NEC Society Announces Dr. Michael S. Caplan as Opening Keynote Speaker at the First National NEC Symposium

The NEC Society, in partnership with the University of California at Davis, is proud to announce Dr. Michael S. Caplan as the opening keynote speaker for the groundbreaking NEC Symposium. Dr. Caplan, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Chief Scientific Officer at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), is a practicing neonatologist, whose research interests include understanding the pathophysiology of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis and designing specific strategies to prevent the disease. Dr. Caplan is currently the Principal Investigator on a multi-center trial to test the efficacy of probiotics in the prevention of NEC in premature infants.


Dr. Caplan has won international acclaim for his NIH-funded research on the causes and treatment of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

The national NEC Symposium will take place April 6 and 7, 2017 on the UC Davis campus, and is made possible by a PCORI Engagement Award. Prospective keynote speakers were nominated by a diverse committee, comprised of some of the world’s leading champions for NEC prevention.

Dr. Caplan has served for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a permanent member on study sections for grant review and as Chairman of the Neonatal Research Network in 2006-2011. He has co-authored over 100 manuscripts and lectures internationally on neonatal evidence-based medicine, NEC, probiotics, and the benefits of fish oil in premature infants.

Dr. Caplan earned his medical degree in 1984 from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, and a fellowship in neonatology at Northwestern University Medical School.

Beyond being a distinguished researcher and clinician, Dr. Caplan is an advocate for patient and family-centered care. As described by the Northshore Research Institute, “Kim Peterson had never heard of  neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a bowel-destroying disease that is the third leading cause of death in premature infants, when her twins were born 11 weeks prematurely. But Dr. Caplan was her attending neonatologist. He diagnosed the disease as soon as Aaron showed the first symptoms. Immediate treatment prevented serious damage and the need for surgery on the extremely fragile newborn.”

The NEC Society is grateful to the talented and dedicated clinicians, scientists and patient-advocates serving on the Symposium’s planning committee. It will be an honor to host the internationally-acclaimed Dr. Caplan at the NEC Symposium.

In the coming months, the planning committee will announce the Symposium’s closing keynote speaker and full agenda, as well as a call for abstracts. Registration will open this fall. Visit for details as they become available.

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