2020 Early-Career Investigators Workshop (ECIW)
The Early-Career Investigators Workshop (ECIW) is held annually to foster career development in urologic research by providing participants with a solid foundation for successful grant writing. Activities include one-on-one mentoring sessions with scientific advisors; presentations on navigating federally-funded grant programs; mock peer review session; presentations on developing a fundable research program; and career development presentations. Approximately 30 nominees are selected to participate in the workshop.
Course Registration Fees
No cancellation permitted without prior written permission from the AUA Office of Research. Please contact Julia Gumminger, Research Education and Events Manager at email@example.com with any questions.
- By invitation-only following a nomination and review process
- MD or MD, PhD urology researchers preparing to submit a major grant application
- PhD urology researchers preparing to submit a major grant application
At the conclusion of the workshop, participating early career investigators will be able to:
- Describe the cutting-edge and developing areas in basic and translational research, and identify components of their research efforts that intersect with or expand upon these;
- Develop and refine a compelling, innovative, and testable hypothesis;
- Develop a reasonable and ‘do-able’ experimental plan that adequately tests the stated hypothesis;
- Identify potential limitations of the proposed experimental plan and alternative experimental outcomes, and develop responsive alternative experimental approaches;
- Expand the initial concepts presented in the application to optimally project future directions, concepts, and studies;
- Avoid common pitfalls that typically dampen the enthusiasm of grant reviewers; and
- Describe the necessary administrative (nuts-and-bolts) components of NIH grant applications.
*subject to change
Pre-Meeting Coursework: Recorded Presentations
|Welcome, Introductions, Program Overview|
Carolyn Best, PhD
|Setting the Stage: An Overview of the State of Urology Research and Funding||Carolyn Best, PhD|
American Urological Association
|NIDDK Grant Mechanisms||Tracy Rankin, PhD, MPH|
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH
|NCI Career Development Grant Mechanisms||Susan Lim, PhD|
National Cancer Institute, NIH
|NIA Urologic Research Portfolio||Candace L. Kerr, PhD|
National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH
|NICHD Fertility and Urology Research Portfolio||Susan Taymans, PhD|
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH
|DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: Funding Opportunities and Application Review||Theresa Miller, PhD|
DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
|American Cancer Society Research Programs||Ellie Daniels, MD, MPH|
American Cancer Society
|Urology Care Foundation and Other Grant Mechanisms||Krystal Brinson, PhD|
American Urological Association/Urology Care Foundation
|Identifying & Composing the Pieces of a Successful Research Grant Proposal||Erika Wolff, PhD|
University of Washington
Thursday, October 8, 2020: LIVE (All Times in EDT)
|12:00 PM||Welcome, Introduction of Speakers|
Carolyn Best, PhD
|12:15 PM||Q&A Session with Funding Agency Speakers||All Funding Agency Speakers|
|1:00 PM||Goal Setting and Introductions of Faculty and Participants|
Carolyn Best, PhD
Aria Olumi, MD
|1:45 PM||Specific Aims Workshop||Erika Wolff, PhD|
University of Washington
|2:50 PM||Common Grant Writing Pitfalls||Dolores J. Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB)|
Weill Cornell Medical College
|3:10 PM||Establishing Effective Career Development Goals and Translation to Your Training Plan||Stephen Zderic, MD|
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
|3:30 PM||Selling Yourself Through Your NIH Biosketch||Rosalyn Adam, PhD|
Boston Children’s Hospital
|4:05 PM||Building a Team of Mentors||John Leppert, MD|
|4:25 PM||How to Start a Lab as a Junior Faculty||Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD|
Johns Hopkins University
|4:45 PM||Moving the Field Forward Through Health Services Research||John Hollingsworth, MD|
University of Michigan
|5:05 PM||Discussion, Wrap Up, and Day 2 Sneak Peek|
|5:30 PM||Adjourn for the Day|
Friday, October 9, 2020: LIVE (All Times in EDT)
|12:00 PM||Goal Setting and Introduction to Peer Review||Carolyn Best, PhD|
American Urological Association
