Awards Archive

Archive: Awards and Recognition

Summer 2013

Grants and Funding Received:

  • Karim Chamie, MD, MSHS, assistant professor, received a $25,000 grant from H.H. Lee for “The Utility of a Novel Hydrogel Polymer in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Urothelial Carcinoma.”
  • Arnold Chin, MD, PhD, assistant professor, is the co-recipient with Andrew Goldstein, PhD, UCLA Urology researcher, of a $50,000 Concern Foundation grant to foster their collaboration in developing a prostate cancer model to study innate immunity and inflammation in prostate cancer development and progression.
  • Allan Pantuck, MD, associate professor, received funding from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for his study “Genomic Characterization of Metastatic Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma.”
  • Robert Reiter, MD, MBA, professor and director of the UCLA Urology Prostate Cancer Program, received funding for the new study “Multifunctional ImmunoPET Tracers for Pancreatic and Prostate Cancer.”
  • Jeremy Shelton, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, received seed-grant funding from the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development.
  • Alan L. Kaplan, MD, UCLA Urology resident, received funding from the H.H. Lee Surgical Research Scholars Program for his study, “Identifying Quality Barriers and Facilitators in Bladder Cancer: Bridging the Quality Chasm in Bladder Cancer Through Implementation Science.”

Publications and Presentations:

  • Jeremy Blumberg, MD, UCLA Urology assistant professor, was the lead author on an article by the entire UCLA kidney transplant team for the journal Kidney International, highlighting the program’s combination of kidney paired donation with positive cross-match transplantation in order to successfully sensitize transplant patients with significant levels of donor-specific antibodies.
  • Karim Chamie, MD, MSHS, assistant professor, was selected to present his study, “Quality of Care in Patients with Bladder Cancer,” at the 2013 American Urological Association Research Forum, “Showcasing Early Career Investigators.”
  • H. Albin Gritsch, MD, surgical director of the Kidney Transplantation Program, was invited to give a State-of-the-Art Lecture on “Indications for Renal Auto-Transplantation” at the American Urological Association annual meeting.
  • Shlomo Raz, MD, professor and director of the Division of Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, spoke at the All Indian College of Obstetrics and Gynecology meeting in Mumbai, India, and was the main guest of the Thai Urological Society meeting in Khao Yai, Thailand.
  • Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH, vice chair of UCLA Urology, was invited to speak on “Patient Engagement in Healthcare Decision-Making” at The Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Fourth National Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Summit.
  • J. Bryant Byrd, MD, UCLA Urology resident, was awarded the 2013 Laurence R. Meyerson and Deborah L. Faiman Travel Award to present a moderated poster session at the 2013 American Urological Association annual meeting, “Low Fat Fish Oil Diet Decreases Pro-inflammatory Eicosanoids and Prostate Cancer Cell Cycle Progression Score in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy.”

Honors and Appointments:

  • Jonathan Bergman, MD, has joined the UCLA Urology faculty as assistant professor, with a joint appointment in Family Medicine. He is focused on improving quality, value, and patient- centeredness at the end of life.
  • Jeremy Blumberg, MD, has joined the UCLA Urology faculty as assistant professor. He will see patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he will also serve as the surgical director of kidney transplantation.
  • Ja-Hong Kim, MD, assistant professor, was selected as the first inductee into the California Urological Association Young Leadership Circle.
  • Alan L. Kaplan, MD, UCLA Urology resident, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research in the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Spring 2013

Grants Received:

  • Andrew Goldstein, PhD, UCLA Urology researcher, received the Department of Defense, Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, Prostate Cancer Research Program Idea Development Award-New Investigator for his grant, “Identification and Targeting of Candidate Preexisting Lurker Cells That Give Rise to Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.”
  • Charles Scales, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, received funding from the Urologic Diseases in America project for his study, “Impact of Post-Procedural Emergent and Inpatient Encounters in the Management of Urinary Lithiasis.”

