URBANA – Kellly Tappenden, a University of Illinois professor of nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology, is the winner of the 2013 Distinguished Nutrition Support Dietitian, Advanced Clinical Practice Award given by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN).
With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, Tappenden is a recognized expert and leader in clinical nutrition. She specializes in enteral and parenteral therapies that benefit the nearly 10,000 U.S. patients who are totally reliant on intravenous feeding because their intestines have been surgically shortened.
Many of these patients are premature infants who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis, a kind of gangrene of the intestine. In the United States, one in eight infants is a preemie, and removing necrotized, or dead, intestine is the most common surgical emergency in these babies.
She has authored more than 120 research publications, conference proceedings, and reports focused on nutrition support therapy, and she has given more than 100 lectures and industry presentations. Her research has also led to the development of a drug recently approved for use in patients with short-bowel syndrome.
Tappenden was president of ASPEN from 2008 to 2009, and she and her graduate students have received many of the organization’s most prestigious awards.
“Dr. Tappenden has continually contributed to ASPEN’s success for more than 10 years,” said Debra S. BenAvram, the organization’s chief executive officer. “She is a phenomenal mentor, researcher, and speaker on a variety of nutrition topics and is well deserving of this honor.”