RESEARCH > Award Recipients > Rising Star in Urology Award Winners

Rising Star in Urology Research Awards

2014 Rising Star Award Winners 2013 Rising Star Award Winners
H. Henry Lai, MD John M. Hollingsworth, MD, MS
Matthew E. Nielsen, MD, MS
2012 Rising Star Award Winners 2011 Rising Star Award Winners
Peter C. Black, MD
Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD
David C. Miller, MD, MPH
Benjamin K. Canales, MD, MPH
2009 Rising Star Award Winners 2008 Rising Star Award Winners
Andrew J. Stephenson, MD
Sunil Sudarshan, MD
William W. Roberts, MD
Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD
2007 Rising Star Award Winners 2006 Rising Star Award Winners
Ganesh Palapattu, MD
Christopher P. Smith, MD, MBA, MSS
Brent K. Hollenbeck, MD
Willie Underwood, MD, MPH, MSci
2005 Rising Star Award Winners
Stephen J. Freedland, MD
B. Price Kerfoot, MD, EdM

 

Award Winners

 

2014

H. Henry Lai, MD

H. Henry Lai, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery (Urologic Surgery)
Washington University

Research Project: The Roles of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 (mGluR5) in Bladder Pain
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Funding Term: 2013 – 2018

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Lai received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1999 and completed his urology residency training at Baylor College of Medicine as well as his fellowship training in neurourology, urodynamics, and female urology. During his medical training Dr. Lai was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors society and served as chief resident.
  • In 2012 Dr. Lai served as the American Urological Association/Chinese Urological Association International Exchange Scholar. He also served as a Urinary Retention Guideline panelist on the AUA Practice Guideline Committee.
  • Dr. Lai holds memberships within the Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology, American Pain Society, and the International Association for the Study of Pain.
  • Dr. Lai is the current Chair of the NIH/NIDDK MAPP (Multidisciplinary Approach to Chronic Pelvic Pain) Research Network Urology Working Group. He has also served on the NIH/NIDDK LURN (Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction) Research Network Steering Committee, NIH/NIDDK LURN (Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction) Research Network Neuroimaging & Sensory Testing Phenotyping Working Group, and the NIH Study Section Special Emphasis Panel.
  • Dr. Lai has over 30 peer-reviewed publications, and he has authored ten medical textbook chapters. He was recently recognized as a 'Best Reviewer' by The Journal of Urology in the areas of female urology, urinary incontinence, urodynamics, and neurourology.
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2013

John M. Hollingsworth, MD, MS

John M. Hollingsworth, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
University of Michigan

Research Project: Effects of Physician Social Networks on Surgical Quality, Safety, and Costs
Funding Agency: Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality Funding
Funding Term: 2012 – 2016

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Hollingsworth received his medical degree from Georgetown University's School of Medicine in 2002, and earned a Master of Science degree in Health and Healthcare Research through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies in 2006. Following completion of his urology residency training at Michigan (2002-2008), he entered the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program (2008-2010).
  • Since joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2010, Dr. Hollingsworth has served as the Director of the Urologic Diseases in America Project's Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) Prevention Initiative. As a part of this National Institutes of Health-funded work, he has overseen a series of secondary data analyses on behavior modifications (related to physical activity, obesity, glycemic control, diet/nutrition, and prescription drug use) that may prevent the progression and complication of BPH.
  • Dr. Hollingsworth has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and he has authored two medical textbook chapters.
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Matthew E. Nielsen, MD, MS

Matthew E. Nielsen, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Project: Optimizing Survivorship and Decision Making in Low Risk Bladder Cancer
Funding Agency: American Cancer Society
Funding Term: 2013 – 2016

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Nielsen received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2002, and earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research through the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology in 2012.
  • Dr. Nielsen's research in medical decision making and treatment outcomes has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
  • Dr. Nielsen was recently recognized as a Best Reviewer within Bladder and Kidney Cancer by the Journal of Urology, and he has over 50 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious medical journals.
  • Dr. Nielsen has a strong background in research mentorship, working with medical students, residents, research fellows, and graduate students.
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2012

