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Home Research Research Funding AUA Funding Rising Stars in Urology Research Awards Rising Stars Award Winners

Rising Stars in Urology Research Awards

Jason Van Batavia, MD

Jason Van Batavia, MD
2019–2023 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Pediatric Urology
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Research Project: "Role of Neuronal Subpopulations in the Pontine Micturition Center on Voiding "
Sponsor: Frank and Marion Hinman Urology Research Fund

Abstract:
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and the conditions underlying them affect approximately 20% of school-aged children and more than 40% of adults over 40 years old, yet our understanding of how the brain controls urination is limited. The brain-bladder connection is known to go through certain command centers in the brain and brainstem, but how these areas operate is largely unknown. Our proposed research focuses on defining how specific types of nerves in the brainstem regulate this important biological function, specifically which nerves cause or prevent urination. Through these studies, we hope to identify new potential targets for novel therapies that can help both children and adults with disorders of urination.

Timothy Daskivich, MD
2018–2023 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Research Project: "A Patient-centered Approach to Integration of Life Expectancy into Treatment Decision Making for Men with Prostate Cancer"
Sponsor: Astellas Pharma, US, Inc.

Abstract:
Dr. Daskivich aims to improve the quality of life for men with prostate cancer and limited life expectancy by investigating shared decision making between patients and physicians. He will first define how life expectancy is currently communicated in treatment counseling discussions and obtain patient and physician perspectives on how it should be ideally communicated. He will then use online community perspectives on which life expectancy cutoffs are best suited to conservative treatment, and then conduct a trial to test whether a patient-centered approach to communication of life expectancy, targeted to situations where it is relevant, reduces overtreatment of prostate cancer.

Alexander W. Pastuszak

Alexander W. Pastuszak, MD, PhD
2018–2021 Award Winner

Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
Baylor College of Medicine

Research Project: : “Characterization of the Role of NELL1 in the Predisposition to Fibrosis in Peyronie's and Dupuytren's Diseases”
Sponsor: Astellas Pharma, US, Inc.

Abstract:
Dr. Pastuszak’s work is expected to improve individualized and more effective treatments for patients suffering from Peyronie’s and Dupuytren’s diseases. There is currently no cure for these heritable, superficial fibrosing diseases and treatments are only incompletely effective. Dr. Pastuszak will define the role of a gene called NELL1 in order to provide mechanistic insights into the development of these diseases. By better understanding their genetic underpinnings, Dr. Pastuszak will improve patient risk stratification leading to better patient care.

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.

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