University of Vermont

Neuroscience Graduate Program

About UVM Neuroscience Graduate Program

News Archive

The Neuroscience Graduate Program recently celebrated the successful completion of two dissertation defenses.

Patrick Long defended on March 21, 2013. His dissertation was titled: “Acetate supplementation as a novel cancer therapeutic against glioma stem-like cell." Patrick’s advisor was Diane Jaworski, PhD, Department of Neurological Sciences. Patrick will be doing his post-doctoral work at Harvard.

Carolyn Roman defended on March 29, 2013. Her dissertation was titled: "PACAP and PAC1 receptor signaling in chronic stress responses: implications for anxiety-related disorders." Carolyn worked in the labs of Victor May, PhD, Department of Neurological Sciences and Jom Hammack, PhD, Department of Psychology. Carolyn is now a post-doctoral student at the University of Washington, Oregon.


Congratulations to Carolyn Roman on receiving the 2013 Edith D. Hendley Award!
The Edith D. Hendley award recognizes a graduate woman who has demonstrated excellence in research, scholarship, and teaching who has also performed dedicated service to women. The award is named after Professor Emeritus Edith D. Hendley who has a long history of academic excellence and dedication to women. (Carolyn above, with summer mentee, Shannon Townsend)


Congratulations to Liana Merrill and Abbie Chapman for receiving awards at the Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Forum. The event was held at UVM's Davis Center January 18-19, 2013. Liana won the Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award. Her presentation was titled, "Role of vanilloid transient receptor potential cation channel (TRPV) 4 in bladder dysfunction in response to repeated variate stress (RVS) in male rats." Abbie won the Graduate Student Poster award which was judged by faculty. Her poster was titled, "An Enhanced Myogenic Vasodilatory Response To Hypotension In Posterior Cerebral Arteries Of Pregnant Rats Is Nitric Oxide Dependent."


NGP Students Participate in 2012 Society for Neuroscience Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

On October 13-17th, students and faculty from the Neuroscience Graduate Program attended and participated in the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in New Orleans.  SFN’s annual meeting is the world’s largest forum for neuroscientists to present research and network. 

NGP Student Poster Presentations:
Liana Merrill, “Role of vanilloid transient receptor potential cation channel (TRPV) 4 in bladder dysfunction in response to repeated variate stress (RVS) in male rats”

Anthony Pappas, “Time course of the inversion of neurovascular coupling and altered spontaneous Ca2+ activity in astrocytic endfeet after subarachnoid hemorrhage”

Carolyn Roman, " Characterizing PACAP receptors involved in anxiety-like responses: Evidence for HPA-axis activation by BNST PACAP and PAC1 receptor signaling"

Kim Albert, “Menstrual Phase is Associated with Differences in Brain Activity During Psychosocial Stress”

Geoffrey Schaubhut, “Regulation of Impulsive Circuitry: Function of Emotional Faces”

Simone Otto, “Colocalization of the prototoxin prostate stem cell antigen with α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholinesterase in parasympathetic neurons”

Greg Lieberman, “Changes in White Matter as a Measure of Neuroplasticity Following Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Coping with Chronic Pain.” And second author on “Anatomical Changes Following Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.”

Nate Jebbett, "Low-level methylmercury enhances CNTF-evoked STAT3 signaling and astrocyte differentiation in cortical neural progenitor cells"


Jane Roberts Presented at NGM 2012 in Bologna, Italy

Jane Roberts, a fourth year MD/PhD NGP student, attended the Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2012 Conference in Bologna, Italy. Over a thousand registrants attended the meeting. Jane’s abstract was one of the few to be selected to be presented. Her presentation was titled “Free radical scavengers rescue decreased purinergic neuromuscular transmission in the inflamed colon” Jane is currently a student in the lab of Gary Mawe, PhD, a faculty member in the department of Neurological Sciences.


NGP Student Defense:

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

Jane Roberts defended on November 14, 2012. Her dissertation was titled: “Mechanisms of attenuated purinergic neuromuscular transmission
in the inflamed colon” Jane’s advisor was Gary Mawe, PhD, Department of Neurological Sciences. Jane is now completing her medical degree in the College of Medicine at UVM.


NGP Students Participate in 2012 College of Medicine Graduate Student Research Day

On September 20th, several Neuroscience Graduate Program students participated in the Annual College of Medicine Graduate Student Research Day. The event included oral and poster presentations, as well as a lecture by alumni James W. Aiken, PhD ’70. Patrick Long was awarded third place in the poster contest.


NGP Student Presentations:

Patrick Long, “Dietary acetate supplementation as a means of inducing glioma stem cell growth arrest”

Michelle McNamara, “Disruption of TrkB and TrpC3 disrupts DRG axon extension in E5 chicken embryo”

Vanessa Ochoa, “A newly identified prototoxin, LYPD6B, modulates the function of the heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine alpha3 beta4 receptor."


Carolyn Roman, “PACAP and PAC1 receptor signaling in chronic stress responses: Implications for anxiety-related disorders”


NGP Welcomes New Students; Holds Annual Lab Coat Ceremony

On Friday, September 28, 2012, NGP students and faculty gathered at The Waterman Manor to welcome six new students to the program. Rehan Ali, James Bishop, Kutibh Chihabi, KC Olds, Roman Popov, and Estelle Spear began the program this summer and have already successfully completed the first class in the NGP required curriculum. During the remainder of their first year they will continue to take courses and complete 2-3 lab rotations. At the end of their first year they will choose their dissertation lab.

The second year students who recently joined their dissertation labs were honored in the annual NGP Lab Coat Ceremony. Students were presented with a lab coat embroidered with their name and program affiliation to celebrate the important work that lies ahead of them.

Neuroscience Outreach

Stephanie Spohn and Liana Merrill volunteered for the “Women Can Do Conference” a day-long event held at Vermont Technical College. The event was aimed at teaching high school girls about a career in technology and the trades. Stephanie and Liana showed the girls how to use microscopes and examine slides, how to design and run an experiment, and answer questions about what it's like to be a woman in science. They also talked about how they decided to become scientists. For more information about the organization visit Vermont Works For Women

Back to Top >>


NGP Student Defenses:

The Neuroscience Graduate Program recently celebrated the successful completion of three students' dissertation defenses.

John DeWitt defended on August 6th. His dissertation was titled: “The Role of Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor and TRKB Signaling in Neuroblastoma.” John’s advisor was Rae Nishi, PhD, Department of Neurological Sciences. John is now completing his medical degree in the College of Medicine at UVM.

Gregory Engel defended on August 27th. His dissertation was titled: "Effects of Methylmecury on Notch Targets and Motor Nerve Development in Drosophila” Greg’s advisor was Matthew D. Rand, PhD, Department of Neurological Sciences. Greg is now a post-doctoral student at the University of California, Merced.

Michael Williams defended on August 24th. His dissertation was titled: "Secretin-Modulated Potassium Channel Tracking as a Novel Mechanism for Regulating Cerebellar Synapses.” Michael’s advisor was Anthony Morielli, PhD, Department of Pharmacology. Michael is a now a post-doctoral student at Dartmouth College.

Back to Top >>

Last modified July 03 2013 10:52 AM