NEWS | July 28, 2015

UC Davis to partner with NEC Society to host first national conference on necrotizing enterocolitis


The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics and Division of Neonatology will partner with the NEC Society in hosting the first national conference on necrotizing enterocolitis, set for spring of 2017. The event will bring together physicians, scientists, and parents from across North America with expertise in necrotizing enterocolitic (NEC) for the first time. 

Mark Underwood Mark Underwood

Although NEC is a leading cause of overall infant mortality in the United States, there has never been a U.S. conference solely dedicated to the prevention and treatment of NEC. The NEC Society has been approved for a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support "Necrotizing Enterocolitis Symposium: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Improved NEC Outcomes."

"This is an exciting time for research into this devastating disease. Recent breakthroughs in prevention of NEC are promising, but NEC remains the most common cause of death in small premature infants after the first two weeks of life, so there is much work to be done," said Mark Underwood, UC Davis division chief of neonatology, NEC researcher, and member of the NEC Society advisory board.

Jennifer Canvasser and Erin Umberger, two mothers who have each lost a child to NEC, along with the NEC Society’s scientific advisory council members, will lead the planning and implementation of this groundbreaking conference, in partnership with UC Davis. Through this conference, the NEC Society will bring together the key stakeholders and leaders on NEC to develop new collaborations, new lines of research, and new protocols to help diagnose, prevent, and treat this devastating disease. 

The NEC Society is a collaboration among clinicians, researchers, families and others dedicated to reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in fragile infants. NEC affects over 4,000 premature infants every year in the U.S. and 1/3 of the infants who develop NEC will die from the disease.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and Level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. With more than 120 physicians in 33 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital has more than 74,000 clinic and hospital visits and 13,000 emergency department visits each year. For more information, visit