Publications and Presentations:

  • William Aronson, MD, UCLA Urology professor, authored a recent New England Journal of Medicine article examining radical prostatectomy vs. watchful waiting for prostate cancer patients. Men with early low-risk prostate cancer undergoing active surveillance were found to have equal survival outcomes as those undergoing surgery, highlighting the need for active surveillance strategies. However, men with higher-risk prostate cancer clearly benefited (in terms of prostate cancer-specific and overall survival) from radical prostatectomy.
  • Mya Levy, MD, UCLA Urology resident, will present a podium session at the 2013 American Urological Association annual meeting: “Describing the ‘Digital Divide’: Information Technology Use in Prostate Cancer Patients with Lower Socioeconomic Status.”
  • Jeremy Shelton, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, presented his abstract “Validation of Electronic Prostate Cancer Quality of Care Measures in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)” at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Symposium last November in San Diego.
  • Geoff Sonn, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, presented a poster, “Impact of MR-US Fusion Targeted Confirmatory Biopsy on Patient Selection for Active Surveillance” at the Society of Urologic Oncology meeting in Bethesda, MD, last November. His group’s paper, “Targeted Biopsy in the Detection of Prostate Cancer Using an Office Based Magnetic Resonance Ultrasound Fusion Device,” was published in the January issue of the Journal of Urology and featured on the journal’s cover.

Honors and Appointments:

  • Alan L. Kaplan, MD, UCLA Urology resident, will serve as co-chair of the inaugural UCLA Housestaff Quality Improvement Council. Working with executive leadership, the council aims to engage UCLA residents and fellows in quality improvement to improve patient care within UCLA Health System.
  • Joshua Logan, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, won second place in the poster competition at the annual winter meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology for his abstract, “Potent and Selective Inhibitor of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4/6, Demonstrates Differential Inhibition of Proliferation in Renal Cell Carcinoma at Nanomolar Concentrations and Molecular Markers Predict for Sensitivity.”

Winter 2013

Grants Received:

  • Robert Reiter, MD, MBA, professor of urology and director of the Prostate Cancer Program, received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Grant and Dream Team funding from Stand Up To Cancer.
  • Timothy Daskivich, MD, MPH, UCLA Urology fellow, received a two-year grant from the American Cancer Society for the study, “The Role of Age and Comorbidity in Treatment Decision Making for Men with Early-Stage Prostate Cancer.”

Publications:

  • Lisa Rogo-Gupta, MD, UCLA Urology fellow, had her paper “Long-Term Durability of the Distal Urethral Polypropylene Sling for the Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Minimum 11 Year Follow-up,” co-authored with several UCLA Urology faculty colleagues, published in the Journal of Urology.
  • Jeffrey Veale, MD, director of the UCLA Kidney Exchange Program, wrote the featured article in the September issue of the American Journal of Transplantation on kidney exchange chains.
  • Alan Kaplan, MD, urology resident, published the essay, “The Patient I Couldn’t Heal” in November in Salon.com.

Honors and Appointments:

  • Shlomo Raz, MD, professor and chief of the Division of Pelvic Medicine and Reproductive Surgery, was named among the top 1% of physicians by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH, associate professor of urology, was named chair of the National Quality Forum’s Genitourinary Measures Steering Committee, which is tasked with evaluation and approval of quality of care measures related to urology.
  • Nils Kroeger, MD, a 2011-12 UCLA Urology fellow, received the 2012 Maximilian Nitze Award for his group’s project titled “Clinical, Molecular, and Genetic Correlates of Lymphatic Spread in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.” The Maximilian Nitze Award is the highest scientific honor awarded by the German Society of Urology for outstanding scientific achievements in experimental or clinical urology.

Summer 2012

Grants Received:

  • Dr. Robert Reiter, Professor, Urology is one of the recipients of the 2012 Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Challenge Award. He was awarded $1M which will be used in his research, “Preventing Treatment Resistance by Co-Targeting Androgen Receptor and SRC/MEK1-Dependent Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition.” Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is a leading organization in the funding of innovative research in an effort to improve diagnostics and discover new treatments for prostate cancer patients.
  • Dr. Robert Reiter, Professor, Urology and Molecular Biology, Director of the Prostate Cancer Program and Urologic Research, and Co-Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program in UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center was awarded a grant from Takeda to study Downstream targets of N-cadherin.
  • Dr. Jonathan Bergman, MPH (UCLA Urology Health Services Fellow) who is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar received funding from the Research Scholars Program of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) to present at the National Palliative Care annual retreat in October 2012, which is cosponsored by the American Cancer Society and AAHPM.

Publications:

  • Dr. Alan L. Kaplan (UCLA Urology resident) was published in the Chicago Tribune. The article discussed his experiences and lessons learned as a surgical intern at UCLA. 
  • The article, “Impact of a bladder cancer diagnosis on smoking behavior” by Dr. Jeffrey Bassett, MPH was accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  This study demonstrated in a population-based survey that the diagnosis of bladder cancer is an opportunity for smoking cessation and that urologists can play an integral role in affecting the patterns of tobacco use of those newly diagnosed.

