The Philadelphia Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology (IR-BU) is entitled “Neurogenic bladder dysfunctions in neurological disorders” and includes a multidisciplinary team of established translational, basic science and clinical investigators with diverse expertise in neurourology, neurophysiology, pharmacology, virology (viral infection of the central nervous system), neurodegeneration, clinical urology, and clinical neurology. Dr. Malykhina serves as a Program/Center Director.
The long-term focus of the Philadelphia IR-BU Center is on neurogenic bladder dysfunctions resulted from the impairment in the peripheral and/or central nervous systems. Patients with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson`s disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis develop a wide range of lower urinary tract symptoms, including urinary urgency, urinary incontinence, nocturia, a sensation of incomplete emptying, and a weak urinary stream. Additionally, patients with a neurogenic bladder have higher risk of developing multiple urologic complications, including hydronephrosis, vesicoureteral reflux, renal failure, urinary tract infections, calculus disease, bladder cancer, sexual dysfunction, and the destroyed bladder and urethra. The lack of understanding of pathophysiology and mechanisms underlying lower urinary tract dysfunctions in neurological disorders hampers the development of therapeutic strategies and treatment options for these patients. The Philadelphia IR-BU Center will take an integrative translational approach to study LUT dysfunctions in neurological disorders.
The Philadelphia IR-BU Center consists of: 1) the laboratories of key investigators and their collaborators that combine expertise in neurology, neurourology, neurophysiology, cellular biology, microbiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and pathology; 2) an Administrative Core to provide administrative and fiscal oversight, quality control for the research, coordination of interactions among key investigators in the Center and organization of monthly meetings; 3) an Animal Tissue Core to provide tissue from mice with different levels of neurodegeneration and demyelination for basic research sub-projects; 4) an Educational Enrichment Program to attract young investigators, graduate and medical students to the field of urology and support their research in the laboratories of key investigators during Scholar internships.