From the Urology Care Foundation: Celebrating and Supporting Women in Urology

By: Harris M. Nagler, MD, FACS | Posted on: 01 May 2021

May is Women’s Health Month, an opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievements women have made to urology and urologic research, as well as to the health of women and men alike.

As the world’s leading urological health foundation, the Urology Care Foundation is proud of its commitment to advancing patient care through research and education. Since 1975, the Foundation has invested in women in urology, with over $8 million being awarded to more than 50 female researchers in the last decade alone—many of whom have remained on committed research career tracks and now serve as leaders in urological research and the clinical practice of urology.

We are also excited to highlight a recent partnership between the Foundation and the Society for Urologic Research in establishing the first Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award dedicated to supporting women and underrepresented minorities in urological research. This new award will support women to conduct mentored research, engage in research education and be championed through networking as they develop successful research careers and better serve the urology patient community.

Through the Foundation’s portfolio of research training awards, the following areas of urology research have been funded, many of which were led by gifted female researchers:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Incontinence
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Earlier this year, we announced the 2021 Research Scholar Award recipients. Among the awardees, the following women received this honor:

  • Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD, MPH
  • Diya Binoy Joseph, PhD
  • Renee de Leeuw, PhD
  • Pauline Filippou, MD
  • Chen Qian, PhD
  • Morgan E. Roberts, PhD
  • Renea Sturm, MD

In addition, the Foundation’s Residency Research Awards help provide urology residents with research training to enable them to build momentum toward a career that includes research. Again, many of the recipients were women, including:

  • Lauren Cooley, MD, PhD
  • Katherine Fero, MD
  • Valentina Grajales, MD
  • Mariela Martinez, MD

Advancing Women in Urology Research

Two more outstanding research leaders I am honored to highlight during this celebration of women in urology research are:

  • Marguerite C. Lippert, MD
  • Mary Ann Lynn Stothers, MD, MHSc

Marguerite C. Lippert, MD, was the first woman to receive research scholar funding from the Foundation. A trailblazer in urology, Dr. Lippert was recently recognized with an AUA Presidential Citation for her contributions to the success of women in urology and the education of urologists. Since our initial support of Dr. Lippert’s research, the Foundation has continued to make significant strides fostering the development of women researchers while supporting their impactful journeys.

Mary Ann Lynn Stothers, MD, MHSc, became the Foundation’s first female Board of Directors member in 2019. She is a principal investigator at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), where she has a keen interest in bladder care research, as well as the results and challenges following spinal cord injury. Dr. Stothers was recently recognized with the distinguished Victor A. Politano Award for her outstanding research and work in advancing innovative methods for treating urinary incontinence throughout the world.

Patient Education and Women’s Urology

The Foundation continues to provide the most current urological health information to patients through its portfolio of patient education materials. The Foundation’s Patient Education Council and Committees (PECC) are comprised of 6 committees responsible for delivering on our patient education mission. As it stands today, the Public Education Council is composed of 50% female volunteers and the PECC encompasses 13 women volunteers.

One cannot recount the importance of women in urology without highlighting Dr. Catherine Rhu DeVries. Dr. DeVries is the recipient of the inaugural UCF Humanitarian Recognition Award and has been a leader and visionary in providing urological care, education and training in low resource areas around the world for decades. Her work has focused not only on providing urological clinical care, but also training of international health care partners as well as promoting best surgical practices and safe surgery initiatives and humanitarian efforts to “Teach One, Reach Many.”

We salute those women who have advanced urology and look forward to the many contributions women will make in the future. We are committed to advancing their careers through the Urology Care Foundation’s many programs.

To learn more about these crucial resources from the Urology Care Foundation and to share them with your patients, please visit www.UrologyHealth.org.

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