Dr. Indira U. Mysorekar has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Women in Science award from the Association for Women in Science

Dr. Mysorekar has received a K99/R00 award, multiple R01s and program projects from NIDDK/NIA/NICHD/NIAID); Investigator awards from Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and the March of Dimes, the 2021 Christian J. Her award for outstanding achievements in reproductive immunology and two Endowed professorships: James P. Crane Endowed Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine and inaugural E.L. Wagner Endowed Professor in Infectious Diseases and most recently been inducted as a Fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology. The Mysorekar lab has made a number of novel and paradigm shifting discoveries in urogenital tract immunology, microbiology and microbial pathogenesis. Her research efforts have focused on increasing fundamental understanding of mechanisms underlying viral infections during pregnancy and urinary tract infections in older women and developing targeted therapeutic interventions to improve urogenital health.

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Introducing the Inaugural Scholars of the K12 Urology Research at Stanford (KUReS) Career Development Program in Benign Urology

Kathleen Kan, MD, will focus her investigations on the development of momentary assessment and observation tools in school settings to capture child- and school-level factors in daytime bathroom use with the long-term goal to reduce disease burden and improve local policies and practices.

Alexandra Polasko, PhD, will focus her investigations on the role of bone morphogenic protein 5 (BMP5) in the pathophysiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common disease that affects a large percentage of aging men with lower urinary tract symptoms.

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CAIRIBU Welcomes a NEW K12 Career Development Program

James Brooks, MD, Principal Investigator of the Stanford University U54 George M. O’Brien Urology Research Center, and Joseph Liao, MD are the PIs of the new Multidisciplinary K12 Urologic Research (KURe) Career Development Program at Stanford University.

The CAIRIBU Interactions Core looks forward to promoting this program to the broader urology research community and highlighting the work of their K12 Scholars (see above) at future events.

Joseph C. Liao    James D. Brooks

Cheers to 5 More Years!

Cindy L. Amundsen, MD, Principal Investigator and Director of the KURe Multidisciplinary Urologic Research Career Development Program at Duke University, and program specialists Friederike Jayes, DVM, PhD, and Rebecca Kameny, PhD, have been awarded $3.8 million over five years by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). This renewal award will lead to 15 years of continued funding which has thus far supported 14 early career researchers. The program’s strengths are a commitment to multidisciplinary clinical, translational, and basic research, structured mentoring relationships, and a focus on individualized career development. Success is facilitated through strong institutional support, experienced leadership, and highly skilled, dedicated mentors.

Thank you, Dr. Amundsen, for your and your scholars’ active presence and participation in CAIRIBU!

Check out a full list of CAIRIBU-Affiliated K12 Scholars here. 

CAIRIBU Interactions Core and UTI Health Alliance Host “UTI Through the Lifespan – A Patient Perspective”

On June 28th, the CAIRIBU Interactions Core welcomed a panel of patients and their caregivers suffering from chronic UTIs. Clinicians and investigators from the CAIRIBU community and beyond tuned in to listen to the panelists speak on the burden and frustrations of living with recurrent UTIs allowing the panelists and audience to engage in meaningful dialogue. This event is available for asynchronous viewing on the CAIRIBU YouTube channel and will be followed up with a researcher/clinician panel soon. More details to come…

THANK YOU! to everyone who participated in this event. It was a huge success and we look forward to taking advantage of the momentum this panel has created in the direction of more patient-centered research around the topic of UTIs.

CAIRIBU Investigator Elected President of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology

Indira Mysorekar, PhD, The E.L. Wagner endowed professor of Medicine and Professor in the Section of Infectious Diseases, was elected as President of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology. Congratulations, Dr. Mysorekar!

CAIRIBU at BSAC UTI Conference 2023

Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHS presented at the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy UTI Conference on “Recurrent UTIs and the Microbiome”. Dr. Siddiqui participates in the CAIRIBU Urobiome Research Interest Group (U-RIG).


