ASPEN 2018 Nutrition Science & Practice Conference Spotlights Advancements, Best Practices, And The Role Of Technology In Clinical Nutrition

Previously known as Clinical Nutrition Week, conference begins with keynote on the intersection of artificial intelligence and nutrition care

January 16, 2018, Silver Spring, MD:  ASPEN, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition is holding its ASPEN 2018 Nutrition Science & Practice Conference (ASPEN18) from January 22 to 25, 2018 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The annual conference brings together physicians, nurses, researchers, dietitians, pharmacists and other experts who recognize the impact nutrition science has on patient outcomes. In addition to spotlighting advancements and best practices, ASPEN18 will include a focus on the role of technology in providing nutrition care. 

“In both the adult and pediatric populations, providing nutrition support is essential to promoting improved clinical outcomes,” said Ryan Hurt, MD, PhD, ASPEN18 Conference Program Committee Chair. “ASPEN conferences give healthcare teams an extra edge, informing them of the latest science and research-based best practices that they are then able to apply to care plans for patients of all ages.”

Dr. Steve G. Peters , MD, the keynote presenter, will discuss the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in a variety of medical fields and how computerized clinical decision support for enteral and parenteral nutrition might be dramatically influenced by this technology.

Other highlights include the President’s Address by M. Molly McMahon, MD, Medical Director of Nutrition, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic and ASPEN Board President. Dr. McMahon will highlight the Mayo Clinic Nutrition Group’s rules and web-based “Feeding Effectively Using Electronic Data” (FEED) program, which standardizes nutrition care using evidence-based guidelines, focus on quality and safety, and increased rounding efficiency and clinician satisfaction.

As it does each year, ASPEN’s conference will honor critical contributions from the field through the following awards:

The 2018 Stanley Dudrick Research Scholar Award will be given to Gail A. Cresci, PhD, RD, LD, CNSC, Pediatric Research Center/Cleveland Clinic Pediatric, Lerner Research and Digestive Disease Institute Departments of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition and Pathobiology. Dr. Cresci is being honored for her past and future research in nutrition and metabolic support.

The Harry M. Vars Award winner will be chosen onsite by the ASPEN Research Committee from among the best peer-reviewed research abstracts submitted for inclusion in the conference. This award serves as a tribute to Dr. Vars and his pioneering developments in parenteral nutrition and is given annually for the best original research presentation by an investigator. The nominees include:

Brian Derstine, MS - Project title: Morphomic Malnutrition Score: A Standardized Approach to Diagnosing Severe Malnutrition in Adults 

Kate E. Fetterplace, APD - Project title: Targeted Full Energy and Protein Delivery in Critically Ill Patients: A pilot randomized control trial

Ajay K. Jain, MD - Project title: No gut no gain! Enteral bile acid treatment preserves gut growth but is not protective for TPN associated liver injury in a novel extensive short bowel resection animal model

Gustavo G. Real , MD, MSc - Project title: Low muscle mass estimated by calf circumference is a significant risk factor for 30-day hospital readmission

Jiwei Wang, PhD - Project title: Gut microbiota as a modulator of Paneth cells during total parenteral nutrition in mice

This year’s Rhoads Research Lecture, among the highest and most prestigious of ASPEN’s annual awards, will be given by Michael D. Jensen, MD. In his lecture, Dr. Jensen will discuss the importance of understanding inter-organ energy flow on nutrition support.

“Nutrition intervention has been shown to improve clinical outcomes and help reduce complication rates, length and cost of hospital stays, readmission rates, and, in some studies, mortality,” said Debra BenAvram, FASAE, CAE, ASPEN Chief Executive Officer. “Each year, ASPEN looks forward to fostering the interdisciplinary collaboration required for effective clinical nutrition.”

The Nutrition Science & Practice Conference and its activities are limited to registered attendees and exhibitors. For more information, please visit the conference website.


ASPEN, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, ASPEN is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,500 members from around the world, ASPEN 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 ASPEN, please visit

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