Department of Urology



The Department of Urology has an outstanding research program that is at the core of its mission. The model that has been successful in the Department is a close alliance of basic and clinical researchers in Research Centers of Excellence jointly led by a Physician-Scientist and PhD faculty member(s).

Today there are eight PhD research faculty. The Department has been very successful in securing federal research support, and has recently ranked as high as #3 in the nation for NIH funding of Urology Departments. All mature Centers of Excellence are supported by combinations of federal, foundation and private funds.

The Department has retained a Research Year in its residency program, to better support its mission of developing future Physician-Scientists. Residents are encouraged to accept the support of the Training Grant to help groom them for an academic career as physician-scientists in fields of translational research. Research opportunities are also available for participants in our various fellowships.

Research Team Meeting Photo 01.31.19

Research Centers of Excellence

IPCR (Institute for Prostate Cancer Research)

Professor and Chair Emeritus Dr. Paul Lange spent considerable effort to establish the Institute of Prostate Cancer Research (IPCR), which supports research activities of approximately 15 programs at the UW and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Together these researchers have already identified and/or assembled up to 80 percent of the genes expressed in prostate cancer, developed one of the largest serum and tissue banks in the world, undertaken some of the most advanced studies of bone biology and skeletal metastases, assembled information and genotypes for more than 300 families with hereditary prostate cancer, and developed many new therapeutic strategies. Professor of Urology Daniel Lin, MD, is the Director of the IPCR.

WISH (WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare)

The University of Washington’s premiere simulation training facility for healthcare education serving the WWAMI region, the Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) connects over 30 departments and programs throughout UW Medicine, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and Physician’s Assistant Training Program (MEDEX). Professor of Urology Robert M. Sweet, MD, FACS, is the Executive Director of WISH.

Genitourinary Cancer Research Lab 

The GU Cancer Research Lab was founded by Professor Emeritus Robert L. Vessella, Ph.D. The prostate and bladder cancer rapid autopsy programs provide a valuable resource for identifying emerging treatment resistant phenotype and establishment of patient-derived xenografts allow for systematic evaluations of treatment targets, response, and emerging resistance. The lab is co-directed by Dr. Colm Morrissey and Dr. Eva Corey.

Active Research Studies

CISTO (The Comparison of Intravesical Therapy and Surgery as Treatment Options)

The nationwide study conducted by Dr. John L. Gore and Dr. Angela B. Smith, has the potential to fill critical evidence gaps, change care pathways for the management of NMIBC (non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer), and provide for personalized, patient-centered care. The purpose of CISTO is to conduct a large prospective study that directly compares the impact of medical management versus bladder removal in recurrent high-grade NMIBC patients with BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) failure on clinical outcomes and patient and caregiver experience using standardized patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

BACPAC (Black and African-Descent Collaborative for Prostate Cancer ACtion)

In the United States, Black and African-descent men are up to 80% more likely to develop prostate cancer and 120% more likely to die from prostate cancer. Led by Dr. Yaw Nyame , BACPAC is a community of patients, advocates, physicians, and researchers brought together with the mission of improving prostate cancer care for Black and African-descent men through community-based translational research. BACPAC is part of an overarching effort to perform translational research to address inequities in prostate cancer care and outcomes, with the goal of finding durable solutions that are also transferrable to other cancers at both the local and national levels.