|12:25 PM||Mock Peer Review Study Section||Faculty Panel|
Chairperson: Dolores J. Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB)
|2:15 PM||Q&A and Discussion|
Briefing for Breakout Sessions and Plan for Tomorrow
|3:00 PM||ADVANCED Grant Development Group: Individual Meetings with Faculty Mentors||Virtual Breakout Groups|
|4:30 PM||EARLY Grant Development Group: Small Group Meetings with Faculty Mentors||Virtual Breakout Groups|
|5:30 PM||Adjourn for the Day|
Saturday, October 10, 2020: LIVE (All Times in EDT)
|12:00 PM||Day 3 Goal Setting||Carolyn Best, PhD|
|12:10 PM||Transitioning from Career Development to Career Sustaining Grants||Aria Olumi, MD|
|12:30 PM||Using Entrepreneurship for Your Research Career Success||Steven Kaplan, MD|
|12:50 PM||Virtual Breakout for Faculty Feedback and Q&A||Faculty assigned to breakout rooms, participants can self-select|
|1:30 PM||Advanced Grant Development Group: Research Proposal Presentations (5 minutes per presentation)||Moderator: Carolyn Best, PhD|
|Role of Immunotherapy in Suppressing Prostate Cancer Progression by Targeting Tumor Microenvironment and Androgen Receptor Signaling||Himanshu Arora, PhD|
|Tracing the Development of Financial Toxicity Among Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Patients and its Impact on Adherence and Cancer Outcomes: A Multi-Site Cohort Study||Sumeet Bhanvadia, MD|
|Longitudinal Impact of Antibiotics on the Urinary Microbiome and Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms||Andrew Cohen, MD|
|The Role of African Ancestry Markers, Inflammation, and Diabetic Profile in Puerto Rico's Prostate Cancer Risk Aggressiveness||Lourdes Guerrios, MD, MSc|
|Not all Canadian Pediatric Urology Patients Have Equal Access to Surgical Care: A Pilot Study in British Columbia||Soojin Kim, MD|
|Identification of drivers of BPH progression from scRNAseq data||Nadia Lanman, PhD|
|Urothelial Cell Associated Host Factors of Overactive Bladder and Its Emergence by Probiotic Lactobacillus Treatment||Sanghee Lee, PhD|
|A mixed-methods convergent exploratory study to improve the delivery of guideline-concordant smoking cessation care among patients with bladder cancer||Richard Matulewicz, MD, MS|
|Urinary Lactobacilli and microbial interference in the aging urinary microbiome||Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHSc|
|Combination Chemotherapy plus Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy for Bladder Cancer||William Tabayoyong, MD, PhD|
|2:35 PM||Faculty Feedback, Final Q&A, Closing Remarks||Carolyn Best, PhD and All Faculty|
|3:30 PM||Adjourn Workshop|
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
All persons in a position to control the content of this educational activity (i.e., activity planners, speakers, moderators) were required to disclose to the provider any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest.
Rosalyn M. Adam, PhD
Rosalyn Adam is the David E. Retik Chair and Director of Urology Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, having completed postdoctoral training at the same institutions. Dr. Adam received her B.Sc. (Hons) from the University of St. Andrews and her PhD from the University of Southampton, both in the UK. Her doctoral work focused on the mechanisms of tumor cell activation by the heparin-binding class of EGF-like growth factors, a theme continued during her postdoctoral fellowship.
Research in Dr. Adam’s laboratory, which has been funded by the NIDDK since 2004, is focused on two primary areas: (i) delineation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate smooth muscle function and tissue remodeling in the genitourinary tract and other hollow organs; and (ii) molecular mechanisms of bladder cancer progression. In addition to her investigator-initiated funding, Dr. Adam is Program Director for the Boston Children’s Hospital NIDDK T32 program “Research Training in Pediatric Urology,” which supports a dedicated two-year fellowship in basic or clinical research in urology for post-residency fellows.
Dr. Adam has served on multiple scientific review panels for the NIH, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense. Dr. Adam has been an active member of the AUA since 2003 and the Society for Basic Urologic Research since 2001. She was Member-at-Large for the SBUR from 2010-2012, was Secretary of SBUR from 2013-2017 and is Vice President-elect for the society. She is also Chair of the AUA Research Education, Conference and Communications Committee.
