University of Alberta’s Dr. David Lim Earns the A.S.P.E.N. Vars Award

March 9, 2016, Silver Spring, MD - David Lim, MD, CM, of the University of Alberta has been named the winner of the 2016 Harry M. Vars Award by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) for a second year in a row. The award recognizes his research which studies the effects of the peptide hormone GLP-2 therapy in treating pediatric short bowel syndrome. Dr. Lim presented his study The Differential Effects on Intestinal Adaptation Following Exogenous Glucagon-Like Peptide-2 Therapy with and without Enteral Nutrition in Neonatal Short Bowel Syndrome at A.S.P.E.N.'s Clinical Nutrition Week in Austin, Texas, January 16-19.

The understanding of efficacy of GLP-2 therapy in pediatric short bowel syndrome (SBS) is limited. Dr. Lim and his colleagues aimed to determine if GLP-2 can stimulate adaptation in neonatal short bowel syndrome and if enteral nutrition (EN) would stimulate that adaptation. They found that even without enteral nutrition, GLP-2 simulated intestinal growth. However, the optimal amount of EN necessary for GLP-2 to have an effect in pediatric small bowel syndrome may depend on the remaining portion of the intestinal anatomy, which is relevant considering the diversity in size and age of the pediatric population suffering from the disease.

This year, five candidates competed at Clinical Nutrition Week for the Harry M. Vars Award, a tribute to Dr. Vars and his seminal contributions to the development of parenteral nutrition. Dr. Vars’s work exploring the role of intravenous nutrition in wound healing was an important catalyst in the development of parenteral nutrition. Dr. Lim won the Vars Award last year for his research on parenteral nutrition associated liver disease (PNALD) in infants.

“We are honored to once again recognize Dr. Lim’s extraordinary work,” stated Debra BenAvram, CEO of A.S.P.E.N. “He is truly a leader in the field of clinical nutrition and his work will ultimately advance the positive outcomes of pediatric patients that suffer from serious and debilitating gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Lim epitomizes the spirit of the Vars Award, which recognizes clinicians who, as was Dr. Vars, are passionate about the continued need for research and gaining a better understanding of the significant role clinical nutrition plays in achieving optimal health and healing.”

To read about Dr. Lim and his colleagues’ methods and conclusion, along with all the other presented research at Clinical Nutrition Week 2016, click here.

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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 6,400 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