Department of Urology

Research

The Department of Urology at the University of Pittsburgh maintains a robust research program that encompasses both basic and clinical studies.

The research focuses on several areas, including the molecular mechanisms underlying prostate and other urogenital cancers, the development of new biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for these diseases, as well as the effect of hormones and diet on cancer.

Departmental members and urology residents have access to state-of-the-art research equipment to perform their studies.

The Department of Urology has a key advantage in that members also have access to a substantial tissue bank that not only consists of tumors from a variety of urogenital cancers, but also tissue from cancer-free donors. The bank also makes available tissue microarrays. Importantly, extensive clinical follow-up data exists for the tissue donors.

Thus, the tissue bank allows studies to be done in the context of real human disease. The combination of the Department's clinical setting and its strong commitment to research — we rank near or at the top in the United States for the number of full-time basic science PhD faculty — results in an ideal environment for translating bench science to clinical studies.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is a top research institute that is the leader in many fields.

The University consistently ranks in the top 10 for NIH funding while Urology itself ranked No. 5 in 2008. Accordingly, many first-rate research facilities are available, such as a proteomics core and imaging facilities.

In addition, the Department of Urology is part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Care Center that houses both clinical and basic research. As part of the University community, departmental members can take advantage of the many programs designed to foster a career in science.

Not surprisingly, a post-doctoral survey in the magazine, The Scientist, has ranked Pitt as one of the 15 best places to work in the United States.

Graduate work done in the Department of Urology at the University of Pittsburgh provides an excellent foundation for a career in basic, translational, or clinical research.

Those interested in urological research spend their first year of graduate school as part of an interdisciplinary program, studying a broad range of biomedical topics. By the second year, students enter the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, which administers the urology training program.

Once established in a lab, urology students participate in a journal club and a seminar series to compliment what is learned in the classroom and at the bench. Through the Biomedical Graduate Student Association, students have the opportunity to interact with their counterparts from other disciplines.

World-class facilities, coupled with the top-notch researchers and clinicians found at the University of Pittsburgh, make it an outstanding choice for graduate school. Residents in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Urology residency program have many of these resources at their full disposal.