Department of Urology

Joel B. Nelson, MD

  • Frederic N. Schwentker Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Chairman of the Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Joel B. Nelson, MD, is the Frederic N. Schwentker Professor and chairman of the Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He also serves as the co-director of the Prostate and Urologic Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Nelson earned his medical degree from Northwestern University. Following surgical and urological residencies at the McGraw Medical Center of Northwestern University and a fellowship at the Brady Urological Institute, he was assistant professor of urology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and director of Urologic Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Dr. Nelson's clinical interests include prostate cancer and other urinary tract malignancies. He is one of the country's leading surgeons performing nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, an operation in which a cancerous prostate gland is removed but the nerves controlling erections are not. His research focuses on new ways to treat advanced prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy. Dr. Nelson is on the board of consulting editors for the scientific journal Urology and is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other medical publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology. 

Clinical Specialties

  • Prostate cancer
  • Urological oncology