American Urological Association - Rising Stars in Urology Research Awards

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Rising Stars in Urology Research Awards

Hao Nguyen, MD, PhD
2017-2019 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
University of California, San Francisco

Research Project: "Protein-Dependent Activation of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) Enables Prostate Cancer Development and a Druggable Target for Advance Prostate CancerTherapy"
Sponsor: Astellas Pharma, US, Inc.

Abstract:
Our hypothesis is that hyperactivation of Myc and loss of PTEN increase global protein synthesis and push prostate cancer cells toward a proteotoxic stress.  Some cells trigger a survival adaptive response pathway specifically the unfolded protein response (UPR)to increase cellular fitness to sustain tumor growth and progression.  Our preliminary data showed that the selective activation of UPR and its down-stream phosphorylation of eIF2a represents a new point of vulnerability of primary and metastatic prostate cancer cells. We next seek to understand the molecular mechanisms of specific protein expression program that steer key cellular hallmarks underlying prostate cancer development and to develop a novel therapeutic regimen to target this new point of vulnerability using a genetic mouse model of prostate cancer and a humanize model of prostate cancer. 

Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD
2017-2021 Award Winner

Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Surgery
University of Colorado, Health Sciences Center


Research Project: "Understanding Practice Variations in Treatment of Infants with Suspected UPJ Obstruction."
Sponsor: Frank and Marion Hinman Urology Research Fund


Abstract:
Ureteropelvic junction obstruction is a common cause of kidney dilation in children that may lead to kidney damage. The goal of surgery is to reduce the risk of kidney damage; however, surgeon variation in treatment of infants appears to be related to non-clinical patient factors and raises concerns of potential associated surgical risks that may disproportionately affect infants treated with early surgery. This project investigates the role of clinical and non-clinical patient factors on the likelihood of early treatment with surgery and establishes the framework for future studies to improve the identification of children with ureteropelvic junction obstruction who would benefit from initial surgical treatment.

Matthew J. Resnick

Matthew J. Resnick
2016-2020 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Urologic Surgery and Health Policy
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Research Project: "The Effect of ACO Enrollment on Appropriateness of Cancer Screening"
Sponsor: Astellas Pharma, US, Inc.

Abstract:
As a call to improve the value of health care delivered to Americans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established a novel Accountable Care Organization (ACO) payment model, the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Despite the potential of the ACO model to both reduce health care spending and improve quality, little is known about the potential impacts of this novel payment design on the intensity and appropriateness of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. The purpose of this study is to identify whether net effect of cost and quality measurement as part of the largest Medicare ACO program results in better screening for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer, namely undertaking screening the right patients and withholding cancer screening in the wrong patients. We will characterize both the intended and untended consequences of ACO enrollment on cancer screening with the goal of informing future policy efforts to optimize cancer outcomes.

Christopher E. Barbieri

Christopher E. Barbieri
2015-2019 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
Weill Cornell Medical College

Research Project: "Genomic Instability and DNA Repair in a Distinct Molecular Class of Prostate Cancer"
Sponsor: Frank and Marion Hinman Research Fund

Abstract:
Prostate cancer, a common and often lethal disease, is driven by genomic instability resulting in the gain, loss, or repositioning of large segments of DNA.  We have defined distinct classes of prostate cancer with significantly increased numbers of total genomic rearrangements.  This project will dissect the mechanisms by which these cancers are predisposed to genomic rearrangements, investigating the function of the critical DNA damage and repair pathways, searching for therapies that can exploit the specific deficits in these cancers, and exploring the impact on patients with prostate cancer.

Lysanne Campeau, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC

Lysanne Campeau, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC
2015-2018 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery
Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital
McGill University

Research Project: "The Effect of Cannabinoid Receptor Modulation on Voiding Dysfunction Associated with Metabolic Syndrome"
Sponsor: Astellas Pharma, US, Inc.

Abstract:
Overactive bladder syndrome is defined as voiding urgency usually with increased daytime and night-time frequency. One possible cause of overactive bladder is the metabolic syndrome that includes risk factors such as obesity, impaired sugar tolerance, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The cannabinoid system can potentially decrease the inflammation associated with metabolic syndrome and overactive bladder syndrome. Our goal is to determine if cannabinoid drugs can improve voiding problems associated with metabolic syndrome by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress.

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