Urologic diseases cause significant morbidity, mortality, and burden on the U.S. healthcare system of approximately $11B annually. To meet this healthcare challenge, a new generation of urologic researchers must be trained - both clinical and basic scientists. We propose training these future urologic researchers through the renewed funding of the Urology Training Program at Northwestern University. Our young program has already achieved important milestones, including placing its first trainee into the ranks of Assistant Professor at a distinguished institution. The Department of Urology has a long tradition training thought leaders in clinical and basic urologic research. In this application, we seek funding for two urologic research fellows annually. Fellows will be Ph.D. postdoctoral scientists or M.D., Ph.D. physician-scientists, and we have budgeted accordingly. The Urology Training Program relies upon 16 preceptors from within Urology and other Northwestern departments. Together, these preceptors represent diverse areas of urology, from basic biology and pathogenesis in the urinary tract to outcomes. The Urology Training Program also exploits the many centers, programs, and core facilities of Northwestern to provide a unique training environment that effectively trains fellows for successful careers in clinical and basic urologic research. In addition to the rigorous research components, the program is also structured to facilitate career development with training critical academic skills such as grant writing. An important component of the Urology Training Program is the structure that provides continuous evaluation of trainees, preceptors and the program itself by an internal Executive Committee and an external Steering Committee. Outstanding fellow candidates will be aggressively recruited from renowned Ph.D. programs and from the urology residency program at Northwestern University and its affiliation with the innovative Physician-Scientist Training Program. Only those candidates with a strong desire to pursue academic research and outstanding prior achievement will be considered for training in this highly selective program. Furthermore, every possible effort will be made to enhance diversity by specifically recruiting minority candidates. In summary, we have established a highly successful Urology Training Program. We seek to build upon our early successes by training the next generation of clinical and basic urologic researchers to provide improved diagnostics and therapies for urologic diseases.
Urologic diseases afflict millions of Americans annually, costing grave suffering and billions of dollars for treatment. Training is needed to prepare the next generation of urologic researchers. This program will train both clinical and basic scientists for successful careers in urologic research that will then deliver next-generation technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of urologic diseases.
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