University of Alberta Researcher Wins A.S.P.E.N. Award

February 5, 2015, Silver Spring, MD -- David Lim, MD, CM, of the University of Alberta has been named a Research Trainee Award recipient by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). The award is for his research on parenteral nutrition associated liver disease (PNALD) in infants that he will present at A.S.P.E.N.'s Clinical Nutrition Week conference in Long Beach, California, February 14 to 17.

Parenteral nutrition associated liver disease occurs in 40-60 percent of infants with intestinal failure and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The peptide hormone, glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), is being advanced as therapy for intestinal failure because of its intestinotrophic properties. The effect of GLP-2 on PNALD was previously unknown.

Dr. Lim and his colleagues recently determined that exogenous GLP-2 therapy in a preclinical model of neonatal PNALD improves bile flow and serum markers of cholestasis and studied the mechanisms underlying the improved clinical phenotype. They hypothesized that bile acid metabolic pathways, including synthesis, composition and transport, are altered in PNALD and ameliorated with GLP-2 therapy.

The results from the study have provided insight regarding how bile acid metabolism is altered in PNALD and with GLP-2 treatment. Such treatment is associated with alterations in FXR signaling, a key regulator of bile acid homeostasis, as well as the increased expression of key bile acid transporters, which is beneficial in the setting of cholestasis.

Dr. Lim’s research has also earned him the honor of being a candidate for the prestigious Harry M. Vars Award that A.S.P.E.N. will announce at the upcoming Clinical Nutrition Week conference.
"A.S.P.E.N. is excited to have Dr. Lim present his research at Clinical Nutrition Week, and we are pleased to formally recognize his important work," said Debra Ben Avram, CEO of A.S.P.E.N.

# # #

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit www.nutritioncare.org.