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The Department of Urology at the University of Wisconsin is home to research programs investigating mechanisms of disease, translating discoveries in the laboratory to clinical trials, and making experimental treatments available to our patients with complex and challenging conditions. Research funding is derived primarily from the National Institutes of Health and exceeds $2 million annually.

Basic research within the department is augmented by a dense array of research collaborations with investigators from a wide range of scientific disciplines both inside the medical school and on main campus. The portfolio of clinical research involves wide-ranging collaborations with other clinical departments. Our efforts in outcomes research and research in medical education continue to expand as do our international outreach and research collaborations. Financial support for formal research training of medical students, predoctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows is drawn from an array of training grants in which Urology faculty participate.

Researchers & Laboratories
Funding / Grants
Portrait of E. Jason Abel, MD, FACS E. Jason Abel, MD, FACS

Dr. Abel conducts clinical, translational, and basic research in urologic oncology. Clinical and translational interests include improving patient outcomes after complex urologic surgery, improving prognostic ability for patient decision making, and multidisciplinary care of kidney cancer.

Dr. Abel serves on the board of directors for the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) Clinical Trials Consortium.

Portrait of Sara Best, MD Sara Best, MD

Dr. Best’s research interests lie in the study of kidney cancer and disease using optics, the development of new technology for minimally invasive surgery, and urinary stone disease.

Portrait of Dale E Bjorling, DVM Dale E Bjorling, DVM

Inflammation of the bladder due to non-infectious causes, and mechanisms that modulate pain sensation and bladder healing. The laboratory’s primary research emphasis is the causes and pathogenesis of non-infectious cystitis and and the effects of infectious cystitis on the afferent nervous system. Clinical disorders of particular relevance to models used in the laboratory include urinary tract infection, Interstitial Cystitis (IC) in women, and Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) in cats. The goalsof this research are to identify processes that promote inflammation, damage, and pain within the bladder and to investigate improved therapeutic modalities for treatment or prevention of symptoms assocated with cystitis.

Portrait of Tudor Borza, MD, MS Tudor Borza, MD, MS

Dr. Borza is a health services researcher with a focus is on understanding how health policy changes impact surgical care and, more specifically, care of urologic malignancies. His current projects revolve around improving opioid medication stewardship by engaging surgeons through the Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin. Additionally, he is working on understanding how different components of the Affordable Care Act have impacted treatment patterns and readmissions among patients undergoing major surgical procedures.

Portrait of Reginald C Bruskewitz, MD Reginald C Bruskewitz, MD

Dr. Bruskewitz is studying surgical and pharmacological therapies for benign prostatic hyperplasia, with funding from the National Insitutes of Health, major pharmaceutical companies, and various study groups.

Portrait of Wade A Bushman, MD, PhD Wade A Bushman, MD, PhD

Dr. Bushman’s research interests include clinical research in bladder and pelvic floor dysfunction and basic research in prostate development and prostate cancer.

Dr. Bushman’s Lab

Portrait of Tracy M Downs, MD, FACS Tracy M Downs, MD, FACS

Dr. Downs has a joint appointment with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, and his clinical research emphasizes developing new therapies for genitourinary cancers.

Research Focus
Chemoprevention – Bladder cancer, prostate cancer
Screening Programs – Bladder cancer screening for high-risk subjects
Outcomes Research – Patient outcomes of treatments for non-muscle invasive (superficial) bladder cancer and radical cystectomy
Translational Research – Discovery of molecular and urinary biomarkers (bladder cancer)
Quality of Life Outcomes – Bladder cancer, prostate cancer

Portrait of David F Jarrard, MD David F Jarrard, MD

Dr. Jarrard has a joint appointment with the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his clinical research emphasizes developing novel diagnostics and new therapies for genitourinary cancers. He has an active basic science laboratory and is funded through the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense to examine genetic and epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer.

Dr. Jarrard’s lab

Portrait of Alison C. Keenan, MD Alison C. Keenan, MD

Dr. Keenan’s research interests include minimally invasive surgery outcomes, nephrolithiasis, modern techniques for surgical education, and applications of decisional sciences to pediatric urology practices.

Portrait of Christopher M. Manakas, MD Christopher M. Manakas, MD

Clinical Informatics
Quality Improvement

Portrait of Sarah E McAchran, MD, FACS Sarah E McAchran, MD, FACS

Dr. McAchran’s research interests in female urology include optimization of care pathways to improve surgical outcomes and clinical outcomes of female pelvic floor reconstruction.

Portrait of Stephen Y Nakada, MD, FACS, FRCS(Glasg.) Stephen Y Nakada, MD, FACS, FRCS

Dr. Nakada’s research focuses on pathophysiology of the ureter and all aspects of urinary stone disease. His research is currently supported by the American Urologic Association.

Recent Features

Dr. Nakada featured in Endourology Sound Bites

Portrait of David R Paolone, MD David R Paolone, MD

Dr. Paolone’s research interests are in the areas of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) and penile disorders.

Portrait of Kristina Penniston, PhD Kristina Penniston, PhD

Dr. Penniston’s research interests include clinical nutrition research in kidney stones and prostate cancer. Specifically, she is interested in the efficacy of nutrition therapy in the prevention, management, and treatment of disease and on indicators of quality of life.

Portrait of Kyle A. Richards, MD, FACS Kyle A. Richards, MD, FACS

Dr. Richards conducts clinical, translational and health services research in urologic oncology. He has special interests in quality improvement projects aimed at streamlining health care delivery and efficiency for all patients with urologic malignancies.

Portrait of William Ricke, PhD William Ricke, PhD

Dr. Ricke’s research interests include prostate cancer.

Ricke Lab

Portrait of Ruthie Su, MD Ruthie Su, MD

Dr. Su’s research interests include urinary tract infections, disorders of sexual development, outcomes analysis of complex urologic reconstruction, clinical epidemiology, and translational science.

Portrait of Daniel H Williams IV, MD Daniel H Williams IV, MD

Dr. Williams’ research interests in male infertility include the preservation of fertility in men with cancer, the effects of advanced paternal age and the environment on male reproductive potential, and clinical outcomes of male reproductive tract reconstructions. Copyright © 2018 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System