A pilot Basic Sciences Symposium on “Stem Cells in Urologic Diseases” was conducted in 2011 at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The meeting was a collaborative effort of the Urology Care Foundation, the Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR), and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The meeting attracted 104 basic scientists, surgeon-scientists, and urologic investigators from various specialties, far exceeding the expected attendance of 60. The scientific program included talks on stem/progenitor cells in the bladder, stem cell therapeutics, and stem cells in prostate regeneration. A U13 Cooperative Agreement Award was granted to support travel awards for young investigators.
In 2012, AUA Secretary Dr. Gopal Badlani expanded the concept of the basic science presence even further for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Friday’s program included a symposium on Translational Research and a Men’s Health Forum which was a joint venture of the AUA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the second annual Basic Sciences Symposium, “Nanotechnology: Applications in Urology Today.” The Basic Sciences Symposium was a collaborative effort between the AUA, SBUR and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The attendance was 93, slight lower than in 2011 but there was a competing meeting that was a factor in this year’s attendance. However, the total attendance for Friday’s programs was over 175, an encouraging improvement over the 2011 attendance of 104. The Basic Sciences Symposium will now be considered a recurring event at the AUA Annual Meeting, establishing itself as the foundation for the “Research Day” on the Friday preceding each Annual Meeting.