Carolyn J.M. Best, PhD
Dr. Best has dedicated her 25-year career to conducting and facilitating the research and scientific discovery needed to help people live healthier and happier lives. Dr. Best joined the AUA as Director of Research in 2014. The AUA promotes the highest standards of urological clinical care through education, research, and the formulation of health care policy. Dr. Best is responsible for all programs, events, and resources of the Office of Research, a major division of the AUA that is committed to supporting urologic research through funding, advocacy, and education. She also maintains collaborative relationships with federal and non-federal funding agencies, patient advocacy groups, AUA sections and subspecialty societies, and other urologic research stakeholders.
Prior to joining the AUA, Dr. Best was Program Manager of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), a component of the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. During her 8 years of service to the CDMRP, Dr. Best received the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Award for Exemplary Public Service and Outstanding Leadership. Dr. Best obtained her PhD in experimental pathology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and subsequently trained at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Laboratory of Pathology, Laboratory of Biosystems and Cancer, and the Molecular Therapeutics Program. During her training at the NCI, Dr. Best was the inaugural recipient of the Sallie Rosen Kaplan Fellowship for Women Scientists in Cancer Research.
Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD
Dr. Bivalacqua is an MD/PhD-trained surgeon-scientist with expertise in urologic oncology and regenerative medicine at the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he is the Director of Urologic Oncology. Dr. Bivalacqua has a diverse background in molecular pharmacology and medicine, with specific training and expertise in key research areas for this application. As an MD/PhD student at Tulane, he carried out basic research on angiogenesis and endothelial cell biology. As a resident and fellow at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bivalacqua trained as a urologic oncologist and began his translational research program. His research laboratory focuses on the physiology and pathophysiology of the genitourinary tract, in particular prostate, bladder, and penile function/dysfunction. Dr. Bivalacqua’s research aims to utilize both urothelial carcinoma cell culture models, genetically engineered mouse models, immune competent carcinogen induced rodent models of bladder cancer to study the inflammatory and immune responses that mediate development and ultimate progression of urothelial carcinoma. Additionally, his research group focuses on tissue engineered autologous cell based development of genitourinary tissue, in particular the lower urinary tract. Dr. Bivalacqua’s research program also includes a focus on identifying putative molecular mechanisms of erectile dysfunction associated with diabetes and radical pelvic surgery for prostate and bladder cancer, designing new disease-specific cell- and nanomedicine- based therapies for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Krystal Brinson, PhD
Dr. Krystal Brinson received her BS in biological sciences from the Fort Valley State University. She obtained her PhD in biomedical research with a concentration in vascular biology and renal physiology, and undertook a postdoctoral fellowship from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Brinson has published multiple papers in peer reviewed journals and her areas of expertise are in vitro and in vivo methodologies to examine the sexual dimorphism seen in blood pressure. Dr. Brinson is the Research Grants Project Manager in the AUA Office of Research. She manages the portfolio of Urology Care Foundation mentored research training awards that have a recruitment pipeline following the continuum of the research career—from medical students to residents to post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. This includes management of the prestigious Rising Stars in Urology Research Award and the highly regarded Research Scholar Award programs. Since 1975, over 750 scholars and awardees have been supported with 31 endowments and over $30 million in research funding via the Urology Care Foundation award programs. In addition to her grants management responsibilities, Dr. Brinson is also the staff liaison for the AUA Research Grants and Investigator Support Committee, which is charged with the mission to develop and implement urologic grant funding mechanisms and research training, networking, and other investigator support programs that shape the brightest and most talented urologic researchers for long term success.
