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Release: Immediate

Dr. Lloyd Filer, UI pediatrician and researcher, dies at 77

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Lloyd Jackson Filer Jr., M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and an internationally known and respected pediatric nutritionist, died Saturday, Feb. 1, at UIHC after a short illness.

Filer, 77, spent more than 50 years in nutrition research, pioneering important advances in infant nutrition and growth, including such well-known infant formula products as Similac with Iron and aspartame, the artificial sweetener.

Born a child of the Depression, he was a product of the Pennsylvania coal fields who, in his own words, "begged, borrowed, and stole" his way through graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh.

He graduated from the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1952. After a residency in pediatrics, he spent the next 13 years serving part time on the faculty at Ohio State University and full time with Ross Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, where he played a leadership role in developing Similac with Iron.

He subsequently joined the UI faculty in 1965, where he led research efforts that resulted in the high-intensity sweetener, aspartame. His career in nutrition research spanned more than 50 years. He received many awards, including the 1988 Nutrition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which he shared with Dr. Eckhard Ziegler, UI professor of pediatrics.

He and Dr. Ziegler co-authored the seventh edition of the internationally used reference text, Present Knowledge in Nutrition, (ILSA, Washington D.C., 1996), first published in 1953.

Services for Dr. Filer are pending.