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Research

The mission of the Division of Urology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is to be a world leader in both basic and translational research in bladder physiology. Under the aegis of the Institute for Smooth Muscle Biology, the department has made significant contributions to the field of urology, with much of its research establishing precedents in the field. For example, our work laid the foundation worldwide for gene therapy clinical trials for treatment of erectile dysfunction and overactive bladder. 

The excellence of the work developed in our department has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with a number of grants, including K01, R21, RO1, Program Project and SBIR grants. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Gap junction and pannexin channels
  • Potassium channels
  • Myosin-actin contractile physiology
  • Purinergic signaling
  • Altered opiorphin synthesis and its effect on local and systemic smooth muscle function
  • Effects of type 1 diabetes on bladder and erectile physiology
  • Interactions between the urothelial and detrusor smooth muscle tissues in the modulation of bladder function
  • The development of priapism associated with sickle-cell disease

In addition, to pursue our goal as a translational department, we have created a biotechnology company, Ion Channel Innovations LLC, which has licensed the patents from Albert Einstein College of Medicine to begin two clinical trials to correct erectile dysfunction and overactive bladder using naked DNA gene transfer.

We have long-standing collaboration with the divisions of Neuroscience, Neurology, Physiology & Biophysics, Pathology, Orthopaedics and the Diabetes Research and Training Center. Our goal is to continue and extend those collaborations to other departments within and outside Einstein to help us meet the restraints of the current research environment.

We are currently conducting research into:

Understanding Risk Factors for Adolescent Varicocele
We reviewed body habitus of adolescents who presented with varicocele (varicose veins around the testicle) in the Bronx. Varicoceles are a relatively common condition (affecting approximately 10 percent of men) that tends to occur in young men, usually during the second or third decade of life. Sometimes, these varicoceles cause no symptoms and are harmless. But sometimes a varicocele causes pain or atrophy (shrinkage), or fertility problems.

Using the resources of the health system, we found that boys who are taller and thinner than age-matched controls have a greater risk of developing varicocele. We also found that boys in the Bronx are likely to be significantly heavier than their counterparts in the U.S. population. We continue to evaluate what varicocele and body habitus may mean for long-term health risks.

Improving the Outcomes of Renal Transplantation in Children with Complex Urinary Tract Abnormalities
We are actively involved with Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation to mitigate risk and improve outcomes in children undergoing transplantation with severe urinary tract dysfunction.  Conditions like posterior urethral valves, prune belly syndrome and neurogenic bladder create some of the most challenging problems for both urinary and transplant management.  Due to the large numbers of these problems in the Bronx, the team focuses on and studies individual approaches to improve outcomes.

 

Trial Description
Disease / Condition
Principal Investigator
Contact
Trial DescriptionA Phase 3, Randomized, Open-Label, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Safety (Compared to Iron Sucrose), Efficacy and Pharmacokinetics of Ferumoxytol for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) in Pediatric Subjects With Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) - Click here for more information18-10-59-01
Disease/ConditionHematologic Diseases
Kidney Diseases (incl Chronic Kidney Disease)
Metabolic Diseases
Nephrology
Urologic Diseases
Pediatrics
Principal InvestigatorAnna Zolotnitskaya, MD
Contact Patricia Flynn

Email Contact
Trial DescriptionA Trial Comparing Cardiovascular Safety of Degarelix Versus Leuprolide in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease - Click here for more information18-06-66Q-01
Disease/ConditionCardiology
Oncology (Medical/Hematologic)
Urogenital Neoplasms
Urologic Oncology (Med Onc)
Prostate Cancer
Principal InvestigatorBenjamin Gartrell, MD
Contact Gina Aracena

Email Contact
Trial DescriptionEfficacy of a Gluten-free Diet in Difficult to Manage Nephrotic Syndrome: Utility of Plasma Zonulin Levels as a Predictive Biomarker - Click here for more information2017-8362
Disease/ConditionKidney Diseases (incl Chronic Kidney Disease)
Nephrology
Pediatrics
Urologic Diseases
Principal InvestigatorFrederick Kaskel, MD
Contact Patricia Flynn

Email Contact
Trial DescriptionNephrotic Syndrome Study Network Under the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (NEPTUNE) - Click here for more information09-06-182
Disease/ConditionGeriatrics
Kidney Diseases (incl Chronic Kidney Disease)
Nephrotic Syndrome
Pediatrics
Urologic Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Principal InvestigatorFrederick Kaskel, MD
Contact Patricia Flynn

Email Contact
Trial DescriptionPhase III Multicenter Open-label Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Everolimus and Low Dose Tacrolimus to Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil at 6 mo Post-Transplant to Prevent Long-term Complications After Pediatric Heart Transplantation - Click here for more information2017-8626
Disease/ConditionHeart and Vascular Diseases
Kidney Diseases (incl Chronic Kidney Disease)
Pediatrics
Urologic Diseases
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Principal InvestigatorJacqueline Lamour, MD
Contact Helen Alexander

Email Contact
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