Honors and Appointments:

  • Dr. Christopher Saigal, MPH was named Chair of the National Quality Forum Steering Committee on Urology Quality of Care Measures and member of the American Urological Association’s Data Strategy Committee.
  • Dr. Shlomo Raz, Professor of Urology and Chief Division of Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, gave the prestigious Ramon Guiteras Lecture: Searching for the Cure of Stress Incontinence – A 30 Year Journey at the 2012 American Urological Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Resident Dr. Gladys Ng, was given the Laurence R. Meyerson and Deborah L. Faiman Travel Award. Dr. Ng attended the 2012 American Transplant Congress Conference in Boston, Massachusetts to present her poster, “Correlation of Biopsy to Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI) in Donors Over Age 50,” which was recognized as a poster of distinction.
  • Dr. Geoffrey Sonn, a Fellow in Urologic Oncology, presented the “Value of targeted biopsy in detecting prostate cancer using an office-based MR-US fusion device” at the 2012 American Urological Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Fifth International Symposium on Focal Therapy and Imaging in Prostate and Kidney Cancer in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Dr. Sonn was also accepted to the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Training Program which was developed to provide clinicians with the necessary training to become successful patient-oriented investigators who can bridge molecular medicine and clinical research.  The UCLA CTSI is dedicated to fully and comprehensively addressing the unmet need, at our partner institutions and nationwide, of educating and training clinical investigators and translational scientists in the requisite skills and strategies for successful interdisciplinary team research.
  • Dr. Ja-Hong Kim participated in the 2012 American Urological Association (AUA)/European Association of Urology (EAU) Academic Fellowship Exchange.  In 1993, the AUA and the EAU began an award program designed to provide young urology faculty with an international perspective on urologic medicine. The program was created to promote the interchange of urological skills, expertise and knowledge, and provides outstanding and promising junior faculty members an opportunity to interact with colleagues in Europe. Medical advances are often the result of fruitful collaboration and this interchange is designed to facilitate such opportunities. The program not only allows the sharing of knowledge and experience but is designed to foster a closer alliance between AUA and EAU, and assists in identifying future leaders within both organizations. Dr. Kim visited four different hospitals – 2 programs in Paris, 1 in Milan, and 1 in Bern, Switzerland where she participated in exchanges of lectures and ideas both in clinical settings and the operating room.
  • Dr. Robert Reiter will deliver a major educational plenary at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology conference on "Biological basis of emerging therapies in advanced prostate cancer."
  • Dr. Jeffrey Bassett was awarded the John Quale Travel Fellowship Award to present his research at the 2012 Annual Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) Think Tank Meeting which is scheduled on August 9-11th.

Spring 2012

Grants Received:

  • Dr. Jeremy Shelton (UCLA Urology Health Services Research Fellow), under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Saigal, has been awarded a fellowship grant from the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center for his exciting and impactful project, Validation of an Informatics-Based Quality Improvement Tool for Bladder Cancer Care.
  • Dr. Eric Vilain (Professor, UCLA Departments of Urology, Human Genetics and Pediatrics) was awarded a $4M grant from The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for the establishment of a registry for Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). In addition to UCLA, this award involves multiple sites (University of Michigan, with Dr. David Sandberg, Co-PI, UCSF and University of Washington, Seattle), and is the first to tackle the standardization of genetic, endocrine and imaging diagnosis of DSD, the investigation of psychosocial outcomes, and the delivery of best practices for the care of children and adults with DSD. Dr. Bernard Churchill, Judith and Robert Winston Chair in Pediatric Urology, is a collaborator on the project.
  • Gang Zeng, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UCLA Urology, was awarded a $1.2M RO1 grant from The National Cancer Institute for the project entitled "A+PSA assay for improved prostate cancer diagnosis and risk assessment".  Dr. Allan Pantuck (Associate Professor, UCLA Urology) is a co-PI, Drs. Lenny Marks (Professor, UCLA Urology) and Jiaoti Huang (Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine) are key co-investigators on the project.  In the next four years, the team will validate a composite biomarker of multiplex antibodies against cancer antigens in conjunction with the classic PSA level for prostate cancer.  The composite biomarker, termed A+PSA, is potentially more sensitive and specific to singular biomarkers currently in use for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Veale (Assistant Professor, UCLA Urology) received funding from the UCLA CTSI to further the development of a multiplexing electrochemical sensor (mEC) to simultaneously measure creatinine and cystatin-C biomarker levels from recipients’ blood samples which will be used with kidney transplant patients to detect signs of early rejection.
  • Lynne Chang, UCLA medical student, has been funded through the 2012 AUA Foundation Herbert Brendler, MD Summer Research Fellowship Program to participate in a urology fellowship under the mentorship of Mark Litwin, MD. This training program, made possible through the support of the Herbert Brendler, MD Research Fund and the Brendler Family, encourage medical students to join the field of urology through the experience of summer fellowships.

