AUA Investigator

Spring 2016


Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR) Promotes Urologic Research and Partners to Advance AUA Research Mission

  SBUR

The Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR) is a US-based basic urological researcher's society, with members including molecular biologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, andrologists, oncologists, biochemists and clinical urologic scientists from academia, industry and government. SBUR scientists’ expertise includes the study of urologic cancers, the biology of prostate growth, kidney and bladder function, autoimmune urologic diseases, infectious diseases, neurourologic diseases, male reproductive biology, infertility and erectile dysfunction.

With a current membership of over 450 scientists, the SBUR is a major force on the landscape of urologic research, and annually brings together researchers from all over the world to focus on key topics. The SBUR held its 29th annual Fall meeting on November 12–15, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which focused on the theme, “The Environment-Gene Interface in Urologic Health and Disease.” Over the course of the meeting, the theme was addressed at both macro- and micro-environmental scales with presentations from across the spectrum of organ systems and biological processes relevant to genitourinary pathophysiology.

Attendees enjoyed 30 plenary talks from experts in urologic research who spoke on a range of topics relevant to external and internal environmental influences on urologic pathophysiology. These included metabolism and inflammation, immunotherapy and endocrine disruption, as well as the impact of race, ethnicity and dietary constituents on the manifestation of both benign and malignant urologic disease. The meeting also convened two highly successful poster sessions highlighting work from both trainees and established investigators, as well as a spirited discussion forum comprising short talks on a variety of model systems for urologic disease research. Attendees also heard updates from Dr. Carolyn Best, Director of the AUA Office of Research and Dr. Tracy Rankin, Training Program Director at the NIDDK on funding opportunities, grant-seeking strategies and training initiatives to facilitate their research and career development.

The SBUR Fall meeting showcases basic and translational research from across the urologic research spectrum and is an absolute must for those interested in fundamental mechanisms underlying development, homeostasis and pathophysiology of the prostate, bladder, kidney and other urogenital organs.

In addition to conducting research conferences that lead the field in disseminating new insights in basic urologic research, SBUR members are intimately involved with the educational, training, advocacy, and other research activities of the AUA in a variety of roles to ensure ongoing career development of both MD and PhD researchers in urology, as well as advancement of the research mission of the AUA. These include service on the AUA Research Council and its three committees, participation in peer review and mentoring for Urology Care Foundation research grants, service on planning committees for conferences conducted by the AUA Office of Research and research advocacy efforts to increase support for urologic research through the NIH and other major funders.

The SBUR is excited to continue working closely with the AUA to assist in developing and implementing new and existing initiatives that will advance urologic research and foster the career development of MD and PhD urology researchers. Perhaps most importantly, the SBUR is committed to providing the scientific training environment and networking between translational researchers and urologists to enable the success of the unprecedented investment that has been made by the AUA to develop the Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Program. This strong partnership between the SBUR and the AUA is critical for bringing novel improvements to healthcare as it relates to genitourinary diseases.


Research Events at the 2016 AUA Annual Meeting

  AUA2016

Registration is now open! Please view the full program for locations and times of research events.

Urologic Oncology Research Symposium
The intent of the annual Urologic Oncology Research Symposium is to create synergies and foster collaboration in genitourinary oncology by bringing together scientists and clinicians in a stimulating and interactive setting toward catalyzing the translation of laboratory research to practical application. This year’s topic is “Forging New Paths in Research to Advance Urologic Oncology,” and will feature new translational research being conducted at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) and advancements that are on the near-horizon for clinical practice to the urology community. The symposium will highlight advancements in genetics/epigenetics, immunotherapy and targeted therapies for personalized medicine and will also feature SPORE career development programs and a panel discussion to increase urologist engagement with clinical trials.

Basic Sciences Symposium
The Basic Sciences Symposium, held annually at the AUA Annual Meeting, is a premier research event attracting basic scientists, surgeon-scientists and other urologic investigators from various specialties. The symposium benefits from the synergy of new investigators and successful senior researchers in a stimulating and informative setting. The information discussed and shared during this meeting assists in translating basic and clinical research to practical application.

