Researchers and Laboratories

Researchers and Laboratories

Researchers and Laboratories

E. Jason Abel, MD, FACS

Credentials: Professor (CHS)
Head, Section of Urologic Oncology
Robert and Dolores K. Schnoes Chair in Urologic Research
Dyad Lead, Inpatient Urology

Email: abel@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-4563

Dr. Abel conducts clinical, translational, and basic research in urologic oncology. Clinical and translational interests include improving patient outcomes after complex urologic surgery, improving prognostic ability for patient decision making, and multidisciplinary care of kidney cancer.

Dr. Abel serves on the board of directors for the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) Clinical Trials Consortium.

Sara Best, MD

Credentials: Associate Professor (CHS)
Director of Simulation Education

Email: best@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-5440

Dr. Best’s research interests lie in the study of kidney cancer and disease using optics, the development of new technology for minimally invasive surgery, and urinary stone disease.

Vinaya Bhatia, MD

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)
Director of Medical Student Programs

Position title: Specialty: Pediatric Urology

Email: bhatia@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0475

Dr. Bhatia’s research focuses on quality of life and improving standards of care in hypospadias, pediatric congenital conditions, and neonatal circumcision.  She is currently working on developing a measure of quality of life for patients with hypospadias, to improve psychosocial and psychosexual outcomes in youth and adults who have been treated for hypospadias.

Dale E. Bjorling, DVM

Credentials: Professor of Surgical Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
O’Brien Center Biomed Core Co-Director

Email: dale.bjorling@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-4808

Inflammation of the bladder due to non-infectious causes, and mechanisms that modulate pain sensation and bladder healing. The laboratory’s primary research emphasis is the causes and pathogenesis of non-infectious cystitis and and the effects of infectious cystitis on the afferent nervous system. Clinical disorders of particular relevance to models used in the laboratory include urinary tract infection, Interstitial Cystitis (IC) in women, and Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) in cats. The goals of this research are to identify processes that promote inflammation, damage, and pain within the bladder and to investigate improved therapeutic modalities for treatment or prevention of symptoms assocated with cystitis.

Tudor Borza, MD, MS

Credentials: Assistant Professor

Email: borza@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-5440

Dr. Borza is a health services researcher with a focus is on understanding how health policy changes impact surgical care and, more specifically, care of urologic malignancies. His current projects revolve around improving opioid medication stewardship by engaging surgeons through the Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin. Additionally, he is working on understanding how different components of the Affordable Care Act have impacted treatment patterns and readmissions among patients undergoing major surgical procedures.

Shannon T. Cannon, MD

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)
Director of DEI, Urology

Position title: Specialty: Pediatric Urology

Email: cannon@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-8574

The focus of Dr. Cannon’s research is equity. Through her research, she seeks to explore how disparate access to care can affect patient outcomes. Dr. Cannon is also interested in workforce issues within Urology, with the goal of learning how to recruit people to the urologic workforce to better reflect patient populations and serve their needs.

Walid Farhat, MD,
FRCSC, FACS

Credentials: Professor (CHS)
Chief, Division of Pediatric Urology
Mark and Karen Koulogeorge Chair in Urology
Director of Global Urology

Position title: Specialties: Pediatric Urology

Email: farhat@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0475

With research background in urinary bladder tissue engineering and developmental biology, Dr Farhat’s lab examines mutant animal model genitourinary developmental anomalies. 

Dr. Farhat’s current work is heavily collaborative with the UW Department of Psychology (https://psych.wisc.edu/staff/auger-anthony-p/) and includes investigating the intersection of hormonal milieu, early life stress, and epigenetics interaction in order to predict social development and mental health risk. The overarching intent of this collaboration is to understand how hormones and puberty blockers, irrespective of anatomical anomalies, could influence adolescent brain development and endocrine systems. This research will allow us to understand the overall impact of hormones, its relation to anatomy and overall mental health and well-being.

Dan R. Gralnek, MD

Credentials: Associate Professor (CHS)
Director of HOLEP Program

Position title: Specialties: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), General Urology

Email: gralnek@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0759

Dr. Gralnek’s research is related to prostate growth and clinical outcomes. Dr. Gralnek and his team work in collaboration with researchers in radiology and medical engineering, as well as the O’Brien Center for Benign Urologic Research.

Matthew D. Grimes, MD

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)

Position title: Specialties: Genitourinary Reconstruction, Male Sexual Health

Email: grimes@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-8574

Dr. Grimes is a clinical and translational researcher focused on improving clinical outcomes in lichen sclerosus related urethral stricture disease and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). He directs a collaborative research effort to understand mechanisms driving urethral fibrosis in lichen sclerosus in order to identify therapeutic targets for improved minimally invasive treatments. In BPH, his efforts focus on the use of non-invasive diagnostics to identify distinct clinical phenotypes and enable a personalized medicine approach to treatment.

David F. Jarrard, MD

Credentials: Professor
Vice Chair in Urology
John P. Livesey Chair in Urologic Oncology
Associate Director, UW Carbone Cancer Center

Position title: Specialties: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Urologic Oncology

Email: jarrard@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0759

Dr. Jarrard has a joint appointment with the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his clinical research emphasizes developing novel diagnostics and new therapies for genitourinary cancers. He has an active basic science laboratory and is funded through the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense to examine genetic and epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer.

