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NYU School of Medicine receives $8.2M grant from NIDDK to continue urological disease research

NEW YORK, NY August 17, 2010 The Urothelial Biology Team at NYU School of Medicine received an $8.2 million, five-year program project (P01) grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health to continue groundbreaking research on bladder biology and diseases including urinary tract infection (UTI).

The Urothelial Biology Team is an integral unit of the NYU Center of Excellence on Urological Diseases consisting of professors from multiple disciplines. Led by Tung-Tien Sun, PhD, Rudolph L. Baer Professor of Dermatology and professor in the Departments of Cell Biology, Pharmacology and Urology, the team includes Xiangpeng Kong, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry, Gert Kreibich, PhD, professor of cell biology, Angel Pellicer, MD, PhD, professor of pathology, and Xue-Ru Wu, MD, professor of urology and pathology and vice chairman for urological research.

"We are pleased to have received this grant from NIDDK to support this multidisciplinary research program," said Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA is senior vice president and vice dean for science, chief scientific officer of NYU Langone Medical Center. "The work of the Urothelial Biology Team is a testament to NYU School of Medicine's commitment to fostering collaborative research in an effort to understand the root cause of diseases and develop novel strategies for treatment."

The team is currently studying how the urothelium, the main cell type that covers the luminal surface of the bladder, forms a highly effective barrier, and how bacteria cause urinary tract infection (UTI). The team hopes to understand how the disease-causing bacteria interact with and invade the host urothelial cells, a process common in recurrent UTI. UTI is the most common cause of bloodstream infections by E. coli which cause 40,000 deaths from sepsis each year in the United States.1 Uncomplicated UTIs alone are responsible for an estimated $1-2 billion in direct healthcare costs in the United States annually.1 Abnormalities in bladder urothelial cells are involved in several other important urologic diseases including overactive bladder, painful bladder syndrome, which mainly affects women 2, and bladder cancer which is the fourth most common cancer in men 3 and the most expensive cancer to manage. Treatment of these diseases costs the American public almost $11 billion annually.4

"Dr. Sun and his multidisciplinary team are uniquely poised to address key questions regarding the structure and function of the bladder urothelium," said Chris Mullins, PhD, director of Basic Cell Biology Programs, Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, NIDDK. "Their work is expected to yield significant insights into the role these cells play in urinary tract infections."


Contact: Lisa Greiner
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine

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