Toby C. Chai, MD
Dr. Chai has received national attention for his work in the treatment of urinary incontinence and his research in the field of bladder physiology. He joined the Department of Urology at Yale School of Medicine in 2013 as a Professor and Vice Chair of Research and holds a joint position in the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. He is the Co-Director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery clinical program at Yale-New Haven Hospital. After receiving his MD from Indiana University, he completed residency in urological surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He was awarded an AUA/AFUD Research scholarship for two years of bladder physiology research. Before going to Yale, he held the John D. Young Professorship in Urology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Chai's dedication to research has been recognized in dozens of awards for scientific investigation and scholarship. Most recently, he was awarded the 2015 Wendy U. and Thomas C. Naratil Pioneer Award for Women's Health Research at Yale, the American Urological Association’s 2013 Victor Politano Award for innovative research in urinary incontinence and the 2015 Society for Urodynamics Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) Distinguished Service Award and the 2005 SUFU Zimskind Award. He has been PI on NIH K08, R01, U01, and P20 grants. He has mentored medical students, residents, fellows in his laboratory. He is an active mentor in Yale’s NIH R25 Summer Undergraduate Student Research program and has mentored undergraduate students in his lab over the last three years.
An avid writer and editor, Dr. Chai has published more than 140 papers, reviews and medical texts. In addition to serving on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology - Renal, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Bladder, and Associate Editor for Journal of Urology. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction. He serves on the AUA Research Council and co-chairs the AUA Research Advocacy Committee. He is a standing member of the FDA Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee (BRUDAC) and the NIDDK DDK-D Study Section which reviews mentored career development grants (K01, K08, K23, K32) and T32 training grants.
Elvan (Ellie) Daniels, MD, MPH
Dr. Daniels is the Senior Scientific Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the American Cancer Society National Home Office. In this role, she oversees grant management and research program development in the areas of cancer prevention and control, including risk reduction, screening and early detection, access to care, quality of care, cancer survivorship and cancer health equity. Additionally, she also oversees research peer review committees focusing on psychosocial and behavioral research, community based participatory research, health services and health policy research and palliative care and symptom management research.
Dr. Daniels is a family physician who completed medical school at Wayne State University and residency training at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Ghent Family Practice. She later completed a clinical research fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina and Master of Public Health at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Daniels is a former federally-qualified health center medical director and women’s wellness center director. During her tenure at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Daniels was the Research Director for the Southeast Regional Clinician's Network (SERCN) Practice Based Research Network (PBRN), an all federally-qualified health center PRBN, Co-leader for the Research Training and Career Development Core of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Tuskegee University, University of Alabama at Birmingham Cancer Partnership and a lead mentor for medical student learning communities.
John L. Gore, MD, MS, FACS
Dr. Gore is a urologic oncologist and health services researcher. He is currently a Professor in Urology and Adjunct Professor in Surgery at the University of Washington, and is an Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Dr. Gore received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his urology training at UCLA. He then received his health services research training as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA.
Dr. Gore is pursuing a translational health services and patient-centered outcomes research program toward improving access to care, quality of life, and quality of care for urologic cancers. He has active funding from PCORI, NIH, American Cancer Society, and DOD.
John Hollingsworth, MD
Dr. Hollingsworth is a Professor of Urology. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University in 2002. Following completion of his urology residency (2002-2008), he entered the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program (2008-2010). Since joining the University of Michigan faculty in 2010, Dr. Hollingsworth's clinical practice has focused on the medical and surgical management of urinary stone disease. He co-directs the University’s multidisciplinary stone clinic. Using the shared medical appointment model, this clinic brings together experts in Urology, Nephrology, and Nutrition.
In addition to delivering state-of-the-art clinical care, Dr. Hollingsworth maintains a robust research agenda that encompasses a broad range of health services disciplines. He has investigated the effect of physician financial incentives on utilization. He has also examined the relationship between variation in provider practice and the quality and costs of urological care. His current line of inquiry explores the interface between primary and specialty care. With funding from AHRQ, NIDDK, and NIA, he is investigating how the incorporation of specialist physicians into Medicare payment reforms influences program performance and the comparative effectiveness of different preventive pharmacological therapy agents for urinary stone disease, respectively.
Institutionally, Dr. Hollingsworth serves as the Medical Director for Clinical Quality and Interim Medical Director for Clinical Design and Innovation. His group offers a variety of services, including clinical guidance development, project management support for Michigan Medicine’s quality improvement committees, administrative support for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-funded collaborative quality initiative coordinating centers, and coaching for Maintenance of Certification Part IV. He also chairs Michigan Medicine’s Quality Council. Regionally, Dr. Hollingsworth co-directs the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative’s Reducing Operative Complications from Kidney Stones initiative.
