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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 06, 2010

Contact:
Lacey Dean, AUA
410-689-3932, communications@auanet.org

AUA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2010 RESEARCH SCHOLAR PROGRAM AWARD WINNERS

LINTHICUM, MD, January 6, 2010–The AUA Foundation announced its 2010 Research Scholars today, continuing its commitment to supporting urologic research, even as other resources for research scholars dwindle. The AUA Foundation Research Scholar Program, now in its 35th year, supports young scientists in the early stages of their research careers by providing salary stipends to researchers studying urologic diseases. The Foundation received 35 applications this year, of which nine have won a Research Scholar Award.

 

The following researchers have been named AUA Foundation Research Scholars for 2010:

Lysanne Campeau, MDCM, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Linking Genotype with Molecular Mechanism for Stress Urinary Incontinence

Dr. Campeau’s study explores the relationship between genotype and molecular mechanisms for stress urinary incontience (SUI). This research could further the understanding of how genetics might predict the risk for developing SUI.

Award Sponsored by the AUA Southeastern Section Research Scholar Endowment Fund

 

Brian Chapin, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center

The Endothelial Cell as the Mediator of Angiogenic Escape in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Dr. Chapin’s research focuses on analyzing the endothelial cell response to anti-angiogenic therapy and the mechanisms that allow them to escape suppression. His research is designed to improve the effectiveness of currently available anti-angiogenic drugs (sunitnib) and will lead the way to potentially developing newer drugs for treating metastatic renal cancer.

Award Sponsored by the Kidney Cancer Association

 

Sandra Koo, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

The Role of Testosterone in Prostate Inflammation and Age-Related Prostate Disease

Dr. Koo will investigate the following hypotheses: advancing age, which is associated with androgen deficiency, correlates with prostate inflammation; testosterone supplementation can reverse the inflammatory process in older prostates; and testosterone deficiency leads to a loss of tight junction protein expression in the prostate and is associated with increased inflammation.

Award Sponsored by the AUA Western Section Research Scholar Endowment Fund

 

Congxing Lin, PhD, Washington University - St.Louis

Investigating Genetic Etiology of Hypospadias and Epispadias

Dr. Lin plans to use state-of-the-art genetic tools to establish rodent models for hypospadias, a congenital defect of the penis and urethra, and identify new genetic factors that might contribute to human urogenital conditions. This work will greatly advance our knowledge of hypospadias and establish a basis for the early detection and possibly intervention of genital defects.

Award Sponsored by the AUA and the AUA Foundation

 

Steven Mooney, PhD, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Multiplexing Biomarkers to Diagnose Symptomatic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Dr. Mooney will analyze other potential markers for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) along with clinical data already used, such as prostate-specific antigen levels and age. This new strategy should allow patients to receive proper treatment in a timely manner and reduce unnecessary healthcare costs.

Award Sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis

 

Sandeep Ranpura, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Boston

JunB is a Novel Regulator of Bladder Smooth Muscle Growth and Contractility

Dr. Ranpura’s research will determine the requirement for the protoncogene JunB in regulation of bladder smooth muscle cell growth and contractility and determine how JunB levels are altered in bladder tissue from children with spina bifida or in a rat model of spinal cord injury, conditions characterized by abnormal bladder contractility. These studies will provide novel insights into the signals that control smooth muscle function in the bladder wall and may reveal new targets for therapeutic intervention.

Award Sponsored by the Astellas USA Foundation

 

Peter Stahl, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College

Genetic Basis of Idiopathic Male Infertility

Although up to half of severe male infertility is suspected to be genetic, the majority of these genetic problems have not yet been identified.  Dr. Stahl’s research seeks to identify and understand the genes important in male infertility. He is hopeful that this work will translate into improved diagnostic testing and the development of new treatments for infertile men.

Award Sponsored by the AUA and the AUA Foundation

 

Jennifer Taylor, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Exopeptidases in Blood and Urine as Biomarkers for Bladder Cancer

Research has shown that enzymes such as exopeptidases may affect the ability of cancer to invade and metastasize. By comparing results from patients with different stages of disease, Dr. Taylor will examine whether higher expression of the exopeptidases is associated with cancer progression or recurrence.  These experiments may increase our understanding of the biology of bladder cancer and provide another method to detect the presence of cancer or to better predict a patient’s outcome.

Award Sponsored by the Astellas USA Foundation

 

Bryce Weber, MD, FRCSC, Hospital for Sick Children

Epigenetic Responses to Uropathogenic E.coli Urinary Tract Infection

Using an in vitro UTI model, Dr. Weber will study the epigenetic consequences of urinary tract infection (UTI) and attempt to establish a proof-of-principle between pathogenic E. coli-induced uroepithelial cell promoter methylation and loss of gene expression in the infected uroepithelial cell. If proven, such a finding will provide a novel field of study for potential mechanisms in UTI pathogenesis.

Award Sponsored by the AUA and the AUA Foundation

 

 

The AUA Foundation Research Scholar Program provides support to young men and women who are interested in pursuing a career in urologic research. The 2010 awards are one-year fellowships for MDs and PhDs. The program seeks to attract the highest quality research candidates available and offers a $40,000 salary stipend for each year of the award, with a 100 percent match from the researcher’s institution.

 

“We are incredibly proud to be celebrating 35 years of bestowing these awards,” said AUA Foundation Executive Director Sandra Vassos, MPA. “By supplementing researcher salaries, we hope to attract the best and brightest to research urologic conditions so that we can meet our goal of ultimately curing urologic diseases.”

 

Since its inception in 1975, the program has presented research scholarships and awards to nearly 500 researchers through a variety of programs and fellowships. Many of those scholars remain in academic urology today, conducting valuable research and continuing to build upon the base of experience and knowledge gained during their research fellowships.

 

This is the second year of the AUA Section Research Scholar Endowment Initiative. The AUA Western Section and the AUA Southeastern Section each sponsored awards for this cycle. The AUA South Central Section, North Central Section and Northeastern Section are currently funding scholars for 2009 – 2011 under the initiative.

 

Contact Lacey Dean at 410-689-4054 for more information on the AUA Foundation Research Scholars Program or to schedule an interview with one of the following experts:

·         Sandra Vassos, MPA, AUA Foundation executive director

·         Anton Bueschen, MD, AUA president

·         Anthony J. Schaeffer, MD, chair of the AUA Foundation Research Council, chair of the Department of Urology at Northwestern University  

·         Leo Giambarresi, PhD, AUA Foundation director of research

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The AUA Foundation is the world’s leading non-profit urological health foundation and the Official Foundation of the American Urological Association. Our mission is to promote health, provide hope and promise a future free of urologic disease, including cancer.

 

As the official foundation of the AUA, the professional organization of approximately 16,000 urologists, the AUA Foundation is the trusted public source for the most accurate and current information relating to urological health.