Publications:

  • The article "The Socioeconomic Status of Donors and Recipients of Living Unrelated Renal Transplants in the United States" published in the May 2012 issue of The Journal of Urology includes the UCLA authors Jennifer S. Singer (Assistant Professor, UCLA Urology) and Gabriel F. Danovitch (Director of UCLA's Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program).
  • Drs. Arie Belldegrun (Professor, UCLA Urology), Allan Pantuck (Associate Professor, UCLA Urology) and Jonathan Said (Professor, UCLA Pathology & and UCLA Urology) are authors on the paper "Impact of pathological tumour characteristics in patients with sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma" published in January 2012 online in the British Journal of Urology International.
  • Last month, the FDA approved PCA-3, the first biomarker for prostate cancer since PSA.  This gene test is measured in the urine and has revolutionized the early detection of prostate cancer. Dr. Leonard Marks wrote the first clinical publication on PCA-3. Dr. Marks also authored and posted a beautifully simple summary of its molecular biology at www.usrf.org/news/PCA3/PCA3.html
  • The article “Prevalence of Kidney Stones in the United States” by Charles D. Scales Jr, MD (urology fellow), Alexandria C. Smith, MSPH, Janet M. Hanley, MS and Christopher S. Saigal, MD, MPH (Associate Professor, UCLA Urology) is in press in the journal European Urology. This manuscript is the first report of the national prevalence of kidney stones (2007 - 2010) in the US since 1994, and represents approximately a 50% increase in the prevalence of kidney stones in the US.  The findings suggest that the increase in kidney stones is very likely related to the increase in obesity/overweight in the United States during the time period 1994.
  • Research by Dr. Eric Vilain (Professor, UCLA Departments of Urology, Human Genetics and Pediatrics) on a gene linked to male development was cited March 7 in a Medical Xpress article about men’s response to stress. More on medicalxpress.com.

Honors and Appointments:

  • February 2012, UCLA received approval from the American Board of Urology and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology for the formal establishment of our Fellowship in Pelvic Medicine and Reconstruction. Under the executive guidance from Drs. Shlomo Raz and Christopher Tarnay, this ACGME-approved program represents a wonderful collaboration between UCLA’s Departments of Urology and Obstetrics & Gynecology. We will continue to enroll both urologists and gynecologists seeking advanced training in female urology and urogynecology. 
  • Dr. Jeffrey Veale (Assistant Professor, UCLA Urology) has received the UCLA Health System’s Teaching Humanism at the Bedside Award, and is being honored for his outstanding contributions as a role model and teacher for patient-centered care. Award recipients participate in a faculty development program to help the UCLA School of Medicine develop strategies for more explicitly teaching humanism to colleagues, residents, and students.
  • UCLA Urology faculty members Drs. Arie Belldegrun, H. Albin Gritsch, Jacob Rajfer & Robert Reiter have all been named to the “2011-2012 Best Doctors in America” list, an honor which establishes that their peers recognize them as some of the nation’s top clinicians in their discipline. Read more about it at www.bestdoctors.com.
  • At the 2012 Annual American Urological Association meeting, Dr. Shlomo Raz will deliver the Ramon Guiteras lecture, one of our specialty’s highest honors. Additionally, Dr. Jennifer Singer will deliver a plenary lecture entitled, “Management of Patients with Post-Transplant Renal Masses” and urology fellow Dr. Karim Chamie will deliver a plenary lecture entitled, “Not following Level I Evidence for Bladder Cancer—Morbidity, Mortality, and Cost.”
  • The editors of The Journal of Urology have named Drs. Jenny Yiee (urology fellow) and Karim Chamie (urology fellow) as recipients of the Best Reviewer in 2011 award. They will be honored at a special reception in Atlanta.
  • Drs. Gladys Ng (urology resident) and Karim Chamie (urology fellow) are the only urologists selected to present their work at the 2012 Longmire Day, honoring the longtime and beloved former Chair of the UCLA Department of Surgery. Dr. Ng will present her work on pre-transplant glomerulosclerosis, mentored by Drs. Albin Gritsch and Jennifer Singer. Dr. Chamie will present his work describing recurrence and treatment patterns in patients with bladder cancer.
  • Dr. Sevan V. Stepanian (urology resident) was the Third Place Winner in the poster session at the Western Section American Urological Association’s 2011 meeting in Vancouver, Canada for his poster entitled “Preoperative Fish Oil Supplementation Does Not Alter Operative Blood Loss or Transfusion Requirements in Patients Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy.”

