Research activities are crucial to the development of new approaches to both diagnose and treat urologic diseases. The Division of Urology currently has two laboratories (Drs. Chai and Alexander). Additionally there are many funded clinical trials ongoing.
It is the intent of the Division of Urology not only to actively support all efforts to pursue avenues that may improve care of the urologic patient, but to also educate residents as they become urologists. The residents participate in many urologic research projects during their clinical rotations. Each resident is expected to write at least two papers during those years: one a more junior paper or case report, and the other a more extensive paper later in the residency. At the Journal Club, we also stress the development of critical thinking as regards research presentations.
During the research rotation of 6 months, each resident is given one or more projects to develop. The residents also develop their own projects. They meet with Drs. Naslund, Jacobs, Chai, and Alexander with their own ideas on research. The faculty will direct the resident in what is feasible and how to think about research problems. There are usually a number of revisions before a project is undertaken. We have no limitations as to the subject matter of the research project, but encourage this to be "wet" bench research, rather than clinical trials, case reports, or patient reviews.
The residents design the experiments with revisions done in concert with the faculty. After learning techniques from faculty or various technicians, the residents perform their own experiments and maintain their own data books. Analysis is done by the resident and then reviewed by the faculty. Presentations at national meetings are performed by the resident.
The Division of Urology maintains three 400-square foot research laboratories in the Medical Science Teaching Facility (MSTF) Building, which is located one block from UMMS, and is connected by an indoor tunnel. The laboratories are equipped for small animal surgery, microsurgery, tissue culture, histopathology, bladder neurophysiology/neuroanatomy and molecular biology research projects. A shared large animal surgical suite is immediately adjacent. Radioimmunoassay is available in the RIA room. Multiple computers are available in the labs for research purposes.