UVM Medical Group Selects Research, Education Grant Award Winners

February 27, 2014

Michael Carrese (802) 847-2886
Jennifer Nachbur (802) 656-7875

BURLINGTON, VT – The UVM Medical Group (UVMMG) at Fletcher Allen recently recognized the work of eleven faculty members to honor their exceptional teaching and research efforts.

“These awards seek to recognize and encourage the critically important work our members do beyond providing excellent patient care,” said David Adams, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and interim chair of Anesthesiology.  “The value of having an academic medical center is rooted in the expertise our physicians develop through research and scholarly activities.  This expertise provides direct benefits to our patients and impacts the education of medical students, residents, fellows and other physician colleagues.”

Investigator-Initiated Awards

These two awards each come with a $50,000 grant funded by Fletcher Allen for two years of medical research, in order to align with the academic missions of Fletcher Allen and the UVM College of Medicine, and to enhance multidisciplinary and multi-departmental projects.

  • Associate professor of Pathology Mark Fung, M.D., and associate professor of anesthesiology William Paganelli, M.D. will serve as co-principle investigators researching intraoperative blood use. The goal of their study is to provide data to guide the planning of blood transfusions during operations.
  • Assistant professor of Pathology Jill Warrington, M.D., and assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Elise Everett, M.D., will lead a project which aims to reduce unnecessary cervical cancer screening by improving adherence to current guidelines, and identifying the most effective ways of promoting adherence to new screening guidelines.

Research and Education Recognition Awards

Recipients of these awards receive a $1,500 prize and a block grant related to the award’s focus.

  • Assistant professor of Medicine and Pathology Neil Zakai, M.D., was named the 2013 Junior Researcher of the Year, for exemplary performance representing the UVMMG in the advancement of medical research. Zakai’s accomplishments include the creation and validation of a risk-assessment model for blood clots in veins.
  • Professor of Medicine and director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Ralph Budd, M.D., received the Senior Researcher of the Year award. Budd is an accomplished author of over 80 publications, has received grants totaling over $50 million, and researched many groundbreaking discoveries, including the identification of “memory” T cells in the immune system.
  • Professor of Neurological Sciences and Pathology, William Pendlebury, M.D., was recognized as the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Educator of the Year for his ongoing commitment to provide meaningful learning opportunities for local and regional providers. Pendlebury has been the course director for five gerontology symposia and the annual Geriatrics Conference since 2011, and a faculty member since 1984. His research focuses on basic and clinical aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Associate professor of Surgery and division chief of Urology, Mark Plante, M.D., was honored with the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Educator of the Year award for demonstrated excellence in teaching and mentoring teaching residents and/or fellows, and serving as a source of inspiration. Plante recently resurrected the urology residency program after a 15+ year hiatus.  

Also presented were two $25,000 UHC Trust Teaching & Education Grants to support faculty-initiated research in the development of effective teaching tools, modules, curriculum or workshops. The first was presented to Ted James, M.D., associate professor of Surgery and director of the Clinical Simulation Laboratory, and Elise Everett, M.D., for their project, “An Institutional, Interdisciplinary, Post-Graduate Hand-Off Communications Curriculum Using Simulation.” The second was presented to professors of Medicine Mark Levine, M.D., and Virginia Hood, M.D., for their project “Development of a High-Value Cost-Conscious Care Experience for Residents and Fellows.”