the NIH. The grant is titled, "Training in Translational Science and Cardiovascular Medicine." The funding will help investigate pericyte influence of blood flow in the microcirculation.  Gene is working at the Knight Cardiovascular  Institute under Dr. Jeff Iliff.

Bishop Presents at 4th Annual International Fascia Research Congress

James Bishop, Naylor/Langevin Lab, presented a 45 minute platform talk on animal models of connective tissue pathology in Washington, D.C., for the fourth International Fascia Research Congress. James’ shared the 90 minute session with Dr. Paul Standley from the University of Arizona. Click here to learn more information.

New NGP Student Blog!

Check out the new blog being written by NGP graduate students (click here!)

 NGP News Archive >>

Last modified October 14 2016 12:06 PM