David Frazier Jarrard, MD
David Frazier Jarrard is a tenured Professor of Urology and Molecular and Environmental Toxicology, and holds the John Livesey Chair in Urologic Oncology at the University of Wisconsin. He obtained his medical doctorate from the University of Virginia followed by a Urology residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. He completed a Urologic Oncology/American Foundation for Urologic Disease fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health he serves as Vice Chair for the Department of Urology, Associate Director for the UW Carbone Cancer Center and leads the Section of Urologic Oncology. He is a member of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Epigenetics program.
Dr Jarrard serves on a number of national committees including the guidelines panel for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Urological Association. He serves as co-Chair of the Research, Education and Conferences Committee for the AUA and is President of the Society of Academic Urologists (SAU). He is a past-President of the AUA North Central Section and the Society for Basic Urologic Research. Dr. Jarrard has served on the integration panel of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program and on the Board of Directors for the Society for Urologic Oncology (SUO). Awards include the SBUR Young Investigator and Distinguished Service Awards, Madison Magazine’s ‘Best Physicians in Wisconsin’, Castle Connolly ‘Top Doctors’, ‘Best Doctor in America™’ and the Society for Urologic Oncology Distinguished Service Award.
Dr Jarrard’s clinical work concentrates on advanced Urologic Oncology and research on improving cancer detection and outcomes. He runs a research laboratory funded through the NIH and DOD examining epigenetic factors underlying prostate cancer progression and novel approaches toward treating advanced disease. Their work identified altered genomic imprinting with aging increases the risk of prostate cancer development and this field effect serves as a diagnostic marker. Recent studies include the recognition that androgen removal, a common treatment in advanced prostate cancer, when combined with agents targeting unique epigenetic and metabolic changes can improve cancer outcomes. Dr. Jarrard has published numerous chapters, articles and abstracts in the field of prostate cancer.
Candace L. Kerr, PhD
Dr. Kerr is the Program Officer for the Stem Cell Program in the Aging Physiology Branch of the Division of Aging Biology in the National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA’s Stem Cell Program has supported major findings on the genetics regulating stem cell lifespan and genomic stability, the relationships between stem cell survival and aged health, and the discovery of molecules that facilitate stem cell depletion and cellular senescence. Before joining the NIA in 2017, Dr. Kerr was on the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine researching human adult and cancer stem cells, and earlier on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where her laboratory studied human pluripotent stem cells and the translation of these cells to treat reproductive and neurological afflictions. She received her MS in molecular genetics studying reproduction and neurobehavior in drosophila at the University of Maine and her PhD in quantitative genetics and biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University. She also studied the glycobiological interactions in receptor binding and endocrine functions in mice fertility and reproduction as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Dr. Kerr is the author of 35 peer-reviewed research papers and 14 review articles, textbook chapters, and commentaries. She has also shared her expertise as editor for several journals related to the stem cell biology field. Dr. Kerr covers the basic and translational areas in aging of in the Stem Cell Biology Program and the Urological and Reproductive Systems.
Dolores J. Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB)
Dolores (Dorrie) J. Lamb, PhD joined Weill Cornell Medicine on March 1, 2018 as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Urology and Director of the Center for Reproductive Genomics. She holds the Dow Professorship of Urology. As a full-time faculty member within both the Departments of Urology and Genetic Medicine, she maintains an active presence in both the academic and research communities at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Lamb is an investigator in the fields of urology, male infertility, steroid hormone action, prostate cancer and genitourinary birth defects. Her experience is unique as she has an extensive background in both the clinical diagnostic and the basic science arenas in men's health as well as having a remarkable record of achievement in the mentoring and development of clinician-scientists.