This year’s symposium is titled “The Human Microbiome in Urologic Health and Disease.” This area of research has become increasingly pursued in numerous fields as our understanding of the role of the microbiome in a multitude of human conditions and diseases increases. However, the role of the microbiome in urologic disease is only beginning to be understood. Therefore, the symposium will include expert speakers from disciplines both from within and external to urology to enable application of knowledge of the microbiome and basic science approaches to study urologic disease.

Topics include the biology of colonization and how it can have causative or protective effects in disease; bacterial symbiosis; the interface between microorganisms and the neuroendocrine system; network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance and the ever-increasing toolbox of resources for this emerging field. Applications in urology such as incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, urinary stone disease, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and diet and nutrition, among others, will be featured.

UROLOGY CARE FOUNDATION Research Honors Program
The Urology Care Foundation Research Honors Program* welcomes AUA and Urology Care Foundation research grant recipients and mentors, AUA members and leadership, award sponsors and others. The accomplishments of the Foundation’s research grant programs and recipients are featured. All currently funded awardees are acknowledged during the program, and “graduating” awardees are presented with plaques signifying their completion of the program. One graduating scholar is recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Scholar.

The program also includes the presentation of a Distinguished Mentor Award to a senior scientist who has demonstrated a successful track record in training and mentoring research fellows. A Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a former Urology Care Foundation research grant recipient who has made significant contributions to the field of research. New recipients of the John W. Duckett, MD Pediatric Urology Research Excellence Award and the Richard D. Williams, MD, Prostate Cancer Research Excellence Award will also be recognized.

*Please note: This is an invitation only event.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES AND GRANTWRITING GUIDANCE FOR EARLY-CAREER INVESTIGATORS
The Funding Opportunities and Grantwriting Guidance for Early-career Investigators session is offered to assist researchers in identifying and understanding sources of funding and improving their grantwriting skills. The course provides information on where to find grant opportunities, preparing effective grant applications and peer review processes. Presenters include representatives from federal agencies and others to provide information and insight on current funding opportunities.

Research Forum: early-career investigators showcase
The AUA Office of Research is honored to support urologic research, especially the work of early-career investigators. The annual Research Forum is the only event at the Annual Meeting that is dedicated to promoting their work and meets its mission to showcase Early-career Investigators. The presenters for the Research Forum are selected from nominations made by AUA sections, affiliated societies and members of the Research Council. All nominees are invited to display posters. The top nominees present their work during the Forum program, and first, second and third place awards are given.

CHALLENGES FOR UROLOGIC RESEARCH SERIES
The Challenges for Urologic Research series will focus its 2016 session on “Diabesity.” This meeting is designed to focus on environmental and lifestyle factors in urologic health and disease, specifically the impact of metabolic syndrome and the cluster of type 2 diabetes and obesity (“diabesity”) on the urologic patient community. Topics will range from epidemiological to basic to clinical science. The principal goals for this symposium are to provide insight on current advances in understanding and managing the effects of diabesity on urologic health and disease, as well as to strengthen research-focused relationships with other subspecialty societies in urology.

 

Urology Researchers Making a Difference

From Trainee to Mentor: Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD

 Trinity J. Bivalacqua

Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Urology, Surgery and Oncology, Director of Urologic Oncology and Clinical Director of Medical Student Clerkships at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC). He has a range of research interests with a special emphasis on cancers of the prostate and bladder.

Dr. Bivalacqua was awarded a Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award in 2007 for his project titled “Molecular Basis of Priapism: Nitric Oxide Imbalance.” He devoted this one-year award to elucidating molecular pathomechanisms underlying recurrent ischemic priapism associated with sickle cell disease. As a Research Scholar, Dr. Bivalacqua was given the opportunity to develop into an independent scientist, surgeon and leader in his department. Following the completion of his award, he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

In 2011, Dr. Bivalacqua was awarded a Clinical Investigator Award (K08) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for a project titled “Roles of RhoA/Rho-kinase Signaling in Cavernous Neurons Following Axonal Injury,” and successfully applied for a Urology Care Foundation Rising Stars in Urology Research Award the following year. These ongoing career development awards are focused on identifying a novel signaling pathway (RhoA/Rho-kinase) involved in cavernous nerve axonal regeneration after injury in order to preserve neuro-regulator control of penile erection.