Peter C. Black, MD

Peter C. Black, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Urological Sciences
Vancouver Prostate Centre

Research Project: Targeting the Notch Signaling Pathway in Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder
Funding Agency: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute
Funding Term: 2012 – 2014

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • In the second year of his career development funding by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Dr. Black has expanded his studies on Notch signaling in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder with a focus on targeting Notch-2 to block invasion and metastasis.
  • Dr. Black has over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with greater than a dozen as first author. Since July of 2012, Dr. Black has submitted publications to PLoS One, Journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Canadian Urological Association Journal.
  • Dr. Black submitted abstracts based on this work to both the American Urological Association and European Association of Urology Annual Meetings in 2013, and presented results at the Annual Meeting of the German Society of Urology in Leipzig in September 2012. He also presented at the meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology in December 2012.
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Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD

Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Urology and Oncology
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes, The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute

Research Project: Roles of RhoA/Rho-kinase Signaling in Cavernous Neurons Following Axonal Injury
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Funding Term: 2012 – 2017

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Bivalacqua's research focus in neurourology examines the combined molecular biologic and neuroanatomic investigation of RhoA/ROCK signaling in the cavernous nerve with in vivo neurophysiological studies.
  • Dr. Bivalacqua serves as Principal Investigator for clinical trials in both prostate and bladder cancer, including the only tissue engineered bladder cancer clinical trial in the country.
  • In January of 2012, Dr. Bivalacqua was invited to San Rafaele Hospital and the Urological Research Institute in Milan, Italy, as a visiting professor and subsequently presented his research. In 2012, he also attended and presented at a number of Annual Meetings, including the American Society of Andrology, Sexual Medicine Society of North America, American Urological Association (AUA) and the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO).
  • Dr. Bivalacqua was invited to give Plenary sessions at both the AUA and SUO Annual Meetings and presented at the Urology Care Foundation Men's Health Forum.
  • Dr. Bivalacqua has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, a third of which as first author. Dr. Bivalacqua has two publications in press, one in the International Journal of Impotence Research and the other in the Journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons.
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2011

David C. Miller, MD, MPH

David C. Miller, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Urology
Director, Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative
University of Michigan

Research Project: Physician Organization and the Efficiency of Surgical Specialty Care
Funding Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K08)
Funding Term: 2011 – 2015

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Miller's research has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Cancer Institute, BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan Foundation, and The American Cancer Society.
  • His research seeks to better understand how the health care delivery system influences quality and access to care for patients with urological cancers.
  • Dr. Miller has over 90 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with close to half as first author. He has published close to a dozen papers specifically related to the topic of his Rising Star grant, including recent publications in Health Services Research (2012) and Health Affairs (2011).
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Benjamin K. Canales, MD, MPH

Benjamin K. Canales, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Urology
University of Florida

Research Project: The Effect of Gastric Bypass Surgery on Renal Function and Metabolism
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Funding Term: 2011 – 2016

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Dr. Canales' current research projects are focused on obesity, bariatric surgery complications, stone disease and bone loss.
  • In September of 2010, Dr. Canales secured a five-year K08 grant to establish a working model of Roux-en-Y-gastric bypass (RYGB) in diet-induced obese Sprague-Dawley rats.
  • Dr. Canales presented his research at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Plenary session in June of 2012.
  • Dr. Canales has over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with greater than half as first author. He has published close to a dozen papers specifically related to the topic of his Rising Star grant, including recent publications in Nutrition (2012) and Journal of Endourology (2012).
  • Dr. Canales was a participant in the 2012 AUA Investigators Workshop. The Investigators Workshop provided an intense and intimate two-day forum for new investigators to improve their grant writing skills, to meet research leaders, to network with participants and speakers, to gain firsthand insight into the peer-review process and, most importantly, to improve their chances of submitting a competitive research grant application.
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2009

Andrew J. Stephenson, MD

Andrew J. Stephenson, MD
Director, Center for Urological Oncology
Staff, Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic

Research Project: Randomized Trial of Decision Analysis Model to Facilitate Treatment Decision-Making for Localized Prostate Cancer
Funding Agency: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Funding Term: 2009 – 2012

