VanWormer named Sebold fellowship honoree

Jeffrey VanWormer, Ph.D., a research scientist and interim director of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute's Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health, was named the recipient of the 2023 Gwen D. Sebold Fellowship.

The Gwen D. Sebold Fellowship recognizes an outstanding medical researcher and supports their research in his or her chosen field. Since its beginning in 1988, a financial award and a memorial plaque was presented by D. David “Dewey" Sebold in memory of his sister, Gwen​. She joined Marshfield Clinic as a medical stenographer in 1955 and passed in July 1974.

Focus of the Gwen D. Sebold Fellowship is to recognize outstanding research investigators who are in early stage to mid stage of their scientific career and have demonstrated excellence in their scientific field. 

Dr. VanWormer was notified of the fellowship when he walked into what he thought was a one-on-one meeting with a colleague and was instead gr​eeted by about 20 people.

“It's an honor and a great award," Dr. VanWormer said, while overcoming his shock and a slew of congratulations from colleagues. “There's a lot of great company who have received this fellowship. It's quite the footsteps I'm walking in."

Dr. VanWormer was nominated by Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D.; Ed Belongia, M.D.; and Bob Greenlee, Ph.D.

“We have worked closely with Jeff on many scientific and organizational initiatives over the past decade, and we believe he is highly deserving of this honor," the three wrote in the nomination letter. “He has made significant scientific contributions in his field, with a particular focus on obesity and cardiovascular disease epidemiology. He is a highly regarded scientist, organizational leader, mentor, and collaborator, and his work consistently reflects the mission and vision of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

Dr. VanWormer joined the Research Institute in January 2011 after completing his doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota. He has a strong and sustained track record of scientific productivity, including nearly 100 research publications over the past decade and has anchored over $5 million in external research revenue during this time. His work has significantly contributed to the understanding of primary prevention of cardiometabolic disease, community risk factor surveillance, and agricultural injury and illness surveillance methods.

His contributions to the field of cardiometabolic disease were recognized in 2019 when he was selected to receive the Celine Seubert Distinguished Physician/Scientist Endowment in Cardiology Research. His scholarly activities have also extended into work with the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS), and as an Associate Editor with the Journal of Agromedicine. Among his many other contributions to science, Dr. VanWormer's most impactful service has been leading the Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP) program, mentoring students from across the nation who came to the Research Institute to build their research skills.

“I was so pleased to meet Dr. VanWormer and inform him that he was chosen by his peers to be the 2023 recipient of my sister's fellowship, the 'Gwen D. Sebold Fellowship For Outstanding Research,'" Sebold said. “His scientific productivity and over 100 research publications greatly contributed to the mission of the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute."

This year's presentation will be Oct. 11 in the Froehlke Auditorium at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield.​