Congratulations to Scott Bauer, MD, MS, who received funding from the NIDDK for his first R01 award, “Prescription exercise for Older men with Urinary Disease (PROUD) pilot study”. This project aims to test general aerobic and resistance training as a more whole health approach to lower urinary tract symptoms and BPH in older men. Scott Bauer is a K12 Alum from the UCSF-Kaiser Permanente KUroEpi program and a recipient of an Opportunity Pool award from the UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center.

2023 Duke KURe Symposium Award Winners

The CAIRIBU K12 Institutional Career Development Program at Duke University (PI, Cindy Amundsen, MD) recently held its 8th annual research symposium. The program featured Duke University K12 Scholars and other trainees. Awards for Best Abstracts went to:

  • Michael Odom, PhD, Duke University K12 Scholar (top basic science abstract)
  • Byron Hayes, PhD, Duke University K12 Scholar (top basic science abstract)
  • Nicole Diaz, BS, Duke University medical school student (top translational science abstract)
  • Robert Medairos, MD, Duke University Endourology Fellow (top clinical science abstract)

At the end of the meeting, trainees who were awarded CAIRIBU Interactions Core Conference & Dissemination Grants were announced by Dr. Amundsen. The awards were given to encourage trainee participation in the symposium. All winners submitted and presented abstracts at the symposium. Congratulations!

  • Molly Alexander, MS (Brody School of Medicine)
  • Claudia Covarrubias, MD (McGill University)
  • Gabrielle Grob, BA (Virginia Commonwealth University Health System)
  • Aya Hajj, MSc (McGill University)
  • Britney Hudson, BSE (Clemson University)
  • Charles Mazeaud, MD (Houston Methodist Hospital)
  • Ashti Shah, BS (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)
  • Johnny Su, MD (Houston Methodist Hospital)
  • Julie Suyama, MD, PhD (University of California San Diego)
  • Gregory Vurture, MD (Hackensack Meridian Health – Jersey Shore University Medical Center)
  • Wrenn Pallas, BS (Brody School of Medicine)

CAIRIBU U54 O’Brien Center at Columbia University Highlights Research of  Opportunity Pool Award Recipients at Annual Symposium

The Columbia University U54 O’Brien Center showcased the research of CAIRIBU O’Brien Center Opportunity Pool Award recipients at its March 2023 symposium. PIs of the Columbia University O’Brien Center are Jonathan Barasch, MD, PhD; Cathy Mendelsohn, PhD; Ali Gharavi, MD; and Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, MD, PhD.

Opportunity Pool recipients from CAIRIBU O’Brien Centers at Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PI, William Ricke, PhD), Stanford University (PI, James Brooks, MD), and the University of Pittsburgh (a prior CAIRIBU O’Brien Center; PI, Zhou Wang, PhD) were featured. These included: Douglas Strand, PhD (University of Texas Southwestern), Shane Wells, MD (UW-Madison), Teresa Liu, PhD (UW-Madison), Scott Bauer, MD, MS (University of California San Francisco), and Leonard MacGillivray, PhD (University of Iowa) – all of whom received awards from the University of Wisconsin-Madison O’Brien Center. Recipients of awards from the Columbia University O’Brien Center at the symposium were: Nicholas Steers, PhD (Columbia University), David DeGraff, PhD (Penn State University), Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MS (Boston Childrens – Harvard Medical School), and Kris Prado, MD (Stanford University). Stanford University O’Brien Center Opportunity Pool recipient Kimberly Keil Stietz, PhD (UW-Madison) presented her work as did University of Pittsburgh O’Brien Center Opportunity Pool recipient Alejandro Roldán-Alzate, PhD (UW-Madison). Two of these awardees also recently obtained CAIRIBU Collaboration Awards; see prior post for more information on their proposals.

2023 CAIRIBU Interactions Core Collaboration Awards

 LaTasha Crawford, VMD, PhD, DACVP, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Crawford lab examines cell-specific mechanisms underlying pain, allodynia, and peripheral neuropathies using a range of cutting-edge neuroscience techniques and comparative histopathology. Dr. Crawford was awarded one of three CAIRIBU Collaboration Awards for her proposal, “An ex vivo platform for the study of sensory neuroplasticity as a link between bladder disease and referred pain”. Dr. Crawford’s PhD is in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to work on developing genetic tools to enable investigation of the role of touch neurons in pain-related pathology.

Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, MEM is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, manager of the Molecular Genomics Core Facility at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Scientific Director for the Orphan Disease Research Gene Discovery Core. Dr. Brownstein was awarded a CAIRIBU Collaboration Award for her proposal, “Inclusion of minorities in studies of Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome”. Dr. Brownstein completed her PhD in Genetics at Yale University. The focus of her dissertation was the genetic basis of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets without mutations in PHEX and FGF23, and the role of Klotho in phosphate regulation.

Alejandro Roldán-Alzate, PhD, MS is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he directs the UW Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory which focuses its research on fluid dynamics analysis of physiological and pathological flows using a combination of medical imaging, additive manufacturing and computational fluid dynamics. Dr. Roldán-Alzate was awarded a CAIRIBU Collaboration Award for his proposal, “A multidisciplinary, non-invasive assessment of the bladder response to filling”. Dr. Roldán-Alzate completed his PhD in Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics and Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

K12 Scholar at University of Michigan Urological Epidemiology (KUroEpi) Institutional Research Career Development Program featured on Good Morning America

Current K12 Scholar at University of Michigan, Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, MD, MS, was featured on Good Morning America for his dedication to “disabusing disability”. Okanlami was awarded $1 million dollars from Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the largest private funder of spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation, clinical training and programmatic support in the U.S. and Canada.

PHOTO: "Good Morning America" surprised Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, the Director of Disability Services & Adaptive Sports at the University of Michigan.

CAIRIBU Has Strong Presence at SBUR 2022

Unfortunately, due to severe weather, the 2022 SBUR meeting was transitioned to virtual and was re-scheduled for THURSDAY, 11/10/2022 through SUNDAY, 11/13/2022. Several CAIRIBU-affiliated investigators and trainees – past and present – participated. Here’s a list:

Travel Award Recipients: Teresa Liu, PhD;* Hannah Miles; and Han Zhang, MS – all from the UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center [*Liu was also a prior K12 Scholar in the UW-Madison KURe Program)

Thursday presenters: Maggie Stangis, MS (UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center)

Friday presenters: Zhou Wang, PhD (PI of prior O’Brien Center, University of Pittsburgh); Petra Popovics, PhD (prior UW-Madison KURe Program K12 Scholar, now at Eastern Virginia Medical School); Doug Strand, PhD (UTSW, project leader in the UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center); Jonathan Pollack, MD, PhD (Stanford University U54 O’Brien Center); and Han Zhang, MS (UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center)

Saturday presenters: Hannah Miles (UW-Madison U54 O’Brien Center) and David DeGraff, PhD (prior Opportunity Pool Award recipient, Columbia University U54 O’Brien Center)

Poster presentations:

 2022 CAIRIBU Interactions Core Collaboration Awards

 Betsy Salazar, PhD is a Research Scientist in the laboratory of former University of Pittsburgh O’Brien Center Opportunity Pool awardee Rose Khavari, MD (Houston Methodist). Dr. Salazar was awarded one of two CAIRIBU Collaboration Awards for her proposal, “Characterization of spinal neural networks involved in the control of the lower urinary tract: a novel spinal fMRI feasibility trial.” Dr. Salazar’s PhD is in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston. She then completed a postdoc to work on therapeutic strategies promoting remyelination and motor recovery in patients with spinal cord injuries. She recently joined the Khavari lab to begin focusing on the brain-bladder connection.

Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHSc is a urogynecologist and Associate Professor at Duke University and a former K12 KURe Scholar in the CAIRIBU KURe Program at Duke University. Dr. Siddiqui was awarded a CAIRIBU Collaboration Award for her proposal, Development of humanized mouse models for studies of the urogenital microbiome.” Dr. Siddiqui completed an Obstetrics & Gynecology residency at Cleveland Clinic and then a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at Duke University.