Dr. Jarrard’s lab

Frank Lin, MD, MS

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)

Position title: Specialties: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (Urogynecology), Minimally Invasive Surgery

Email: lin@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-8574

Dr. Lin’s research interests in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) focus on clinical outcomes of minimally invasive robotic surgeries, the utility of advanced imaging and urodynamic testing, and mesh-related outcomes and complications.

Christopher M. Manakas, MD

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)
UW Health Physician Informaticist, Urology

Email: manakas@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-9534

Dr. Manakas’ research interests include improving the patient and physician experience by optimizing EMR workflows. He also collaborates with Drs. Gralnek and Grimes on Male Voiding Dysfunction clinical outcomes research. Further, Dr. Manakas and Dr. Gralnek are researching techniques to improve the on HoLEP learning curve.

Sarah E. McAchran, MD, FACS

Credentials: Associate Professor (CHS)
Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Wellness
Dyad Lead, Outpatient Urology

Email: mcachran@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-8574

Dr. McAchran’s research interests in female urology include optimization of care pathways to improve surgical outcomes and clinical outcomes of female pelvic floor reconstruction.

Stephen Y Nakada, MD,
FACS, FRCS

Credentials: Professor
Chairman, Department of Urology
The David T. Uehling Chair in Urology
Chief Administrative Physician, UWMF Practice Plan

Position title: Specialties: Adult Stone Disease

Email: nakada@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-1359

Dr. Nakada’s research focuses on pathophysiology of the ureter and all aspects of urinary stone disease. His research is currently supported by the American Urologic Association.

Click here for the Wisconsin Stone Quality of Life Questionnaire (WISQOL).

Recent Features

Dr. Nakada featured in Endourology Sound Bites

David R. Paolone, MD

Credentials: Associate Professor (CHS)
Vice Chair for Regional Urology

Position title: Specialties: General Urology, Male Sexual Health

Email: david.paolone@uwmf.wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-5440

Dr. Paolone’s research interests are in the areas of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) and penile disorders.

Kristina Penniston, PhD

Credentials: Senior Scientist

Email: penn@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-9797

Dr. Penniston’s research interests include clinical nutrition research in kidney stones and prostate cancer. Specifically, she is interested in the efficacy of nutrition therapy in the prevention, management, and treatment of disease and on indicators of quality of life.

In September 2020, Dr. Penniston was funded by the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to create the CAIRIBU (Collaborating for the Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology) Interactions Core. The overarching goal of the CAIRIBU Interactions Core is to facilitate the expansion of benign urologic research by creating greater patient and public awareness of research efforts, enhancing the visibility of investigators and trainees within CAIRIBU and within the broader benign urologic research community, increasing and diversifying the benign urologic research workforce, creating interactions and cross-disciplinary connections between researchers from different fields, and supporting efforts to increase the submissions of highly-meritorious benign urologic research applications. As the CAIRIBU Interactions Core Principal Investigator, Dr. Penniston brings to bear skills, knowledge, and connections gained from her 16 years of urolithiasis research in the Department of Urology.

Dr. Penniston’s research in the role of diet in kidney stones, as well as in the health-related quality of life of patients with stones, has garnered international attention.

Click here for the Wisconsin Stone Quality of Life Questionnaire (WISQOL).

Kyle A. Richards, MD, FACS

Credentials: Associate Professor (CHS)
Chief of VA Urology

Email: richardsk@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-9534

Dr. Richards conducts clinical, translational and health services research in urologic oncology. He has special interests in quality improvement projects aimed at streamlining health care delivery and efficiency for all patients with urologic malignancies.

William Ricke, PhD

Credentials: Professor
UWMF Professor of Urologic Research
Director of the George M. O’Brien Center

Email: rickew@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-3202

Dr. Ricke’s research program encompasses basic and translational sciences as it pertains to the pathogenesis of the lower urinary tract. The synergy of both sciences allows his lab to explore both molecular underlying mechanisms associated with disease progression, but also to pre-clinically treat the same pathways, which may lead to the therapies of tomorrow.

Dr. Ricke’s lab continues to investigate the roles of hormonally regulated paracrine signaling during pathogenesis. They investigate how steroid and EDC signaling function together with other factors in pathogenesis, and how they can translate these findings into clinical trials for the betterment of mankind.

Ricke Lab

Daniel Shapiro, MD

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)

Email: shapiro@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0759

Dr. Shapiro conducts clinical and translational research. He is interested in how the kidney tumor microenvironment influences tumor behavior and how this information can be applied clinically. He is investigating how the spatial immune phenotype of kidney cancer can predict cancer specific outcomes. Additionally, he performs clinical research evaluating urologic cancer outcomes after surgical intervention. He also has a special interest in rare forms of kidney cancer and how to improve their diagnosis and treatment. His research on renal medullary carcinoma was selected for a scholar-in-training award by the American Academy of Cancer Research. Dr. Shapiro has published numerous research studies and abstracts on these topics.

Ruthie Su, MD, MS

Credentials: Assistant Professor (CHS)

Email: su@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0475

Dr. Su’s research interests include urinary tract infections, disorders of sexual development, outcomes analysis of complex urologic reconstruction, clinical epidemiology, and translational science.

Daniel H. Williams IV, MD

Credentials: Professor (CHS)
Vice Chair for Education
Residency Program Director
UWMF Professor in Clinical Urology

Position title: Specialties: Male Infertility, Male Sexual Health

Email: williams@urology.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-4563

Dr. Williams’ research interests in male infertility include the preservation of fertility in men with cancer, the effects of advanced paternal age and the environment on male reproductive potential, and clinical outcomes of male reproductive tract reconstructions.