Winter 2012

Grants Received:

  • The IMPACT program has been renewed. The California Department of Public Health, Cancer Detection Section, recently renewed the UCLA-administered Improving Access, Counseling & Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer (IMPACT) program. The $9.3 million contract brings the total amount of state money awarded for the program to $88.5 million. Dr. Mark S. Litwin created and directs the program along with UCLA Urology faculty members James Orecklin, MD, MPH, and William Aronson, MD. IMPACT has established a network of providers who deliver free prostate cancer treatment to low-income, uninsured or underinsured men throughout California in their local communities.
  • Dr. Isla Garraway received a prestigious $75,000 Margaret E. Early Medical Research Trust award for her proposal, “Defining the Human Prostate Cellular Hierarchy for Evaluation of the Cell of Origin of Indolent Versus Aggressive Prostate Cancer.”
  • Dr. Jeffrey Bassett UCLA Urology resident, received a New Investigator Award from the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, entitled “New Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer: Smokers’ Opportunity to Quit.”
  • Dr. Timothy Daskivich, UCLA Urology resident, was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program fellowship at UCLA for 2012-14.
  • Dr. Aqsa Khan, UCLA Urology resident, was awarded a blue ribbon for her American Urological Association poster, “Evaluating the Quality of Urinary Incontinence and Prolapse Treatment (EQUIPT) Study: Quality Indicator Development for Urinary Incontinence.”
  • Dr. Allan Pantuck received a $200,000 three-year Department of Defense award for his proposal “Early Diagnosis of Clear Cell Kidney Cancer via VHL/HIF Pathway-Regulated Circulating microRNA.”
  • Dr. Eric Vilain (UCLA Departments of Urology, Human Genetics and Pediatrics) was awarded a $4M grant from The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for the establishment of a registry for Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). In addition to UCLA, this award involves multiple sites (University of Michigan, with Dr. David Sandberg, Co-PI, UCSF and University of Washington, Seattle), and is the first to tackle the standardization of genetic, endocrine and imaging diagnosis of DSD, the investigation of psychosocial outcomes, and the delivery of best practices for the care of children and adults with DSD. Dr. Bernard Churchill, Judith and Robert Winston Chair in Pediatric Urology, is a collaborator on the project.

Publications:

  • Dr. William Aronson’s high-impact article “Phase II Prospective Randomized Trial of a Low-Fat Diet with Fish Oil Supplementation in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy” was published in the October 25, 2011 issue of  Cancer Prevention Research  (PMID: 22027686).  The study shows that a low-fat, fish-oil diet slows the growth of prostate cancer cells..
  • Dr. Jeremy Blumberg, our fellow in kidney transplantation, penned an essay in the November 23, 2011 issue of  JAMA  about the contemporary challenges and joys of allocating kidneys.
  • Drs. Mark Litwin and Karim Chaime (Urologic Oncology fellow) had their article “Quality of Bladder Cancer Care in the USA ” published in the December 11, 2011 issue of  Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research. (PMID: 22098276).

Honors and Appointments:

  • Drs. Albin Gritsch and Gabriel Danovitch lead our kidney transplant program, and this service recently received the HealthGrades Transplant Excellence Award for the high quality of our short and long-term outcomes.  Read more...
  • Dr. Shlomo Raz will receive the 2012 AUA Ramon Guiteras Award during the AUA’s Annual Meeting to be held this May in Atlanta. Named for the founder and first president of our 110-year-old specialty society, this is the highest honor conferred by the AUA.
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