This is a proposal to establish an Interdisciplinary Research Center in Benign Urology focused on "Biology and Pathophysiology of Urothelium in Bladder Disease." The overarching, long term goals are to develop and integrate resources in basic and clinical investigation that will catalyze the rapid translation of breakthroughs in our understanding of the biology of bladder injury and repair from the preclinical to the clinical setting. The immediate goal of this Planning Center is to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers with diverse areas of expertise to formulate and establish a multi-pronged, systematic approach for investigating bladder injury and its effects in both mouse models and in human patients. The multidisciplinary Team includes practicing urologists, basic scientists, and pathologists with interests in bladder infection, injury, and repair processes;bladder pain, micturition and neurourology;urothelial stem cell homeostasis, activation, and interactions with extracellular matrix;and high throughput collection and banking of clinical information and specimens. The scientific research project has three Aims that will define cellular, molecular, and neurobiological changes that accompany various bladder injury models in mice and then correlate these with changes that occur in benign human bladder diseases. This process will also lead to establishment of much needed infrastructure to conduct multifaceted research in bladder diseases (bench to bedside). The Center includes an Administrative Core responsible for fostering collaborations and overseeing an Educational Enrichment Program. This Program will arrange visits to Washington University by outside speakers to present seminars relevant to the goals of the Center. In addition, the Program will support Summer Student Research Experiences in Urology-relevant labs for high school, college, and medical students. Together, the research and educational activities supported by the Center will allow the Team to make substantial inroads into understanding the biology of benign lower urinary tract urothelial diseases and the associated pain.
Bladder pain affects millions of individuals in the US. The goals of this Planning Center are to establish a platform for relating the biology of bladder injury in mouse models to that observed in human patients. This should lead to a better understanding of what causes bladder pain and new therapies for treating it. The educational activities supported by the Center will broaden the base of research into urinary tract disorders.
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