Keynote Address by Dr. David J. Hackam at NEC Symposium

The NEC Society, in partnership with the University of California at Davis, is thrilled to announce Dr. David J. Hackam, MD, PhD, as the NEC Symposium’s day two opening speaker. Dr. Hackam is the Garrett Family Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University, and Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief and co-Director of the Bloomberg Children’s Center of Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed his Pediatric Surgery fellowship training in Pittsburgh, and General Surgery training in Toronto, where he completed a PhD with Dr. Sergio Grinstein in cell biology.  smaller hopkins HACKAM david-2

The first 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. The Symposium is groundbreaking in that the core planning committee is comprised of a diverse group of family-patient advocates, clinicians, and researchers, who are planning a transdisciplinary conference with some of the world’s leading champions for NEC prevention.

Dr. Hackam’s clinical practice focuses on complex neonatal surgery. His laboratory is focused on unraveling the molecular mechanisms that underlie several important surgical diseases, including necrotizing enterocolitis, and seeks to develop novel therapeutic strategies to prevent or reverse the disease processes. Dr. Hackam’s team has developed techniques of intestinal stem cell isolation and culture, and is working with tissue engineers and chemists towards the development of an artificial intestine, which has been tested in large and small pre-clinical models. He is also exploring compounds naturally found in breast milk that may help premature infants fight necrotizing enterocolitis.

Dr. Hackam’s work has led to many awards and honors, the filing of several international patents, and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hackam is passionate about training the next and current generation of clinician-scientists, and he is committed to excellent clinical care that is both family-centered and innovative.

Beyond being a distinguished scientist and clinician, Dr. Hackam is an advocate for patient and family-centered care, making him an ideal partner for the NEC Society. “We owe it to our patients to go beyond what’s in the textbooks, not because the information in them is not true or relevant, but because all the answers we need may not be there. The solutions to some of our most vexing quandaries are only limited by a clinician’s imagination, creativity and thirst for knowledge. We need to strive for ever-more-precise and individualized treatment, one that optimizes the effects of therapy by factoring in each patient’s genetic makeup and environmental influences,” says Dr. Hackam.

Dr. Hackam is a member of the American Surgical Association, the American Association of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and is the past-President of the Society of University Surgeons.

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 renowned Dr. Hackam at the NEC Symposium.

In the coming months, the NEC Society will announce the Symposium’s full agenda, as well as open the call for abstracts. Visit for details as they become available.

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