Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program


The Post-Baccalaureate Premedical faculty are comprised of professors from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, as well as the College of Arts & Sciences. All of our faculty are experts in their respective fields, committed to research and advancement, and also deeply focused on the successes of their students. As a Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student, you’ll be immersed in an environment of collaboration, hands-on experiences, research opportunities and more, all with the support of a highly-engaged, committed faculty.

Faculty Highlights

Erik Ruggles, Ph.D.

Erik RugglesDr. Ruggles is a Research Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department and Lecturer in the Chemistry Department.  He is also the lead instructor for General Chemistry 031 and 032 here at the University of Vermont, where he enjoys interacting and helping Post-Baccalaureate and Pre-Medical School students with tough chemistry topics, involving them in scholarly research, and helping them plan out their academics to aid their future goals within UVM’s unique environment.  As a result, he has been nominated by his students several times for the Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Teaching Excellence.  Besides teaching, research, and other scholarly activities, Dr. Ruggles enjoys skiing at Mad River Glen as well as hiking and biking throughout the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Dr. Ruggles received his B.S. in Chemistry from Ithaca College under Heinz Koch, and he completed his M.S. in Chemistry from Bucknell University under Thomas T. Shawe, where he used a tandem ozonolysis reductive amination approach for the construction of novel quinocarcin analogues.  He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2003 from Michigan State University in the lab of Robert E. Maleczka Jr. where he elucidated chlorinative carbocation rearrangements of vinylic carbinols.  Learn More about Dr. Ruggles research.

Laura L. Almstead, Ph.D.

Laura AlmsteadDr. Almstead has a B.A. in Chemistry from Williams College, received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford University in 2007, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Genetics, from 2007-2011. In her five years as lecturer in the Plant Biology Department at UVM, she has taught more than 2400 students and has served as a mentor throughout her career.

Dr. Almstead has introduced new and innovative teaching strategies based on active learning to engage students, develop critical thinking skills, and help them become self-directed learners.

She has been the recipient of many awards including:

  • James F. Skinner Prize in Chemistry, 2001 (awarded to the chemistry graduate showing a distinguished record in chemistry, and an outstanding promise for teaching and scholarship)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2002
  • NIH T32 Teaching Grant, 2007-2008,
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH F32 Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2010
  • Yale Scientific Teaching Fellow, Fall 2010
  • Twice-nominated for the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Nominated for the Carrigan Teaching Award, 2017

Dr. Almstead currently teaches the HCOL 186 Science in the News Seminar, and the BIOL 001 Principles of Biology and BIOL 002 Principles of Biology courses for the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.  You can reach Dr. Almstead at