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Research

The Division of Urology offers a Urology Surgeon Scientist Research Year during PGY3 that is dedicated both to research experiences and learning. The research experiences are under the guidance of experienced primary and secondary mentors and includes clinical and/or basic science research projects, applications for funding, and meeting abstract and paper submissions. Mentor selection officially begins during PGY2 and is aided by a Mentor Fair event, during which available mentors present the research opportunities that they offer.

Together with the Research Year Director, Dr. Matthew O. Fraser, the residents and their mentor(s) design a research year plan, including a research year proposal and Gantt chart creation to ensure feasibility for the proposed activities. Progress is monitored by quarterly meetings with the residents and their mentors with the Research Year Director. Adjustments can be made along the way, depending on progress and interest. This oversight ensures a rewarding and successful experience for each resident. Metrics for success include project funding application submission, meeting abstract submissions and presentations, and paper writing, submission, and publications.

In addition, we have a year-long lecture/interactive course for the urology research residents and research fellows, and research year medical students in Urology. The course has been developed and refined over the past years by eight faculty instructors, and has even attracted attendance from outside of Urology, including urogynecology fellows and biomedical engineering post-doctoral fellows. The curriculum covers a range of topics pertinent to understanding and performing clinical and basic science research. The course also includes group review of meeting abstracts prior to submission, which is invaluable not only as an exercise but also because it dramatically improves the likelihood of abstract acceptance.

Finally, the urology residents during the research year attend the monthly meeting of the Pelvic Medicine Research Consortium, which includes basic science and clinical research presentations covering topics of interest in pelvic medicine (e.g., urology, urogynecology, sexual medicine, therapeutic development, and biomedical engineering).

Research Labs

Residents have the opportunity to work in labs that include:

Duke University Urinary Dysfunction Laboratory
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. 

Laboratory of Neurourology
The Laboratory of Neurourology is headed by Matthew O. Fraser, PhD, and focuses on pelvic visceral function and dysfunction. Dr. Fraser is a classically trained physiologist and a neuroscientist (dual degree PhD). 

Minimally Invasive Technologies for the Management and Diagnosis of Prostate and Kidney Cancer
The Polascik laboratory focuses on imaging (patient selection, staging, tumor characterization), surgical outcomes, and new or minimally invasive technologies devoted to prostate and kidney cancer therapy. 

Urologic Oncology Laboratory
We are a clinical and translational research team working on cancers of the genitourinary tract. While our group does research pertaining to several different urological cancers, we are particularly interested in bladder and prostate cancer.