CAIRIBU Trainee Award Winners – Duke University K12 Program Symposium 2022

CAIRIBU at SUFU Winter Meeting 2022

Multiple CAIRIBU investigators and trainees participated in the SUFU 2022 Winter Meeting in San Diego (and also virtually due to the meeting’s hybrid model). From Tuesday, Feb. 22 through Saturday, Feb. 26, notable speakers were: Indira Mysorekar, PhD (Baylor College of Medicine), PI of a prior CAIRIBU P20 Exploratory Center at Washington University; Jim Hokanson PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin & Marquette University), prior K12 Scholar in the Duke University KURe Program; and Rose Khavari, MD (Houston Methodist), prior Opportunity Pool Awardee (University Pittsburgh U54 O’Brien Center). CAIRIBU trainees were presenters or co-authors for abstracts presented in various sessions: Sarah Maxwell (graduate student, University of Tennessee P20 Exploratory Center), Giulia Lane, MD (K12 Scholar, University of Michigan KUroEpi Program), and Ross Everett, MD (prior urology fellow affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin P20 Exploratory Center). CAIRIBU PIs Kathryn Flynn, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin P20 Exploratory Center) and Cindy Amundsen, MD (Duke University KURe Program) were co-authors on abstracts. Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHS (Duke Health), prior K12 Scholar (Duke University KURe Program), was a presenter, co-author, and senior author on posters presented in both basic science and clinical science sessions. The full SUFU program book is HERE.

Congratulations, Dr. Juntao Ke

For the year 2021-2022, the AUA New York Section E. Darracott Vaughan, Jr., MD Award was given to Juntao Ke, MD, PhD. He received this award for a one-year study on the genetic landscape of congenital obstructive uropathy at Columbia University Medical Center under the mentorship of Simone Sanna-Cherchi, MD and Cathy Mendelsohn, PhD. Dr. Sanna-Cherchi was the PI of a prior CAIRIBU P20 Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology at Columbia University. Dr. Mendelsohn is a PI of the Columbia University George M. O’Brien (U54) Urology Center.

Introducing Duke University’s KURe – K12 Institutional Career Development Program Newest K12 Scholar: Dr. Bin Ni

Bin Ni, MD, PhD, seeks to address BK virus-associated complications in renal transplant recipients, including BK virus-associated ureteral stenosis and nephropathy, which are important causes of graft injury and loss. By integrating clinical factors and polyfunctional T-cell signatures associated with BK virus reactivation, her goal is to create validated risk prediction models to identify patients at risk for BK virus-related complications after renal transplantation, ultimately enabling tailored screening and immunosuppression strategies to improve outcomes. Her broader research interests extend to understanding interactions at the host-pathogen interface, with the ultimate goal of developing novel diagnostics and host-directed therapies for infectious diseases.

Bin Ni

Announcing NIDDK Workshop on Understanding the Biological Mechanisms Underlying the Health Consequences of Racism, Marginalization, and Discrimination

Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, MD, MS, K12 Scholar at the CAIRIBU Urological Epidemiology (KUroEpi) Institutional Research Career Development Program at the University of Michigan, is part of the Organizing Committee for this NIDDK Workshop that aims to convene people from diverse populations living with or at risk for diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases and conditions, as well as researchers and clinicians from across disciplines, to understand the state of the science and identify opportunities for considering common biological pathways underlying the consequences of racism, marginalization, and discrimination across population groups and disease areas. The focus on interdisciplinary research is intended to foster the cross-pollination of ideas and shared learning, as well as to promote consideration of intersectionality across marginalized identities and the multidimensional research framework.  For more information and to register go HERE.

News from CAIRIBU K12 Career Development Program at UCSF

Jennifer Yarger, PhD, current CAIRIBU K12 Scholar in the UCSF UroEpi Career Development Program, recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of Population Affairs (OPA). Dr. Yarger will be rigorously evaluating “Yes & Know!”, a fully virtual intervention that integrates group-based education with digital tools to support young people ages 14-19, both male and female, by increasing their relationship and healthy life skills with the goal of reducing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

This five-year project will add to the evidence base for fully digital sexual health interventions for youth, focusing on underserved populations of youth living in rural communities across the United States. This is complementary to work pursued by Alison Huang, MD, Principal Investigator of the UC-San Franciso-Kaiser Permanente Urological Epidemiology Institutional Research Career Development Program, on remote and telehealth care for UTIs and other genitourinary infections in young adults.

