Iowa Park Native to Speak at Speakers and Issues Series

Iowa Park native Dr. Mark Puder will bring his experience with drug companies and the drug approval process to Midwestern State University next week when he will be the guest speaker for the Speakers and Issues Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Akin Auditorium. 

Puder is associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and an associate in the Department of Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital, where he was recently honored as the first incumbent William E. Ladd Chair in Surgery. William E. Ladd is known as the father of pediatric surgery for his work in the early years of the 20th century. 

"One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Meeting the Challenges of Getting New Drugs Approved" will be Puder's topic - something with which he has had extensive experience. Puder's main research concerns the treatment of babies born with Short Bowel Syndrome or other intestinal defects. These children previously were placed on a soybean oil-based food supplement, which in turn was damaging the liver because of the high fat content. Puder replaced that supplement with one based on fish oil, Omegaven. Since the change in supplements, Puder said that the mortality rate at Children's Hospital Boston has dropped from 2-6 deaths and liver transplants per year, to only one transplant in six years. 

Although the treatment was promising, the drug company that made Omegaven was not willing to put it through the clinical trials for Food and Drug Administration approval. Because it still is not approved, Puder must receive special permission from the FDA to use Omegaven. 

Puder's research has earned him the Stanley J. Dudrick Research Scholar Award from the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Jacobson Promising Investigator Award from the American College of Surgeons. Last fall, he was a finalist for the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award. Other studies Puder has conducted involve treatments for surgical adhesions, melanoma, and infertility that are now in the initial stages of clinical research. 

Puder received his bachelor's degree from MSU. In 2002, he was named MSU's Arthur F. Beyer Distinguished Alumnus, and was the Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Science and Mathematics in 1999. He was also featured in the Fall 2012 Sunwatcher Magazine (http://www.msutexas.edu/sunwatcher/2012-Fall/index.html#/10/). 

Admission is free; donations are welcome. For more information, contact Dr. Claudia Montoya at (940) 397-4259 or visit www.msutexas.edu/sis.