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Duke University Urinary Dysfunction Laboratory

Photo of J Todd Purves, MD, PhD

J Todd Purves, MD, PhD

Campus Mail: DUMC Box 38321, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919-613-5918

Scientific Focus

Our lab focuses on projects that have direct relevance to disorders that are regularly encountered by practicing urologists in the clinic. We are particularly interested in benign urologic disease caused by inflammation in the bladder. We have shown that nod-like receptors (NLRs) and the inflammasomes they form are present in the bladder epithelia where they serve as sensors of sterile damage and potentially bacterial infection. Upon activation, these structures mature the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which are released and trigger inflammation and lower urinary tract symptoms, such as increased voiding frequency.

Inflammasome formation/activation during bladder outlet obstruction (such as during benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and diabetes appears to be a major contributor to urinary dysfunction in those patient populations. Consequently, these two disorders are intensely under study in our lab. A thorough understanding of the inflammasome system in the bladder, while learning to manipulate this system for therapeutic advantage, is the main pillar of our lab.

Contact Us

Individuals interested in discussing this research and/or establishing collaborations should contact Dr. Todd Purves ( or Dr. Monty Hughes (

Latest Publications

Lütolf, R, Hughes, FM, Inouye, BM, Jin, H, McMains, JC, Pak, ES, Hannan, JL, and Purves, JT. "NLRP3/IL-1β mediates denervation during bladder outlet obstruction in rats." Neurourology and urodynamics (October 6, 2017).

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Hughes, FM, Sexton, SJ, Jin, H, Govada, V, and Purves, JT. "Bladder fibrosis during outlet obstruction is triggered through the NLRP3 inflammasome and the production of IL-1β." American journal of physiology. Renal physiology 313, no. 3 (September 2017): F603-F610.

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Tejwani, R, Jiang, R, Wolf, S, Adkins, DW, Young, BJ, Alkazemi, M, Wiener, JS, Pomann, G-M, Purves, JT, and Routh, JC. "Contemporary Demographic, Treatment, and Geographic Distribution Patterns for Disorders of Sex Development." Clinical pediatrics (July 2017): 9922817722013-.

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Tejwani, R, Young, BJ, Wang, H-HS, Wolf, S, Purves, JT, Wiener, JS, and Routh, JC. "Open versus minimally invasive surgical approaches in pediatric urology: Trends in utilization and complications." Journal of pediatric urology 13, no. 3 (June 2017): 283.e1-283.e9.

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