Dr. Bivalacqua’s laboratory has been able to demonstrate the phases of neuroinflammation that cause cavernous nerves to degenerate and undergo apoptosis, which causes severe neurogenic erectile dysfunction. Once a set of particular cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha) were identified as the main mediator of nerve degeneration, his team developed systemic and local administration of inhibitors of TNF-alpha to prevent the nerves from degenerating, thus preserving erectile function following injury. Additionally, they have identified a signaling kinase — Rho-kinase—that is increased in response to nerve injury in the pelvic ganglia. This increase in Rho-kinase causes selective degeneration and apoptosis of nitrergic neurons, which release nitric oxide.

The lab has developed an inhibitor of Rho-kinase that prevents degeneration of nitrergic neurons and preserves erectile function. Both of these inhibitors of TNF-alpha and Rho-kinase can be used in combination to preserve the autonomic innervation of the penis. Dr. Bivalacqua and his team are currently working with nanomedicine colleagues to develop a hydrogel that can be placed on the neurovascular bundle of men following radical prostatectomy to help preserve the innervation of the penis, thus preventing erectile dysfunction following radical prostatectomy. This research is both in press and submitted for publication. Moreover, Phase I clinical trials in humans are expected to begin later this year once the pharmacokinetics of drug release from the hydrogels have been developed.

Dr. Bivalacqua has earned several promotions to leadership positions in his division, such as Director of Urologic Oncology. As a rapidly-growing surgeon-scientist, Dr. Bivalacqua was determined to be an ideal candidate to help build the division with a vision that included strong clinical science, translational science and an emphasis on outcomes including quality of life. Dr. Bivalacqua writes, “The support I received from the Urology Care Foundation awards was invaluable to my career development. They allowed me to concentrate on my research program and my lab doubled in size and funding during the award period. During this time, I was able to develop productive collaborative relationships with members of the neurology, translational tissue engineering center and nanomedicine, which enhanced and expanded my research program by bringing new techniques into the lab. This resulted in recruitment of post-doctoral fellows and urology residents to my lab. It was during this period that I transitioned from mentee to mentor.”

For more information on Urology Care Foundation research grant programs, see AUAnet.org/ResearchFunding.


Distinguished Mentor in Urology and Infertility: Dolores J. Lamb, PhD

  Dolores J. Lamb, PHD

Dolores “Dorrie” J. Lamb, PhD, is the Lester and Sue Smith Chair in Basic Urologic Research, Vice-Chair for Research, Director of the Laboratory for Male Reproductive Research and Testing, and Professor in the Departments of Urology and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. Her lab currently studies the genetic basis of human male infertility, epigenetic alterations associated with non-obstructive azoospermia and the genomic basis of congenital genitourinary birth defects. Dr. Lamb also has ongoing studies of prostate cancer (androgen and vitamin D3 action in advanced prostate cancer) and a new project on recurrent pregnancy loss (both male and female contributions), among other clinical and laboratory investigations.

How many individuals have you mentored through AUA and Urology Care Foundation award programs?
Shortly after I arrived at the Department of Urology at Baylor, I inherited Jeff Buch, MD — a Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar — for the last six months of his award. Others soon followed: Mark Sigman, MD, Michael Coburn, MD, Craig Niederberger, MD, Tatiana Sheiko, PhD, Edward Kim, MD, David Cozzolino, MD, Victor Brugh, MD, Kirk C. Lo, MD, Joseph Alukal, MD and Michael Hsieh, MD. I am also delighted to announce that I will serve as a mentor for a newly-awarded 2016 Research Scholar, Jeffrey White, MD, PhD. In total, I have trained 86 MD, PhD, and MD/PhD fellows (of whom 8 are now department chairs), 14 residents, 9 graduate students and 54 undergraduate students.

