DC-HUB DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER The intention of this P20 planning grant application is to establish the ?Developmental Center for Human Urinary Bladder Myogenic Mechanisms by Ion Channels in Health and Disease? (DC-HUB), focused on investigating the role of ion channels in benign urology. Ion channels play important roles in urinary bladder function, but much remains to be discovered. The objective of this DC-HUB planning grant is to organize a multidisciplinary collaborative program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The goal of this multidisciplinary collaborative program is to examine the roles of ion channels and their regulatory mechanisms in the human urinary bladder under normal and benign pathological conditions. The program will investigate the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole organism (in vivo) mechanisms by which ion channels regulate urinary bladder function and dysfunction, leading to identification of novel pharmacological targets for benign urological indications. Our collaborative DC-HUB will consist of investigators with demonstrated expertise in basic and clinical urology, physiology, pharmacology, electrophysiology, drug discovery, biochemistry, and signal transduction. Employing a rigorous interdisciplinary approach, using state-of-the-art techniques, we will determine the roles of ion channels and their regulatory mechanisms in urinary bladder function from molecules and isolated cells to intact tissues and whole organisms. Our long-term goal is to establish an effective multidisciplinary program to develop novel strategies for safe and effective therapeutic control of overactive bladder (OAB). This DC-HUB proposal is a result of extensive collaboration among basic science and clinical faculty at UTHSC from Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. Our partnership for excellence in research, education, and community outreach is grounded on complementary strengths, mutual respect, and a genuine passion to create a new Research Center focused on the role of ion channels in benign urology. By the end of this P20 planning grant period, we will develop a coherent theme and strategy for our interdisciplinary collaborative research program and establish interactive and collaborative research projects, each with working hypotheses and aims fully developed at the submission of an NIH U54-level or P01-level grant application. Our multidisciplinary research team involving UTHSC faculty and outside collaborators perfectly matches the description criteria for this current NIH P20 RFA-DK-18-028 solicitation. Therefore, there is a high likelihood for this integrative effort to grow into an NIH U54-level, multi-PI R01, or P01-level grant.
This P20 collaborative program in benign urology, highly relevant to the NIH mission, regards a critically important scientific question on the roles of smooth muscle ion channels in urinary bladder physiology and benign pathophysiology. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating normal urinary bladder function and ion channel impairment that occur in benign pathological conditions including overactive bladder (OAB), a widespread condition that decreases quality of life, is critical to identifying and validating targets for novel therapeutic intervention. The proposed multidisciplinary research will greatly enhance our understanding of OAB etiology and identify novel OAB therapeutic approaches with the potential to offer patients an improved quality of life.