2022 Symposium

April 28 and 29, 2022
KURe Research Day 2022

The Duke KURe Multidisciplinary Benign Urology Research Symposium 2022 was held virtually and attracted over 140 scientists from 47 academic institutions, from the USA, Canada, Australia, and Germany spanning a broad range of scientific subspecialties. This virtual meeting showcased not only the superb research by our Duke trainees but provided an opportunity for trainees across the US and internationally to highlight their research. Over 40 abstracts were submitted, and the best trainee submissions were selected for oral platform presentations by the KURe advisory committee. The symposium offered 2 keynote speakers, 6 oral platform presentations by our awardees and KURe scholars, and 2 multidisciplinary panel discussions. During 6 concurrent scientific sessions trainee presentations were judged to win basic, translational, and clinical research awards. Additionally, there was opportunity on Friday for trainees to meet in small groups with experts for networking and advice.

“Another fantastic program with great topics!!”

“Very professional presentations.  Very prepared for questions. So inspiring to see such dedicated young scientists.”

Agenda                          Program Booklet

Selected Video Presentations

nickel screenshot


Keynote - Thursday: J. Curtis Nickel talks about treatments for managing chronic pelvic pain.


Chancellor screenshot 2

Panel Presentation - Michael Chancellor talks about research during the pandemic.

Grill - screenshot

Panel Presentation - Friday: Warren M Grill presents on mechanisms of detrusor underactivity

Screenshot of UCPPS presentation


Panel Presentation - Thursday: Susan K. Lutgendorf, PhD, presents on stress and psychosocial factors in UCPPS symptoms.

Birder - screenshot

Panel Presentation - Friday: Lori Birder presents her work on the underactive bladder. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Trainee Award Winners

Oral Platform Presentations

Best Basic Science Abstract
Aya Hajj, MSc, McGill University
Matrix-Metalloproteinase-9 plays a key role in the secretion of nerve growth factor from rat bladder cells

Best Translational Science Abstract
Anissa Cervantes, BS, Duke University Medical Center
Specialized proresolving mediators reverse effects of chronic inflammation in diabetic bladder dysfunction

Best Clinical Science Abstract
Ian Berger, MD, MSHP, Duke University Medical Center
Rural for-profit hospitals are associated with higher reported prices for ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy among commercially insured patients

Concurrent Sessions - Trainee Presentations

Basic Science – 1st Place
Aalya Hamouda, B.Sc, McGill University
The p75 neurotrophin receptor antagonist THX-B improves voiding behavior and reduces bladder contractility in aging mice

Basic Science – 2nd Place
Lauren Baker, MS, DVM, PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison
RNA sequencing of whole blood from dogs with and without spontaneous calcium oxalate kidney stones reveals association with natural killer cell immunity

Translational Science – 1st Place
Lindsey Burnett, PhD, MD, Loyola University Chicago
One Size Does Not Fit All: Variability in Urinary Symptoms and Microbial Communities

Translational Science – 2nd Place
Eric Gonzalez, PhD, Duke University
AMPLIFY: Amplifying sensation in underactive bladder (work in progress)

Clinical Science – 1st Place
Leonid Aksenov, MD, Duke University Medical Center
Financial toxicity of spina bifida: Development of a conceptual framework and patient-reported outcome measure

Clinical Science – 2nd Place
Jacqueline Kikuchi, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Comparing prolapse and mesh reoperations following sacrocolpopexy with supracervical hysterectomy, total hysterectomy, and without hysterectomy


Dr. Lori Birder

Friday Panel: Underactive Bladder

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Chemical Biology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Birder’s research focuses on the physiology and pharmacology of the LUT in health and disease, specifically looking at how increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and associated oxidative stress are a defining cause in a growing number of age-associated LUT disorders. Given the important fundamental role for oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysregulation in the pathogenesis of many LUT disorders including those age-related; therapies that can protect and restore mitochondrial function are important in terms of disease prevention. Her research has been durably funded by the NIH and includes an NIH MERIT award. Dr. Birder has organized/chaired a number of symposia and workshops on bladder and urothelial function, is a member of several scientific/editorial boards and scientific societies including ICS, INUS, SUFU and ESSIC, serves as a member of the SUFU executive committee and the ICS board of Trustees, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the ICS open access journal ‘Continence’.


Dr. Michael Chancellor

Thursday Panel: Chronic Pelvic Pain and Friday Panel: Underactive Bladder

Professor of Urology
Director of Aikens Research Center
Beaumont Health System
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Auburn Hills, MI

A prolific author and researcher, Dr. Chancellor has gained national and international recognition in the areas of stem cell and tissue engineering as well as drug discovery. He was the first urologist to use botulinum toxin to treat lower urinary tract dysfunction.  His inventions founded Cook MyoSite, Inc., which is now conducting multicenter North American trials using adult autologous muscle-derived stem cells to treat stress urinary incontinence.  Dr. Chancellor also founded Lipella Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on localized therapy and advance drug delivery.

Dr. Chancellor has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Paul Zimskind Award from the Society of Urodynamics and Female Urology, Grand Prize in the International Jack Lapides Essay Contest, and the Pfizer-American Urological Association Visiting Professorship Award. He has been recognized as Innovator of the Year by Pittsburgh magazine, listed in Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors. Dr. Chancellor has received continuous funding from NIH for over 20 years and has trained many of today’s experts in urology.