Why did you become a mentor?
I am not sure I consciously “became" a mentor because I inherited a post-doctoral fellow when his primary mentor moved to a new position. With the early fellows about the same age as myself, I think we all learned together. I discovered that although I was there to serve as mentor for their career development, I also benefited greatly and have learned from each one of them. Craig Niederberger, MD, is a great example as he was my computer guru who attempted to help me learn computer programming on what was (at the time) a hacker’s computer: an Amiga and then a SUN UNIX Workstation. We did a great project together after he moved to his first faculty position to develop a neural network for prediction of medical outcomes that was part of an NIH grant that I had. I could contribute to the strategy of what was designed for the approach but the programming was 100% his. What fun we had!

How would you characterize your experience working as a mentor?
I always have a close relationship with my trainees and an emotional commitment to their success. The relationship is one that extends forever — far past the immediate need to train the scholars to think like a scientist. The goal is to have their successes far exceed the mentor’s. The joy at seeing my trainees’ successes in all aspects of life is truly unparalleled. In some respects, I am the proud scientific mother relishing their successes and bragging about their achievements. Importantly, I owe my successes to my trainees as I don’t think I would have achieved my own career achievements without them. It is a very symbiotic relationship!

What are some of the challenges about being a mentor?
A challenge for the mentor is that the mentor-mentee relationship is a two way street. The mentee or trainee has responsibilities as well and sometimes it can be a challenge to “reach them,” and establish a relationship where the mentee seeks to meet regularly, takes advice and chooses whether or not to learn. Unfortunately, some mentees may not want to commit to their responsibilities as mentee.

What advice would you give to individuals preparing to select their mentor or mentoring team?
Mentors and mentees must click together. A principal investigator can easily train a trainee who learns a great deal, but the principal investigator may not be a mentor in the true sense of the word, as they may commit to helping the mentee achieve success only for the moment or, perhaps, not at all. The mentee must take advantage of the skills of the mentor as well as their limitations. Some mentors may be at an early stage in their career where they are struggling to achieve promotion and tenure, so they may not yet be influential people in the field but are superb scientists to train them. Conversely, they may need to put their career development ahead of the trainee’s.

The research funding landscape is changing. What do you see as the biggest future challenge(s) and the key to addressing that challenge(s)?
Diversification of funding sources will be critical with a need for novel approaches to obtain financial support for research in ways not previously considered. Ultimately, innovative, creative, significant and well-written applications usually fare well in grant review panels. I think that having a broad view of urologic research and a willingness to sometimes allow research funding opportunities to direct grant-writing in areas needing funding (RFAs) can be advantageous. The likelihood of funding might be stronger even if in an area where the investigator has specific skills but is new to that specific research area or clinical problem.

To date, Dr. Lamb has mentored 16 Urology Care Foundation research grant recipients. Her commitment to the development of early-career urology researchers is truly unparalleled! To learn more about mentoring opportunities through the Urology Care Foundation and AUA Office of Research, contact investigator@AUAnet.org.

 

Research Funding Highlights

New Federal Funding Available for Urology Researchers

  NIDDK Logo

Thanks to the efforts of the AUA, its advocacy partners the Friends of NIDDK and the Defense Health Research Consortium, and other advocacy organizations, the Fiscal Year 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act  included increased funding for urologic research both from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

Most notably for the urologic research community, CDMRP’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), a $50 million program that has provided funding for kidney cancer, among other topic areas, will now also include funding for bladder cancer research! This addition was largely due to the efforts of the AUA’s Research Advocacy Committee, Office of Research and Government Relations & Advocacy Department. Bladder cancer researchers will now be able to apply for grants under the CDMRP for the first time in its 23-year history. This is a major advance for both bladder cancer researchers and patients, considering that the amount of federal funding currently invested in bladder cancer research is disproportionately low.

In addition, CDMRP’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) is committed to funding basic, translational and clinical research that will strongly impact the understanding of disease and injury etiology. The PRMRP received a $31.2 million increase from last year, bringing the available funding for FY2016 to $278.7 million. Among a total of 39 topic areas, this program includes funding for projects studying interstitial cystitis and nephrology-related research areas.

Finally, the NIH received a $2 billion increase for FY2016, its largest increase in more than a decade, bringing the total available funding to $32 billion. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) was allocated a total of $1.9 billion, which is an increase of $68 million from FY2015.