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals since 2002 on issues related to prostate, bladder and testis cancer.
  • Certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Received several awards from organizations such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Society of Urologic Oncology.
  • Serves on the editorial board for several urology journals, including Urology, and is an ad hoc reviewer for Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The Journal of Urology.
  • Recent recipient of the 'Urology Teacher of the Year' award from Cleveland Clinic.
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Sunil Sudarshan, MD

Sunil Sudarshan, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Research Project: Role of Fumarate Hydratase in Renal Hypoxia and Tumorigenesis
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Funding Term: 2009 – 2014

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Recruited to join the staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012.
  • Received a three-year Young Investigator Award from the Voelcker Family Foundation on metabolic links to renal cancer. Recipients are provided $150,000 per year for three years ($450,000 total).
  • Recently received a grant from the American Cancer Society to investigate tumor suppressor functions of fumarate hydratase from 2012 through 2016.
  • Currently mentoring a 2013 – 2015 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar on a project involving mTOR regulation on renal cancer.
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2008

William W. Roberts, MD

William W. Roberts, MD
Associate Professor of Urology and Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan

Research Project: Histotripsy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Funding Term: 2008 – 2011

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Collaborates with the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering.
  • Awarded the Kennedy Team Excellence Award from the College of Engineering.
  • Authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications.
  • Received funding from The Engineering and Urology Society, Coulter Foundation, and the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America.
  • Dr. Roberts secured R01 funding in the amount of $316,937 for his project titled Histotripsy Tissue Interaction for BPH Therapy. His research project began in August 2010 and will continue through June 2015.
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Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD

Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Urology, Oncology, and Pathology
Director of International Urology
Co-Director of the Prostate Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Clinic
Johns Hopkins Medical Institution

Research Project: Roles for Phospholipase A2 Signaling in Prostate Development
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Funding Term: 2008 – 2013

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Johns Hopkins Clinician Scientist Award.
  • Passano Foundation Clinician Scientist Award.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Scientist Early Careers Award.
  • Society for Basic Urology Research Young Investigator Award.
  • The Journal of Urology Urological Survey Editorial Committee member.
  • Dr. Schaeffer has nearly 120 peer-reviewed published papers and abstracts, and has contributed to seven medical textbook chapters.
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2007

Ganesh Palapattu, MD

Ganesh Palapattu, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
Chief of Urologic Oncology
The George F. and Sandy G. Valassis Professor of Urology
University of Michigan

Research Project: The Isolation and Characterization of Human Prostate Cancer Stem Cells
Funding Agency: Department of Defense
Funding Term: 2007 – 2012

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Received the prestigious appointment as Chief of Urological Oncology at the University of Michigan.
  • Former Chief of Urological Oncology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
  • Was selected by the AUA to be a 2010 AUA/Urological Society of India (USI) Academic Exchange Program Scholar.
  • Dr. Palapattu has over 60 peer-reviewed papers, publishing four from 2011 to 2012 in Cancer Research, PLoS One, Biomed Optic Express and Cell: Stem Cell.
  • Has received funding from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the New York Academy of Sciences, among others, for a total of over $500,000 in independent research support.
  • Dr. Palapattu received U01 funding from July 2012 through July 2017 for his project titled Metabolomic Profiling and Biological Basis of Racial Disparity in Prostate Cancer. Dr. Palapattu is a co-PI on this grant and will receive $225,000 in funding per year for the next five years.
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Christopher P. Smith, MD, MBA, MSS

Christopher P. Smith, MD, MBA, MSS
Associate Professor
Baylor College of Medicine

Research Project: Central Role of ATP in Bladder Overactivity
Funding Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Funding Term: 2007 – 2010

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Completed a $1.3M, four-year DOD multicenter grant to investigate alterations in bladder sensory pathways following spinal cord injury from 2008 to 2011.
  • Serves as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
  • Dr. Smith co-authored "Botulinum Toxin in Urology," First Edition, published by Springer in 2011, and he has close to a dozen recent publications.
  • Dr. Smith secured R01 funding for a research project from 2012 to 2016 to study the effects of botulinum toxin in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH.
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2006