Dr. Lamb has been recognized by the American Society of Andrology with the Distinguished Andrologist Award as well as by the American Urological Association for significant contributions in the field of reproductive urology and service to the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction. She was also the Ramon Gutierras Lecturer at the AUA's annual meeting for her lifetime contributions to the field of urology. Among her many other distinctions, she received the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Urology Care Foundation (formerly the American Urologic Association Foundation). She is a former president of both the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology. She was the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award from ASRM as well. Dr. Lamb is a highly recognized NIH-funded researcher whose areas of investigation have focused on the genetics of male infertility, the genomics of genitourinary birth defects, steroid regulated growth of male reproductive tumors, and other areas of benign urologic research.
John Leppert, MD
Dr. Leppert is an Associate Professor of Urology and Medicine at Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto. In his clinical role, he serves as the Director of Urologic Oncology at the VA Palo Alto. His broad research program includes both translational research and epidemiology / population science approaches and can be divided into two main themes: 1) a comprehensive study of renal cell carcinoma (RCC, kidney cancer), and 2) applying epidemiology and population science methods to the study of urologic conditions. Dr. Leppert’s translational research focus includes efforts to identify prognostic and mechanistic biomarkers using novel proteomic platforms such as nanoimmuno assays (NIA), mass cytometry (CyTOF), and CODEX (CO-Detection by indEXing). His epidemiology research uses data from the Veterans Health Administration to estimate life expectancy for patients with urologic cancers, better estimate kidney function outcomes following urologic surgery, and comparative effectiveness studies of prevention strategies for Veterans with kidney stones.
Susan Lim, PhD
Dr. Lim has been the Program Director at Cancer Training Branch, Cancer Center Training, National Institute of Cancer since 2009. As a program director, she has managed T32 NRSA Institutional Training Grants, Career Development awards (K08, K23, K24). She is also the NCI liaison for the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Resource and Support Center award (R24), the Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty International Research Training Award (D43), and the K-12 BIRCWH: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program. Currently, Dr. Lim manages 150 active grants.
Dr. Lim received a B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University, Los Angeles. Her aspiration to research began when she received the Minority Biomedical Research Support Award. X-ray crystallography was her initial attraction to attend the University of California, Riverside, where she received her master’s degree in Biochemistry. Her desires to understand the mechanism of human diseases led her to the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Under the late Dr. L. Grossman and Dr. J. Groopman, Dr. Lim’s thesis work focused on the understanding the DNA damage of aflatoxin: liver carcinogen and human repair system. Her postgraduate studies on the characterization of human mitochondrial DNA polymerase and antiviral nucleotides resulted in a license shared with her mentor, Dr. W. Copeland at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. With three decades of bench research in different scientific disciplines, she now enjoys advising and working with the next generation of young scientists to achieve their career research awards and research training in cancer.
Theresa J. Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller joined the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) in 2004. During her tenure she has worked with several programs within CDMRP to include the breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, lupus and peer reviewed medical research programs. Dr. Miller now serves as the Program Manager for the DoD Kidney Cancer Research Program, where she oversees the execution and management of research funds. Congress established the KCRP in FY17 with $10M, the program has since received a total of $45M through FY19 with 84 grants awarded. For FY20 KCRP received a $40M appropriation to support innovative kidney cancer research.
Dr. Miller received a B.S. in Biology from Le Moyne College, in Syracuse NY. She completed her Ph.D. studies on lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis genes and its role on Haemophilus influenza pathogenesis in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Miller’s graduate research was supported in part by an American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship and a UNCF/Merck Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Miller was a recipient of an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) and completed a Technology Transfer Research Award fellowship in the Office of Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, MD.
Aria F. Olumi, MD
Dr. Olumi serves as the Chair of Research for the American Urological Association. A physician scientist, Dr. Olumi is the Chief of Urologic Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Janet and William DeWolf endowed Professor at Harvard Medical School. His clinical activities are focused on urologic oncology and surgical management of kidney, bladder and prostate cancer. Previously, he served as the Residency Program Director at Massachusetts General Hospital and the director of the Combined Harvard Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program.