Congratulations to the 2016 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholars and Rising Stars!

The AUA and the Urology Care Foundation are excited to announce the selection of their newly-funded urology researchers! Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and the Urology Care Foundation, the 2016 Research Scholar Program will fund 26 exceptional awardees. In addition, the 2015 Rising Stars in Urology Research Program is funding two outstanding surgeon-scientists. Please join us in congratulating these early-career investigators and their commitment to advancing urology through research!


Grant Writing Tips: NIH Budget Development

As you begin to develop a budget for your research grant application and put all of the relevant costs down on paper, many questions may arise. Your best resources for answering these questions are the Sponsored Programs Office (or SPO) within your own institution, your departmental administrative officials and your peers. They can answer questions such as:

  • What should be considered a direct cost or indirect cost?
  • What is the fringe benefit rate?
  • What is the graduate student stipend rate?
  • What Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs rate should I use?

Tips for Getting Started

  1. Know your limits! Carefully read the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for budget criteria. You should look for limits on the types of expenses (e.g., no construction allowed), spending caps on certain expenses (e.g., limits on travel costs) and overall funding limits (e.g., limitations on total costs per year). Relevant FOA sections include:
    • II.1 (Mechanism of Support)
    • II.2 (Funds Available)
    • III.2 (Cost Sharing or Matching)
    • IV.5 (Funding Restrictions)
  2. Identify all the costs that are necessary and reasonable to complete the work described in your proposal.
  3. Throughout the budgeting process, round to whole dollars and use only U.S. dollars.
  4. The best strategy is to request a reasonable amount of money to do the work, not more and not less because:
    • Reviewers look for reasonable costs and will judge whether your request is justified by your aims and methods.
    • Reviewers will consider the personnel months you've listed for each of the senior/key personnel and will judge whether the figures are in sync with reviewer expectations, based on the research proposed.
    • Significant over- or under-estimating suggests you may not understand the scope of the work.
    • Despite popular myth, proposing a cost-sharing (matching) arrangement where you only request that NIH support some of the funding while your organization funds the remainder does not normally impact the evaluation of your proposal. Only a few select programs require cost-sharing, and these programs will address cost-sharing in the FOA.

In addition to the support from your work and peer network, The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Extramural Research offers tips for developing a budget for your next grant application. For more budget development tips, visit the NIH Office of Extramural Research website.

 

Research Resources

The University of Wisconsin–Madison O’Brien Center

  Madison O'brien Center

The George M. O’Brien Research Centers of Excellence in Benign Urology are flagship research centers supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (NIDDK) that offer intellectual and technical resources to the general public and clinical and basic science research communities. The University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison O’Brien Center is a multi-site research cooperative between the UW-Madison, the University of Massachusetts-Boston and the NIDDK. The Center focuses on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a highly prevalent disease among aging men. BPH is commonly associated with functional disorders of the lower urinary tract, which can give rise to bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as such as pain, incontinence, incomplete bladder emptying, weak stream and excessive urination during the day or at night. The primary research objective of the UW-Madison O’Brien Center is to investigate mechanistic relationships between fibrosis and BPH/LUTS. The center’s investigators are using pharmacological, dietary and genetic approaches to model human risk factors for BPH/LUTS in mice, determine how prostatic and urethral fibrous content are established and modified and evaluate how these factors impact urinary function. The Center has established a core facility to develop and rigorously validate methods to assess mouse urinary function and provide expertise in imaging, pathological analysis, specimen procurement and data dissemination. The collaboration between the core and individual investigators promotes outstanding science and provides a platform for moving new ideas forward.

Center’s goals:

  • Identify factors that cause urinary dysfunction in aging men
  • Build consensus around research approaches to model urinary dysfunction
  • Provide opportunities for investigators to transition into the field of benign urology
  • Disseminate discoveries from benign urologic research
  • Develop new technologies to improve urologic research

Resources:

  • Pilot funds to support early-stage and high risk/reward benign urologic research projects
  • Validated research protocols for assessing rodent urinary function and evaluating fibrous content in histological samples
  • Freeware for analyzing urinary function testing results and fibrosis research
  • A full-service core facility for urinary function testing including: cystometry, bladder contractility, voiding frequency and voiding volumes
  • Research opportunities for trainees
  • A public database linking rodent urinary physiology, anatomy and molecular biology

Resources are available to Center members and to the greater scientific community. Visit their website for more information.