Dr. Warren Grill

Friday Panel: Underactive Bladder

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery
Duke University

Dr. Grill’s research interests are in neural engineering and neuromodulation and include design and testing of electrodes and stimulation techniques, the electrical properties of tissues and cells, and computational neuroscience with applications to restoration of bladder function, treatment of movement disorders with deep brain stimulation, electrical stimulation for treatment of pain, and vagus nerve stimulation for regulation of organ function. He is a core faculty member in Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship and has been awarded 59 US patents. He received the Capers & Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research at Duke University (2008 and 2018), was awarded Outstanding Postdoc Mentor at Duke University (2013), and received the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award (2014).

He serves on the editorial boards of Brain StimulationNeuromodulation, and Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, and is Deputy Editor for the Journal of Neural Engineering. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 2007, and of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2011, and was awarded a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by NIH-NINDS in 2015.

Dr. Susan Lutgendorf

Thursday Panel: Chronic Pelvic Pain

Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow in the Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Urology
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

Dr. Lutgendorf’s research focuses on the field of psychoneuroimmunology with applications to cancer and pain, specifically urologic pelvic pain. Dr. Lutgendorf has studied interstitial cystitis for the last 25 years, and is an investigator in the NIDDK- funded MAPP (Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain) network.  She has been funded for the last 20 years by the National Cancer Institute to investigate effects of biobehavioral factors on cancer-specific outcomes. Dr. Lutgendorf is currently the PI of an NCI-funded multi-site clinical trial to test an internet conferencing-based stress management intervention for ovarian cancer survivors.

Dr. Lutgendorf serves as the Program Director for an NIGMS-funded T32 predoctoral Training Grant entitled “Mechanisms of Health and Disease at the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface”.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has served as President of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society, as President of the American Psychosomatic Society, and as a member of the Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotions, Stress, and Health (MESH) Study Section at NIH.  Her work has been recognized by a New Investigator Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society in 2004, an Early Career Award from the American Psychosomatic Society in 2002, and by an award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association in 2000. She received an Outstanding Mentor award from the Graduate College of the University of Iowa in 2002.

Dr. J. Curtis Nickel

Thursday Keynote: Chronic Urologic Pain

J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC
Professor, Department of Urology, Queen’s University
Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation
Staff Urologist, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Dr. J. Curtis Nickel’s clinical expertise and research covers inflammatory, infectious, pain and other benign diseases of the urinary tract. Dr. Nickel and his collaborative research network MAPP (Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain) have undertaken numerous etiology, epidemiology, diagnostic, and treatment studies in the field of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, referred to collectively as Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. He serves on the editorial board of 6 urology journals, is immediate past-editor of the AUA Update Series and editor of Microbiome/Urologic Infections Section for Grand Rounds in Urology.  He was President of the Canadian Urological Association in 2017.  Dr. Nickel has been instrumental in integrating scientific clinical methodology into the field of urology, to the point that research in prostatitis and interstitial cystitis is now evidence-based. His work on pelvic pain has contributed to updated classifications and definitions, new treatments, and improved diagnosis. He was awarded a CIHR Tier I Canada Research Chair (concurrent), AUA Distinguished Contribution Award, AUA Latimer Medal, SIU Academy Award, and was the first recipient of the SIU Elhilali Award for contributions to International Urology Research.  He was named an Honorary Member of the AUA in 2021 for contributions in urologic research and leadership.

Dr. Andrew Schrepf

Thursday Panel: Chronic Pelvic Pain

Research Investigator
Department of Anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
University of Michigan

Andrew Schrepf’s research focuses on the inflammatory and immunological substrates of centralized pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, temporomandibular disorder, and chronic pelvic pain. His work uses deep phenotyping techniques including gene expression, provoked inflammatory responses, neuroimaging, and quantitative sensory testing to determine the neurobiological mechanisms of symptoms common to chronic pain conditions, obesity, and cancer. At the University of Iowa, he was supported by an individual F31 National Research Service Award from National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a T32 program from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). He is a member of the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Research Network, with a focus on inflammatory biomarker development. He is currently supported by an institutional K12 training grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).


Dr. Karl-Dietrich Sievert

Friday Keynote: Science of Underactive Bladder

Karl-Dietrich Sievert MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS
Prof. of Urology and Chair, Klinikum Lippe, Department of Urology, University Clinic of Bielefeld, Detmold, Germany
Adjunct Professor, Reconstructive Urology and Uro-Oncology, Department of Urology, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Medical University Vienna, Austria

Dr. Karl-Dietrich Sievert has built his 25-year clinical career as a highly-skilled laparoscopic and certified DaVinci Robotic surgeon and has been internationally recognized for his breadth of surgical expertise by both the American (FACS) and Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). He is a recurring contributor and opinion leader at the annual Academic European Urology, German, European, American Urology Association meetings. In the European Association of Urology, he is a lecturer and surgical trainer for the European School of Urology, Master Class and Resident Urology Program. He pioneered the adoption of novel diagnostic techniques and minimally-invasive treatments. Professor Sievert’s clinical and basic research interests include oncology, neurourology, incontinence, reconstructive surgery, LDDM (muscle tissue regeneration for enhanced bladder voiding), pharmacotherapy, and progressive and innovative treatment of SCI patients, such as early SNM implantation, for which he won a 2010 Klee Innovation award resulting in several patents. His extensive knowledge of stem cell research and regenerative medicine have been recognized as he is one of the few experts who is both a urological surgeon and a basic researcher. His primary focus is to bring research initiatives from the laboratory to clinic.