Dr. Olumi’s NIH-funded laboratory is focused on providing personalized care for prostatic diseases. His lab has learned that the 5-alpha reductase 2 gene, an important gene that is responsible for normal prostatic development and growth, and a target of the commonly used 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (finasteride or dutasteride), is not expressed in 30% of adult men. His lab has defined the epigenetic mechanism that leads to variable expression of the gene in adult prostates. Their findings have broad implications that can explain the variable growth patterns of the prostate gland and the reason for resistance to the therapeutic effects of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
As Chair of the AUA Research Council, Dr. Olumi’s goal is to enhance the research activities for the urologic community and increase the educated workforce of urologic researchers who can effectively study urologic diseases with the ultimate goal of reducing burden of disease for our patients. Through advocacy, education and promotion of grant funding mechanisms for new and established investigators, the AUA is hard at work for its constituents, and he feels privileged to be part of that mission.
David F. Penson, MD, MPH
David F. Penson, MD, MPH is the Hamilton and Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology, Director of the Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research and Professor and Chair, Department of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He obtained his MD from Boston University and completed his urology residency at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He then was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar fellowship at Yale University and also obtained an MPH at Yale. He currently maintains a clinical practice in urologic oncology at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. His specific research interests include the comparative effectiveness of treatment options in localized prostate cancer and the impact of the disease and its treatment on patients’ quality of life. He has received federal grant funding from the National Cancer Institute, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He previously chaired the National Institutes of Health’s Health Services Outcomes and Delivery (HSOD) study section, which reviews almost all health services research grant submitted to the NIH. He also maintains a strong interest in health policy and quality improvement. He served as the Chair of the American Urological Association’s Health Policy Council from 2012-16 and also served on the National Quality Forum, the Cancer Quality Alliance and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Gail S. Prins, PhD
Dr. Prins is the Michael Reese Professor of Urology, Pathology and Physiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UIC School of Public Health. She serves as the Director of the University Andrology Laboratories and as the co-Director of the NIEHS-designated Chicago Center for Health and Environment (CACHET) at UIC and the University of Chicago. Her research focus is hormonal regulation of prostate gland development and carcinogenesis. Research areas of emphasis include estrogen actions in the prostate gland, human prostate stem and progenitor cells and the influence of early life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and toxins on adult prostate cancer risk.
Dr. Prins has published over 200 manuscripts and currently is Principal Investigator on 2 NIH grants and a DoD award. She is a Past-President of the Society for Basic Urologic Research and the American Society of Andrology and currently serves as Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives and Endocrinology.
J. Todd Purves, MD, PhD
Dr. Purves is Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology) at Duke University Medical Center. He has a clinical practice in pediatric urology, treating children with congenital defects of the urinary tract and children with urinary dysfunction. In addition to his clinical practice, he is the Principal Investigator of the Duke University Urinary Dysfunction Laboratory, which focuses on the role of the innate immune system in benign urinary pathology. A particular focus of the lab is on inflammasomes, one of which (NLRP3) has received considerable attention for its role in diabetes and a mediator of inflammation in organs that are susceptible to damage in diabetic patients. Currently, Dr. Purves is investigating the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in the initiation and progression of diabetic bladder dysfunction.
Tracy Rankin, PhD, MPH
As Director of Career Development and Training for Kidney and Urologic Diseases, Dr. Rankin oversees a portfolio that includes Career Development Awards (Ks), Individual National Research Service Awards (F), and Institutional Research Service (T32) awards in urology. These awards support early training in both basic and clinical research related to kidney and benign urologic diseases. They help clinicians and scientists who are pursuing academic careers make the transition to independence. She also manages the Developmental Grant Program (R03), which supports awardees as they begin their independent research programs.
Dr. Rankin manages research studies under the Diabetic Urologic Disease and Urology HIV/AIDS programs. As such, she is responsible for overseeing basic research on the urologic complications of diabetes and the pathophysiology of HIV infection in the lower urinary tract. She is also the Program Official for the George M. O'Brien Urology Research Center program and the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC).
