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The Urology Research Program includes basic, translational, and clinical research studies focused on understanding the mechanisms of pathological changes in the lower urinary tract that cause urological disorders in adults and children. The research projects are centered on neural mechanisms of urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes (UCPPS), pelvic organ cross-sensitization and chronic pelvic pain, neurogenic voiding dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders, the role of TREK-1 channel in mechanosensitivity and mechanotransduction in the human detrusor, effects of partial bladder obstruction on bladder development and function, and impact of chemotherapy treatments on bladder function in children.
Additional areas of interest include stretch-activated and voltage-gated ion channels in partial bladder outlet obstruction and overactive bladder, altered contractility of the detrusor muscle in diabetes, role of pro-inflammatory neuropeptides in the development of neurogenic inflammation in the pelvis and neuropathic pain, and modulation of pelvic pain by ovarian hormones. The used technical approaches include survival rodent surgeries (mice and rats), retrograde fluorescent tracers, pharmacogenetic modulation of neuronal and glial function by DREADDs, immunohistochemistry, awake cystometry, in vitro contractility studies, patch clamp and microelectrode recordings, primary neuronal and smooth muscle cell cultures, ELISA, Western blotting, RT-PCRs, imaging and behavioral experiments. The Program also provides resources and support for training undergraduate and graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows interested in urological research.
With Best Regards,