Kidney Translational Research Core (KTRC) 

  University of Washington School of Medicine

The Kidney Translational Research Core (KTRC) is a comprehensive biorepository and service Center for translational research in kidney and related diseases. It houses clinical data and a variety of biospecimens (serum, urine, tissue, plasma, WBC pellet, DNA, fixed frozen or paraffin embedded biopsies) from more than 3500 patients (adults and children) with diseases affecting the kidney (native or transplanted kidneys) and bladder. KTRC also provides assistance with regulatory procedures related to human studies, access to specimen processing and cryostorage facilities and customized patient recruitment for specific research projects related to kidney disease. A new initiative in collaboration with the genome engineering and induced pluripotent stem cell center (GEiC) is to provide viable cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with kidney or urological diseases.

The KTRC was initiated by support from George M. O’Brien Center for Kidney Disease Research (NIH P30 DK079333) and is currently supported by the Division of Nephrology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Key collaborators facilitating this effort include clinicians and staff from adult and pediatric nephrology, and adult and pediatric urology. Over the last five years, more than 65 publications have benefitted from services offered by the KTRC and more than 50 investigators have utilized its services worldwide. Services are available to non-profit and for-profit entities under a charge-back mechanism. Inquiries may be sent to Dr. Sanjay Jains.

Services:

  • Consultation in all aspects of kidney-related translational research (genomics, single cell sequencing, biomarker discovery, iPSC generation)
  • Grant writing and preliminary data support
  • Clinical data
  • Biospecimens
  • Blood processing for serum, plasma, buffy coat
  • Urine procurement and processing
  • DNA preparation from human tissue or cells
  • RNA preparation
  • Cryosectioning
  • Cryostorage
  • IRB approval
  • iPSCs

Spectrum of Diseases or Pathology:

  • FSGS, IgA nephropathy, Lupus Nephritis, Minimal Change Disease, Membranous Nephropathy, MPGN, Crescentic GN, Alports Syndrome
  • Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), Tubulointerstitial Nephritis
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
  • Diabetic Nephropathy
  • Hypertensive Nephropathy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • CAKUT (agenesis, hypoplasia, dysplasia, duplication, ectopic kidney, VUR, PUV, Prune Belly Syndrome, MCKD, UPJ or UVJ obstruction)
  • Obstructive or Reflux Nephropathy
  • Cystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD, ARPKD, Glomerulocystic)
  • Transplant (acute, chronic rejection)
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Interstitial Cystitis/BPS
  • Normal Kidney (no histopathologic abnormality)
 

Research and Patient Advocacy

CURE-UAB Underscores the Importance of Patient Advocacy for Research

Beaumont

Public awareness of urologic diseases is a major challenge for the field, yet Overactive Bladder (OAB) has recently come to the forefront with media attention helping to raise awareness about its symptoms and treatments to address them. In contrast, Underactive Bladder (UAB) has received much less attention, although it is a serious, chronic, and debilitating disease that affects both sexes and all ethnic groups and has serious consequences if not treated. UAB is a syndrome that includes hesitancy, straining, and incomplete bladder emptying in urination. It greatly reduces both quality of life and long-term health for those who suffer from it.

Fortunately, members of the urologic research community have been rallying to increase their efforts surrounding UAB. One key effort is the Congress of Urologic Research and Education on Underactive Bladder, or CURE-UAB, which is the only scientific conference dedicated to underactive bladder and recently convened its second meeting of health care providers, researchers, and patient advocates in urology, gynecology, neurology and geriatrics. Led by Michael Chancellor, MD and Ananias Diokno, MD of Beaumont Health and Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Michigan, conference participants gathered on December 3–4 in Denver, Colorado to advocate for and stimulate progress on identifying the prevalence of UAB and understanding and overcoming the challenges and complexities of treating it.

