Welcome to the latest edition of VT PRIME! Optimism defines our current collective emotion! Three PREP cohorts, 16-19th, have been most affected. It has been almost a year since the last publication of our very well-received newsletter: thank you for your feedback. Our current trainees and alumni continue to be very successful in pursuing their degrees and careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This newsletter is intended to celebrate these successes and to keep our alumni and other stakeholders informed about their peers and our current trainees. The resilience of our trainees the last two years has been exemplary, given the unprecedented challenge. We thank you for helping them and us through this. We thank the alumni who provided even more support to the development of these trainees by being their “virtual alumni mentors.” As equally remarkable are the PhD completions by our trainees and alumni during these interesting times. Among the degree completions that we will highlight are those of Drs. Chanelle Brown (PREPalum) and Jose Santiago Rivera (IMSD), both from Chemistry.

We welcomed Ms. Judy Yan as interim Project Associate and thank her for being willing to take on these complex programs. We attended a “White Coat” ceremony for a IMSD alum now a MSTP trainee at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine, and “virtually” attended several dissertation defenses. 

We hope you find this newsletter informative and look forward to continuing interactions with you and others in our network.

Zac Mackey, Luke Achenie, Ed Smith (Chair of our Advisory Committee: Daniela CImini)