A faculty member, resident, and medical student in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have been awarded national research grants by the American Urological Association (AUA) and its Urology Care Foundation (UCF).
“It is truly an honor for our Department of Urology to receive this ‘trifecta’ of research awards for the first time,” said Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., associate professor and director of the Miller School’s Reproductive Urology Program. “We appreciate the AUA’s commitment to supporting urologic research at all levels, helping students, residents and faculty develop their passion for knowledge and incorporate research into their careers.”
Raveen Syan, M.D., assistant professor of clinical urology, received the AUA 2021 Research Scholar Award for her project, “An Educational Community Outreach Program for Minority Women with Pelvic Floor Disorders: Identifying and Improving Barriers to Care.” The AUA’s one-year award for $40,000 is for early-career investigators who are in the first five years after beginning a faculty position.
“There are clear differences in prevalence, severity, and, most importantly, treatment rates among minority women with pelvic floor disorders,” said Dr. Syan. “Even though these women respond to treatment just as well as other demographic groups. We need to understand what barriers to care these patients face and try to address them.” She will work with the Miller School’s community outreach teams to learn about those barriers and educate women in underserved groups about pelvic floor disorders and the value of seeking care.
Michael Tradewell, M.D., M.S., a second-year resident in the Department of Urology, received a $10,000 UCF residency research award for “Development and Validation of a 3D Printed Microsurgical Vasovasostomy Trainer,” his research project.
“It now requires extensive laboratory training in microsurgery to learn vasectomy reversal,” said Dr. Tradewell. He plans to design a 3D printed synthetic tubular structure that will serve as the basis for a vas deferens model and validate its effectiveness as a training tool.
Manish Narasimman, a first-year Miller School student, received an AUA medical student research grant for his project, “The Effect of Antibiotic Coating on Inflatable Penile Prostheses in Preventing Biofilm Formation.”
Currently, penile implants are often used in treatment of erectile dysfunction. “The most feared complication in implant surgery is infection because that requires removal of the entire implant,” said Narasimman. While implants are dipped in antibiotics before placement or have a built-in antibiotic pre-coat, patients may still develop infection some time after the surgery. “The theory is that this infection is caused by formation of biofilm on the implant,” he added. “This project will investigate the formation of biofilms to gain a better understanding of infection development after implant surgery.”
“This is an extraordinary honor for the department of urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,” said Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., professor and chair of urology and director of robotic surgery at the Miller School. “I am delighted to see that the AUA has chosen to recognize and support the work of our gifted scientists.”
Reflecting on the AUA/UCF awards, Dr. Ramasamy said, “I am proud to work at an institution that values research, and it is a privilege serve as a mentor to our students, trainees and faculty.”