CURE-UAB gets it strength from its partnerships—between researchers and physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers; between advocates from medical specialty groups and patient groups; and between federal funders and researchers, since CURE-UAB is supported by both the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (NIDDK). They also receive philanthropic support from the Aikens family, whose generosity enabled CURE-UAB to establish the Akiens Center for Neurourology Research that supports the underactive bladder research and education at Beaumont.

During two days of vigorous CURE-UAB discussions and scientific presentations, one of the key topics focused on promoting research through partnerships between public, academic, industry and governmental stakeholders. The keynote presentation, “Advancing Urologic Research Through Partnerships,” was presented by Carolyn Best, PhD, Director of the AUA’s Office of Research, and highlighted current challenges for bladder health. She reviewed how the AUA Office of Research and the Urology Care Foundation are making progress in advocacy by partnering with the Federal government and private organizations such as foundations, medical and research societies, patient advocacy organizations, academia, and others (such as industry and medical practices) to increase funding for research and ensure that research funds are targeted to bladder health.

Dr. Best highlighted that, to make progress in raising awareness and advocating for research that will lead to new treatments and ultimately to cures, the role of patient advocacy organizations, such as the Underactive Bladder Foundation, is key, especially as organizations partner together to strengthen their collective voices in coalitions such as the Friends of NIDDK and Friends of NIA. Dr. Best’s complete presentation can be found here. In addition, Dr. Best noted that the sharing of stories of individual patients and how the disease has impacted their lives is critically important. The CURE-UAB meeting was honored to highlight the work of JoAnne Lake, whose efforts to share her story and support others suffering with UAB have been groundbreaking for the community.

Going forward, major goals of the underactive bladder healthcare, research, and patient communities are to continue to increase public awareness, accelerate research, and translate research results into clinical care that will improve health outcomes. The 3rd International Congress of Urologic Research and Education on Underactive Bladder will be held in Washington, DC in March 2017.


Men’s Health Network

  Men's Health Network Logo

Men's Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys and their families where they live, work, play and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation. Since its founding in 1992, MHN has worked to educate men on a broad range of topics, including urological health issues, through live events, informative materials, newsletters, online platforms and more recently, social media.

MHN is the lead organization for Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week activities, and led the push for Congress to recognize National Men’s Health Week in 1994. Since that time, these awareness calendar periods have grown significantly, with annual recognition from governors and mayors, and hundreds of events hosted throughout the country by workplaces, faith groups, fraternities, civic organizations and others. More information on Men’s Health Month and Week can be found at www.menshealthmonth.org.

MHN actively advocates for research funding through coalitions including One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), for which it is a founding member. The organization also participates, along with AUA, in the Urology Policy Forum as well as the Friends of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). In late 2015, MHN coordinated with the AUA on messaging and responses to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft research plan for prostate cancer screening and continues to work with the AUA on issues including USPSTF recommendation processes and urotrauma research.

In addition, MHN is participating in a Urology Care Foundation initiative to designate November as Bladder Health Month, working in partnership with Astellas and over 20 other patient advocacy organizations. MHN representatives recently attended the AUA Research Council Strategic Planning Meeting held in December 2015 and have spoken on patient advocacy panels at the last two Urology Joint Advocacy Conferences.

MHN has been pleased to partner with AUA and the Urology Care Foundation to advance the interests of men and their families in the fields of medical research and practice, as well as patient education.

 

Blog: www.talkingaboutmenshealth.com

 

Did You Know ?

AUA Early Career Investigators Workshop

The AUA Early Career Investigators Workshop (ECIW) is designed to foster career development in urologic research by providing participants with a solid foundation for successful grant writing. ECIW activities include small group and individual grant review sessions with senior scientific advisors, presentations on career development and work-life balance, and mock study sessions. Nominations are now being accepted through March 31, 2016.


AUA Summer Research Conference

The AUA/SBUR Summer Research Conference facilitates rigorous and in-depth discussion of an overarching topic area in urologic research, and typically attracts leaders in the field including clinicians and both early-career and established investigators. This year’s topic is “Targeting Epigenetics and Genome Regulation to Improve Urologic Health,” and the conference will be held on July 16–17, 2016.