Kristina Penniston, PhD, RD, PI, U24 CAIRIBU Interactions Core and Chad Vezina, PhD, PI, UW-Madison KURe Program, Coordinate NIDDK KUH Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium

On August 3-4, 2023 Dr. Penniston and Dr. Vezina, co-PIs of the R25 Summer Program for Undergraduate Urology Research (SPUUR) at UW-Madison, hosted over 150 students and faculty members affiliated with NIDDK-funded R25 undergraduate research programs from 12 institutions across the country in Madison, Wisconsin. The symposium included three poster sessions, lectures from Ebele Umeukeje, MD, MPH (Vanderbilt University), Laura Preves-Helgeson (UTI Health Alliance), Nathan Tykocki, PhD (Michigan State University, Beaumont/Oakland/Michigan State P20 Exploratory Center), and Gentzon Hall, MD, PhD, (Duke University), a near peer panel on “Graduate School and Beyond”, a career panel on “Different Flavors of Biomedicine, Science and Technology” and a research design competition. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Gregory Tasian, MD, MSc, PI at prior CAIRIBU P20 Exploratory Center at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania featured on NBC Nightly News

This article, Kidney Stones are rising among children and teens, especially girls, research shows, was published on on July 8, 2023. A segment on the NBC Nightly News highlights work done by Tasian and his team at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania to study the rising incidence of pediatric stone disease.

Are you engaged in stone research? Do you have interesting research questions about stones? Do you use tools, technologies, or approaches that would be useful in studying stone disease? Do you want to be part of a collaborative research community?

Contact if you are interested in the CAIRIBU Stone Research Interest Group.

Article by Duke P20 FORWARD PI featured in Physics of Fluids

Congratulations to Pei Zhong, PhD, PI at CAIRIBU P20 FORWARD Center at Duke University on authoring “A new cavitation damage mechanism in treating kidney stones using laser lithotripsy” which was selected as a featured article in Physics of Fluids.

I hope this work will encourage and promote more interdisciplinary, rigorous, and in-depth research regarding the mechanism of stone damage in laser lithotripsy beyond the conventional theory of photothermal ablation.” – Pei Zhong, PhD, Duke University


Congratulations, Dr. Aruna Sarma, one of the PIs of a new U2C/TL1 Award at University of Michigan

Aruna Sarma, PhD, MHA (Co-PI, University of Michigan KUroEpi program) and her collaborators Subramaniam Pennathur, MD and James Engel, PhD, recently received a U2C/TL1 grant from the NIDDK to establish The University of Michigan Kidney, Urology, and Hematology Research Training Network (UM KUHR). This program will provide opportunities for pre and postdoctoral fellows to pursue training in diverse aspects of benign kidney, urology, and hematology research. Mentors fall into major interest groups across the spectrum of KUH research: 1) basic mechanisms and model organism systems, 2) systems biology, bioinformatics, and translational discovery, 3) clinical and epidemiology studies, and 4) health services and implementation science studies.

U2C/TL1 trainees will be welcomed into the CAIRIBU community. The CAIRIBU Interactions Core is working closely with NIDDK Program Officers and Dr. Sarma to identify strategies for engaging with and providing networking opportunities for U2C/TL1 trainees.

CAIRIBU Welcomes Two New Centers!

Investigators John Lieske, MD and Kevin Koo, MD, MPH will be joining the CAIRIBU community after receiving a 3-year award from the NIDDK to establish a FORWARD P20 Urology Center at Mayo Clinic to study inflammatory mechanisms that lead to kidney stone formation. A second FORWARD P20 Urology Center was awarded to, Pei Zhong, PhD, MSc at Duke University. This Center for Urological Laser Technologies (CULT) is aimed at improving mechanistic understanding and treatment efficiency of laser lithotripsy.

From the NIDDK, “The overall goal of the Fostering Research With Additional Resources and Development (FORWARD) Urology Centers program is to foster and expand the benign urologic research community. FORWARD Urology Centers will support a Research Project designed and conducted by a collaborative, multidisciplinary team comprising junior investigators and/or researchers new to the field of benign urologic research.” For more information about this RFA, go HERE.