About VBRN

Message From the Director

It’s an honor and privilege to take on this unique and challenging position, and build on our outstanding record of supporting science in the state. First, I must thank Rex Forehand for his outstanding service as the past Director of the program. His patience and support in helping me to understand the inner workings of the VBRN have made this transition go very smoothly. I have learned much from him, and I expect he will continue to provide wise counsel.

What can we expect going forward?  During the transition, I have already begun working with many of you to maintain our operations at their current high tempo. I will maintain the policies and procedures that Rex developed to allow us to execute our mission efficiently and extend support throughout the state. The two main initiatives that I hope to develop in the future are (1) increased support of our BPI faculty by expanding our scientific interest groups and strengthening collaborative opportunities between faculty across the network, and (2) increasing the breadth of internship programs for science undergraduates by forging new connections to both new and established VT businesses in the science and biomedical sector.

Finally, as the pandemic recedes and our ability to engage in our work through direct interactions increases, I pledge to get out and visit all of our BPI institutions and meet all of our BPI coordinators and grantees. I appreciate that every institution has its unique set of strengths and challenges, and we will be constantly seeking ways to respect those special circumstances. In the interim, I encourage you to reach out to me personally with any questions, comments and concerns that would allow us to better serve you. Fortunately, and owing to Rex’s superb leadership, we are well positioned as we move into the remaining years of this funding cycle.

Until our next conversation,


Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D.

Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D.
Mission Statement

The mission of VBRN 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*

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 VBRN, 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 the University of Vermont’s “Our Common Ground”

VBRN Overview

The VBRN, formerly VGN, is in its fourth phase of funding with a five-year $19.4 million award from the INBRE program of the NIGMS at the National Institutes of Health. The mission of VBRN is to build human and physical infrastructure in Vermont for biomedical research. At the lead institution, the University of Vermont, we have developed state-of-the-art facilities for Proteomics and Bioinformatics as well as a Professional Development and Education Core to provide to researchers across Vermont the resources they need to carry out world class research and compete for federal funding. To address workforce development and its diversity, we build cultures of research by supporting faculty and student research at our Baccalaureate Partner Institutions: Vermont State University (Castleton), Middlebury College, Vermont State University (Lyndon), Vermont State University (Johnson), Norwich University, and Saint Michael’s College. We also work with students in college lab classes throughout Vermont in order to bring cutting edge research resources into their education, including at the Community College of Vermont, Landmark College, and Champlain College.

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

VBRN Personnel
BPI Coordinators