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The AUA is a leader in helping to advance opportunities for awareness and support for urologic research. We work with the research and policy communities to develop and maintain relationships with federal funding agencies; combine efforts with patient advocacy groups; represent the AUA in political arenas on behalf of urologic research; and provide input on legislative issues impacting urologic research. The AUA's current priorities for research advocacy focus on increasing funding for bladder health and prostate cancer, as well as identifying ways to increase pediatric urology research funding.
What You Should Know
The field of urologic research has been chronically underfunded for more than 15 years. Over that time, funding for urologic research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funder of biomedical research in the world, is far below the need, considering the impact of urologic diseases, and the problem may be worsening. In the last three years, NIH funding specifically for urologic diseases has seen a reduction from $542 million in 2011 to $510 million in 2014. The consequence of this is that talented individuals who previously considered careers in biomedical research and urologic research in particular, are migrating to different fields, generating a critical shortage of researchers that would develop new treatments for patients with urologic diseases.
What the AUA is Doing
In 2014, the Office of Research became an Advisory Committee member of the Friends of NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) congressional advocacy coalition in support of funding for NIDDK extramural research.
The Office of Research is also engaging with the Defense Health Research Consortium. This coalition effectively advocates for congressional funding of the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Five of the CDMRP programs include funds for urologic research, the largest funder being the DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program.
The AUA Director of Research and Research Council Chair also serve as AUA liaisons to represent urologic research interests at public meetings of the NIDDK Advisory Council, and represent urologic research interests at public meetings of the National Cancer Advisory Board.
The AUA National Urology Research Agenda (NURA) established in 2010 and planned for update in 2015, serves as a roadmap for communicating priority research areas and infrastructure needs for basic and clinical urologic research, with the overarching goal of promoting research that will enable substantial improvements in patient care. The NURA seeks not only to identify areas of scientific priority and opportunity, but also to emphasize the importance of team-based, multidisciplinary activities, which are critical to "growing" the field and increasing competitiveness for funding.
What You Can Do
Visit the AUA Advocacy Center for updates on alerts and calls to action on this issue.
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