David McConkey, PhD named director of Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute.

 Dr. David McConkey

AUA member and urology researcher Dr. David McConkey was recently appointed director of the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, the world's only institution dedicated solely to the diagnosis, treatment, research, and cure of bladder cancer. The institute was established in 2014 with a $15 million gift from Baltimore-area commercial real estate developer Erwin L. Greenberg and his wife, Stephanie Cooper Greenberg, and a $30 million investment from Johns Hopkins University. Its faculty, which already has drawn $500,000 in research grants, is dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of bladder cancer and improving its treatment. Learn more!


March is Kidney Health Month

  Kidneys

In the past decade, the Urology Care Foundation has invested nearly $2 million to help develop the careers of over 30 researchers working towards prevention and cures for kidney disease.

 

Calendar of Research Events

2016

Apr
4– 5

University of Wisconsin-Madison O’Brien Research Center of Excellence Symposium

UW-Madison Fluno Center - Madison, Wisconsin


Apr
16 – 20

AACR Annual Meeting

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - New Orleans, Louisiana


Apr
20 – 22

NMRI 14th Annual Workshop

Doubletree Hotel Bethesda - Bethesda, MD


May
6 –10

AUA 2016 Annual Meeting

Location: San Diego Convention Center - San Diego, CA


May
16 – 19

AACR Precision Medicine Series: Targeting the Vulnerabilities of Cancer

JW Marriott Marquis Miami - Miami, Florida


June
3 – 7

ASCO Annual Meeting

McCormick Place - Chicago, Illinois


June
10

Simulation Research in Gastrointestinal and Urologic Care: Challenges and Opportunities

NIH Campus - Bethesda, MD

 

Opportunities in Urologic Research

Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, Clark Atlanta University
Faculty Position

Applications are invited for a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level at the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University to strengthen its current research focus on Prostate Cancer and its impact in the African-American community. A PhD in life sciences and research experience in the areas of prostate cancer in vivo biology, epidemiology of prostate cancer, cell and developmental biology and/or prostate cancer health disparities is required.

Candidates are expected to have the potential to establish a federally-funded research program in any of the above areas in prostate cancer. We are especially interested in candidates who have experience in the area of prostate cancer health disparities in African-American men. The successful candidate will receive generous start-up funds and an academic appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences or Chemistry.

Applications containing curriculum vitae, list of references and statement of research interests and teaching philosophy should be submitted via email to skhan@cau.edu or via regular mail to:

Shafiq A. Khan, PhD, Director
Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, Clark Atlanta University
223 James P. Brawley Drive, SW,
Atlanta, GA 30314


The University of Arizona Division of Urology
Faculty Investigator

The University of Arizona division of Urology is seeking a faculty investigator, MD, focused on urologic oncology at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, to participate in collaboration between Urology and the Arizona Cancer Center. A focus on oncology, precision medicine, nanotechnology or imaging preferred. The Investigator must have interest in working in an academic environment and commitment to serving as member of a team.

Curriculum vitae should be sent to:
Dr. Leigh Neumayer, Chair of Surgery
lneumayer@surgery.arizona.edu


Post in Our Next Issue

We encourage the submission of employment opportunities in urologic research—trainees and faculty only—to be posted in our next issue, which will be released in March 2016. Submission is no guarantee of publication. Please contact the AUA Office of Research with any questions.


EUREKA!

Eureka! is a bi-monthly email newsletter that contains urology research news, funding opportunities and updates from the AUA Office of Research. Subscribe now!


Want to Support Research?

  Urology Care Foundation

Want to support research? You can make a difference by making a tax-deductible gift to the Urology Care Foundation

 

Join the AUA

  Urology Care Foundation

Whether you are conducting research or trying to stay up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs, membership in the AUA provides the tools and resources to support your professional mission. Learn more about becoming a member today.

 

Did We Miss Something?

If you have any suggestions for urologic research-related content or are interested in contributing information from your own organization or institution, please contact us.

 
 
 

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