Accomplishments and discoveries from VGN students and faculty

About VGN


Mission Statement

The mission of VGN is to build a culture to promote biomedical research infrastructure in Vermont. Our focus is on human health and behavior as broadly defined. The goal is to build and sustain a culture of research throughout the state by facilitating the research capacity of faculty members, and the education of undergraduates, at our baccalaureate partner institutions.

Guiding Principles of VGN*

INNOVATION. We strive to be at the forefront of enhancing biomedical research in the State of Vermont through innovative programming.

RESPECT. We respect each other. We listen, encourage, and care about each other.

SUPPORT. We are here to support each other. We frequently ask the question: “How can I help?”

INTEGRITY. As stewards of VGN, we are honest and ethical in all responsibilities entrusted to us.

OPENNESS. We encourage the open exchange of information and ideas.

RESPONSIBILITY. We acknowledge that, along with our successes, we will make mistakes. Both our successes and mistakes will help us grow and meet our mission.


*Adopted in part from UVM’s “Our Common Ground”

VGN Overview

The Vermont Genetics Network (VGN) is funded by a five-year, $16.5 million award from the National Institue of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and is part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative called IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). Under the direction of Rex Forehand, the VGN, which links scientists at Castleton University, Green Mountain College, Northern Vermont University, Middlebury College, Norwich University and Saint Michael's College to resources at UVM, is designed to provide funding for research, equipment and technology necessary to enhance competitiveness for national funding for genetics and/or human health and behavior research. Other aims of the project include increasing the number of undergraduates who go on to biomedical careers from the baccalaureate colleges, to provide and support bioinformatics capability in the state, and to increase the diversity of biomedical scientists.

There is also an Outreach Core of the VGN, which provides a team of faculty and staff (and the necessary equipment) to visit colleges to share microarray experiments. Originally funded by the $6 million Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) grant received in 2001, the UVM Microarray Facility allows researchers to look at as many as 15,000 genes simultaneously and zero in on specific genes, such as those involved in a disease process. Dr. Tabitha Finch is the Director of the Outreach Core. This program also allows faculty and undergraduate students from UVM and the VGN partner colleges the opportunity to enhance networking opportunities through the annual VGN Career Day and Retreat.

Another key piece available through the VGN is the Bioinformatics Core, a constantly evolving information network used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information gained from the microarray process and other kinds of experiments and turn it into significant conclusions about how cells function. Dr. Fan Zhang is the Director of the Bioinformatics Core.

Our over-arching goals are to continue to be a resource to genetics researchers and clinicians throughout Vermont and to be as inclusive as possible.

The Vermont Genetics Network office is located at the University of Vermont in the Marsh Life Science Building.

For more information, call (802) 656-4087 or email


Contact Information:

Vermont Genetics Network
University of Vermont
120A Marsh Life Science Building
Burlington, VT 05405-0086
(802) 656-9119
(802) 656-2914 - FAX

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