Christopher Saigal MD, MPH
Dr. Saigal is Professor and Vice Chair of Urology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has been active as a physician leader at UCLA since 2001, leading efforts within the system to improve medical decision making, describe new approaches to measuring the costs of care, and introduce new techniques to incorporate the patient’s voice into service line redesign. Dr Saigal’s major research area is in shared decision making, where he has been funded by an R-01 from the National Cancer Institute to innovate new approaches to shared decision making in men with prostate cancer. Dr Saigal was the Rand PI of the Urological Diseases America (UDA) project, a $25 million, 15-year NIH-funded effort to characterize quality, cost, and access to urologic care in the U.S. He was recently received a $1.9 PCORI award to employ implementation science methods to understand how best to scale effective shared decision making interventions.
He has published over 130 policy- and quality of care related manuscripts and two comprehensive compendia about utilization of health care services in urology. As a former Gallagher Health Policy Scholar and American Urological Association Quality Improvement and Patient Safety committee member, he has provided leadership on behalf of the AUA in many arenas, including the Surgical Quality Alliance. He has chaired or served as a committee member for several National Quality Forum (NQF) quality measurement efforts. He also co-chaired the NQF decision aids certification panel, and is a leader in the NQF Shared Decision Making action team.
David E. Saslowsky, PhD
Dr. Saslowsky is a program director in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (DDN), NIDDK, NIH. As part of his role, he oversees the Career Development ("K") awards for the Division; these awards support individuals with a Ph.D., M.D., or an equivalent degree to receive training in both basic and clinical research. Additionally, he coordinates the NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for NIDDK and DDN, serves as the Program Official for the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium (ISCC), and is part of the program team for the SPARC Common fund Program (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions). Prior to joining NIH in 2015, Dr. Saslowsky was an assistant professor at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Susan Taymans, MD
Dr. Susan Taymans is the program director for Embryonic Gonad and Gamete Development, Basic Ovarian Function and Dysfunction, and Fertility Preservation Programs in the Fertility and Infertility Branch of NICHD. She is also responsible for managing the institutional training grants (T32s) funded by the branch. She is the co-chair of the NICHD Training Policy Committee and the NICHD Diversity Supplement Committee. She joined the branch in 1999, following a postdoctoral position in endocrine genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Constantine Stratakis, NICHD Scientific Director. She received her Ph.D. in molecular endocrinology from the University of Maryland.
Erika Wolff, PhD
Dr. Wolff is the Executive Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) at the University of Washington. Dr. Wolff obtained her PhD from the Department of Urology at the USC Keck School of Medicine, completed a postdoctoral program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and then managed the research program of the Section of Urology at Virginia Mason in Seattle, Washington. She joined the University of Washington in 2014 as the SORCE Associate Director of Research and Training and was promoted to Executive Director in 2018.
Dr. Wolff is a health services and patient-centered outcomes researcher focused on improving outcomes for patients with urologic and surgical conditions. Dr. Wolff is the Program Director for a PCORI-funded multi-site pragmatic trial in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and the Program Manager for an NIDDK-funded T32 research fellowship for surgical residents. She also oversees the center’s portfolio of research projects, including two additional PCORI-funded multi-site pragmatic trials in appendicitis and diverticulitis management, as well as the center’s staff, including research scientists, project managers, research coordinators, and biostatisticians. In addition, Dr. Wolff manages the grant development process at SORCE and mentors early career investigators.
Stephen A. Zderic, MD
I am a practicing pediatric urologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. My clinical interests are focused on voiding function and dysfunction and the management of patients with spina bifida. One advantage we have as clinician scientists is our ability to perform patient oriented research such that our clinic becomes our lab. We have used magnetoenecphalography to study the cortical EEG in our patients with voiding dysfunction. We can then correlate these observations with our experimental findings in mice where we are using the tools of optogenetics and fiberphotometry to study these distinct anatomic regions and neural sub populations.
I was led to a research career by my experience as a chemistry undergraduate at the University of California at Riverside. I attended medical school at UCLA and came to Penn for my urology residency starting in 1983. I completed a fellowship in pediatric urology at ÇHOP and have remained on the faculty for 29 years. All career paths have some ups and downs, but I have enjoyed my time in urology practice and research immensely. If I could start it all over again, I would do it in a flash, but only if I could keep the lessons I have learned along the way.
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