His pioneering research and leadership in parenteral
nutrition advanced surgery and continues to save millions of lives worldwide
19, 2020, Silver Spring, MD — Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick, FACS, the first president
and founder of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
(ASPEN) died yesterday. Dr. Dudrick’s groundbreaking research in the efficacy
of intravenous feeding is recognized as one of the three most important
advances in modern surgery.
Dudrick’s research, first published in 1968, and his continuing commitment to
the development of parenteral nutrition, has transformed the care of acutely
ill patients and saved the lives of millions of children and adults.
the passing of Dr. Dudrick, medicine has lost one of its most inspirational
leaders,” said ASPEN President Lingtak-Neander Chan, PharmD, BCNSP. “Dr.
Dudrick’s legacy goes far beyond his pioneering research. While he continued as
the seminal scientist in the development of parenteral nutrition, throughout
his life he also chaired the surgery department at four institutions, authored
textbooks and hundreds of journal articles, and taught and mentored countless
physicians and other healthcare providers. Dr. Dudrick
will be remembered as a healer and visionary, whose kindness has deeply touched
many people, and whose achievements have changed the lives of many.”
Dudrick truly nourished other medical and healthcare professionals. He always
found the time to meet with physicians, scientists, clinicians, and students
from around the world to answer questions about his research and nutrition.
ASPEN’s archives are filled with letters of appreciation—and wonder—at his
generosity, knowledge, and compassion,” said Marion Winkler, PhD, RD, President
of the ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation.
tireless proponent of the importance of the science of nutrition, Dr. Dudrick
was one of the 35 healthcare professionals who worked together in 1975 to
create ASPEN as an interdisciplinary association founded for the purpose of
providing optimal nutrition to all people.
interdisciplinary membership and approach reflects one of the principles that
guided Dr. Dudrick’s life and marked his brilliant and life-changing career,”
said ASPEN’s 8th president Ezra Steiger, MD, FACS, FASPEN, AGAF. “He practiced
collaboration from the earliest days of his research when he reached out to
other physician specialists, basic scientists, pharmacists, nurses, dietitians,
and medical suppliers.”
also continues Dr. Dudrick’s commitment to scientific research and advancement
through its educational programs and journal publications that he championed,”
said Marion Winkler. “In addition, each year the Dudrick Research Scholar Award
is presented to a mid-career scientist who is contributing to our understanding
and the advancement of nutritional support.”
is far from alone in recognizing Dr. Dudrick’s contributions to medical research,
education, and clinical practice.
his inspirational life, Dr. Dudrick received more than 100 national and
international honors and awards including the AMA Joseph B. Goldberger Award in
Clinical Nutrition; the AMA Brookdale Award in Medicine; the Ladd Medal of the
American Academy of Pediatrics; the American College of Nutrition Goldsmith
Award; and the American Surgical Association’s First Flance/Karl Award in 1997
for his seminal and lifetime scientific contributions to surgery; and the
American College of Surgeons Jacobsen Innovation Award in 2005.
“In 2017 we recognized Dr. Dudrick’s
visionary and paradigm-shifting contribution to clinical nutrition in his
development of parenteral nutrition and his outstanding mentorship of generation
after generation of nutrition professionals with ASPEN’s first Lifetime
Achievement Award,“ said ASPEN’s 40th president, Charlene Compher, PhD, RD, CNSC, LDN, FASPEN. “His
perseverance and insight were appreciated on that occasion with heartfelt toasts,
hugs and tears from clinicians and patients alike. He will be sorely missed. “
native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Dudrick graduated from Franklin and Marshall
College with a B.S. degree in Biology with honors in 1957. He received his
medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1961.
After completing a rotating internship and residency training in general
surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Dudrick joined
the faculty at Penn and rose in rank from Instructor to Professor of Surgery
within five years.
distinguished academic career spanned more than 40 years, including his
selection as the first Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of
Surgery at the then new University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He went
on to chair the departments of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania; at
Saint Mary’s Hospital, a Yale teaching hospital; and at Bridgeport Hospital/Yale
New Haven Health System. He also served as Professor of Surgery at Yale
University School of Medicine; and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Surgery of
Quinnipiac College, Bridgeport Hospital/Yale New Haven
Health System. In 2007, Dr. Dudrick was named — and remained active for a
number of years — as Chairman Emeritus, Department of Surgery and Director
Emeritus of the Program in Surgery at Saint Mary’s Hospital and at Yale.
When his health allowed, Dr. Dudrick continued
to participate in ASPEN programs and events, including ASPEN’s annual Nutrition
Science & Practice Conferences. “He drew a crowd wherever he went and
never tired of sharing his inspiring stories with everyone. He followed new
research with great curiosity and enthusiasm and was generous with his
encouragement and guidance to young clinicians and investigators. He was a true
educator, mentor and role model for all,” said Immediate Past President Nilesh
M. Mehta, MD.
also was very active in the ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation, serving many
years on the Board of Directors, and as Director Emeritus. This commitment to research
demonstrated his dedication to young investigators discovering the next
important breakthrough in clinical nutrition,” said Nilesh Mehta.
a 2006 interview, Dr. Dudrick said, “And I hope that I would be remembered
as somebody who truly, greatly appreciates the privilege of having spent a
wonderful life with wonderful parents, family, teachers, mentors, colleagues,
residents, fellows, students, staff, friends, and patients, who have
contributed so much to enrich my life and to allow me to feel that I might have
achieved some of my own goals and aspirations and whatever the purpose or purposes
were of my creator.”
condolences go out to Dr. Dudrick’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with
his wife Terri (Theresa), who had been at his side since medical school and to
his six children — Susan Marie, Stanley Jonathan, Holly Anne, Paul Stanley,
Carolyn Mary, and Anne Theresa — who shared their father with laboratory
experiments, patients, and medical students,” said ASPEN Chief Executive
Officer Wanda Johnson, CMP, CAE, FACEHP.
Messages can be left on the digital guestbook.
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) 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