Brent K. Hollenbeck, MD

Brent K. Hollenbeck, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
Director, Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Division of Health Services Research
University of Michigan

Research Project: Identifying Best Practices for Managing Superficial Bladder Cancer
Funding Agency: American Cancer Society
Funding Term: 2006 – 2011

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Completed a Master of Science program in research and design and biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
  • Has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • His current initiatives include measuring effects of physician financial incentives and identifying best practices for early-stage bladder cancer. The former consists of a four-year R01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to better understand relationships between ambulatory surgery centers and outpatient surgery use. The latter is part of a five-year award funded by the American Cancer Society using alternative statistical methods (e.g., instrumental variables analysis) to make inference from observation data.
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Willie Underwood, MD, MPH, MSci

Willie Underwood, MD, MPH, MSci
Associate Professor, Department of Urology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Clinical Associate Professor of Urology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo
Assistant Professor of Health Behavior, University of Buffalo, School of Public Health
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Research Project: Patient's Factors That Influence Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Treatment of Nonmetastatic Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer
Funding Agency: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Funding Term: 2006 – 2010

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Served on multiple federal panels related to health care, prostate cancer and health disparity.
  • He was appointed by the American Medical Association Board of Trustees Council of Legislation to provide input regarding all healthcare legislation at the federal and state levels.
  • Previous member of the American Urological Association's Health Policy Council and the Legislative Affair Committee.
  • Member of the Board of IVUMed, which is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.
  • Dr. Underwood has over 25 publications in such journals as Journal of Clinical Oncology; American Journal of Public Health; Urology; and Cancer.
  • Secured R01 funding from the National Cancer Institute in the amount of $566,165 in 2012 for his project titled Race, Prostate Cancer Treatment, and Treatment Decision Difficulty and Regret.
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2005

Stephen J. Freedland, MD

Stephen J. Freedland, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery and Pathology
Associate Program Director, Urology Residency Program
Duke University

Research Project: Molecular Dissection of the Association Between Obesity and Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Funding Agency: Department of Defense
Funding Term: 2005 – 2010

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • 2010 AUA/ European Association of Urology (EAU) Academic Fellowship Exchange Scholar.
  • Contributed to the development of the National Urology Research Agenda.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease and North-American Editor for European Urology.
  • Member of the AUA Guideline panel for the Detection of Prostate Cancer, as well as the Guideline panel for Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer.
  • Author of more than 650 research abstracts, papers, reviews, and editorials; reviewer for 55 peer-reviewed journals; abstract reviewer for meetings of various urological associations; and grant reviewer for NIH and other grant funding organizations.
  • Dr. Freedland was the first Rising Stars to secure R01 funding. His grant was titled Resveratrol, Carbohydrate Restriction, and Prostate Cancer, and it was for $300,504 over a one-year period.
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B. Price Kerfoot, MD, EdM

B. Price Kerfoot, MD, EdM
Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education
Associate Professor of Surgery, Urology, Harvard Medical School
VA Boston Healthcare System/Harvard Medical School

Research Project: Optimizing VA Healthcare Delivery Through Web-Based Interventions
Funding Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Funding Term: 2005 – 2010

Sampling of activities and achievements:

  • Completed a two-year term on the Residency Review Committee for Urology; is a Fellow of the Academy at Harvard Medical School; and through a two-year grant from the American Foundation for Urological Disease, completed a multi-institutional randomized controlled trial of Web-based teaching to medical students.
  • Contributed to the development of the National Urology Research Agenda and authored over 30 publications.
  • From 2005 through 2008, concurrent with his K08 award, he received a three-year VA Research Career Development Award, during which he performed a randomized trial to investigate whether care patterns of VA practitioners could be optimized using Web-based educational interventions.
  • Was a K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Awardee from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
  • Awarded the highly prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the Health Services Research and Development Services Center for Organization, Leadership and Management Research. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.
  • Dr. Kerfoot secured R01 funding for his grant titled Interactive Spaced Education to Optimize Diabetes Care. The project started in September 2012 and will continue through July 2016.
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