Research

The Division of Urology at the University of Utah does research involving clinical trials, basic science investigation, clinical outcomes, and health services research. Residents and medical students have many opportunities to participate in mentored research, wherever their interests lie. Learn more about our resident research program.

Ultimately, our goal as academic and clinical urologists is to gain information from the laboratory to better care for our patients in the clinic. To get a more in-depth view of our research, feel free to browse the listings of our ongoing research projects, clinical trials and publications.

Research Highlights 2020

Oncology research fellow Mouneeb Choudry and mentor Dr. Brock O’Neil received one of six Research Stimulus Awards for a grant proposal “Social Determinants of Disease Outcomes in Genitourinary Cancer. NIH Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 6 Research Stimulus Award Program”

Drs. Jingtao Guo, PhD and James Hotaling, MD had an RO1 grant accepted with Dr. Brad Cairns, PhD entitled “Molecular, Epigenetic and Genomic Approaches to Understand Mechanisms of Aging in the Human Testis”. The research utilizes single cell RNA sequencing to understand testis development and aging.

Dr. Brock O’Neil and oncology research fellow Trevor Hunt’s abstract is in the top 5 prostate cancer abstracts viewed during the virtual AUA 2020.  The abstract involves Dr. O’Neil’s work on low value PSA testing and decisional fatigue in the clinic setting.

Drs. James Hotaling, MD and Jingtao Guo, PhD published a manuscript in Fertility and Sterility examining semen from 34 patients with mild to moderate symptomatic COVID 19 infection. Using single cell RNA sequencing they found that coronavirus was not able to infect the testis and COVID 19 was unlikely to be sexually transmitted. The press release from University of Utah was picked up by over 100 news sources.

Drs. Jeremy Myers, Sara Lenherr, and PGY 5 Darshan Patel authored a paper “Reasons for cessation of clean intermittent catheterization after spinal cord injury: Results from the Neurogenic Bladder Research Group spinal cord injury registry”. The paper was recognized in the top 10% of downloaded papers by Wiley, the publisher of Neurourology and Urodynamics.

Dr. Brock O’Neil and PGY 4 Matt Armstrong published a paper “18F-fluciclovine PET CT detection of biochemical recurrent prostate cancer at specific PSA thresholds after definitive treatment," that was featured in Renal and Urology News and the AUA Daily Scope.

Dr. Anthony Schaeffer received funding through the NIH via a 5-year KO8 award to study hydronephrosis in children.  His grant is entitled “The Utah-Cohort of Postnatally Persistent Antenatal Hydronephrosis (UCOPAH)”. 

Dr. Brock O’Neil co-authored work, published in JAMA, highlighting patient-reported outcome differences between favorable and unfavorable risk prostate cancer comparing active surveillance, radiotherapy, and prostatectomy.  The work uses the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite scores and compares domains in urinary, sexual, hormone, and bowel function. The title of this important study is “Patient-Reported Outcomes Through 5 Years for Active Surveillance, Surgery, Brachytherapy, or External Beam Radiation With or Without Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer”.

Recent press release on the first ever genomic study on development of the testis and the effects of testosterone suppression in trasnwomen from Dr. Brad Cairns, Jingtao Guo, and James Hotaling. The study was published in Cell Stem Cell and is entitled “The Dynamic Transcriptional Cell Atlas of Testis Development During Human Puberty.”

Drs. Doug Carrell and James Hotaling are published in JAMA with the results from a randomized trial of zinc and folic acid supplementation on live birth rates.  The study involved four infertility centers in the country and the University of Utah.  The article was entitled “Effect of Folic Acid and Zinc Supplementation in Men on Semen Quality and Live Birth Among Couples Undergoing Infertility Treatment”.

Research Highlights 2019

Drs. James Hotaling and Stephen Summers are funded with a phase 2b Small Business Innovations Grant (SBIR) for continued development of a remote, home-based urine flow meter through the company StreamDx. 

Dr. Alejandro Sanchez was awarded a seed grant through the Huntsman Cancer Institute.  He will study the relationship between Renal Cell Carcinoma and Obesity.

Dr. Ross Anderson received recognition for the best oral presentation at the Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons Academic Congress 2019 in Athens Greece for a presentation entitled “Contemporary Management and Complications of Extraperitoneal Bladder Injury – A Multi-institutional Prospective Study from the Genito-urinary Trauma Study Group.” He also received second prize from Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons for the best research at the AUA 2019 for his work in establishing the link between nephrectomy and death in the National Trauma Databank.

Dr. James Hotaling, MD, MS received the prestigious Mathew P. Hardy Young Andrologist Award through the American Society of Andrology for his work involving the Utah Population Database and collaborations with basic science andrology labs at University of Utah.  This award will be presented at the annual conference in Philadelphia, 2020.

Dr. Sara Lenherr, MD, MS was selected to present at the Early Career Investigators session at the 2020 AUA, in Washington, DC.  She was selected by the Society of Urodynamics Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU).  She will present on data originating from the Neurogenic Bladder Research Group related to Spinal Cord Injury and bladder-related quality of life.

Dr. Brock O’Neil was recognized for having the Best of Session For Moderated Poster at the AUA 2019, entitled “A Novel Approach to Identify Disparities in Access to Urologic Care Based Upon Driving Time.”

The University of Utah and the Huntsman Cancer Institute was chosen to be an invesigative site for an RO1 through Vanderbilt University called “10-Year Comparative Effectiveness and Harms of Treatments for Prostate Cancer.” Dr. Brock O’Neil will serve as the site primary investigator.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continued funding for a grant entitled “Research Approaches to Improve the Care and Outcomes of People Living with Spina Bifida.”  Dr. Chad Wallis will serve as site primary investigator at the Primary Children’s Hospital.

Research Highlights 2018

The Division of Urology published 65 PubMed indexed articles in 2018 from sections of Men’s Health / Andrology, Urologic Oncology, Pediatric Urology, and Reconstructive Urology. The full list is publicly available at University of Utah Division of Urology publications 2018

In 2018, the Division of urology submitted a total of eighteen grant applications from all four sections (adult, pediatric, oncology, and men’s health).

Dr. Brock O’Neil was awarded NIH funding via a KO8 for 5 years to study Competition, Bundled Care Payment, and Low-Value Cancer Care. One of his first projects will be analyzing low value prostate cancer screening by primary care physicians and decisional fatigue.

Dr. Dane Klett PGY 4 won the best session poster and 3rd overall poster for the Western Section of AUA. The poster was entitled “Outpatient Unilateral Extravesical Ureteral Reimplantation with Contralateral Subureteric Dextronomer/Hyaluronic Acid Copolymer Injection versus Bilateral Intravesical Ureteral Reimplantation for the Treatment of Vesicoureteral Reflux: A Cost Comparison.”

Dr. Brock O’Neil was recognized by the Journal of Urology as an outstanding reviewer.

Dr. Brock O’Neil was awarded a local grant from the Huntsman Cancer Institute Experimental Therapeutics Program for the study “Salvage Oligometastasectomy and Radiation Therapy in Recurrent Prostate Cancer (SOAR).”