Clinical and Translational Research

Our physicians are active in clinical and translational research through clinical trials and studies exploring a diverse range of urologic disorders and clinical areas, as part of our comprehensive and integrated research program.


Reconstructive Urologic Surgery

Steven B. Brandes, MD

The Brandes Lab remains an active regional referral center for complex reconstructive urologic surgery and is academically productive, the most recent publication in the Journal of Urology entitled “The Impact of Preoperative Oral Health on Buccal Mucosal Graft Histology.” It also has five abstracts and one course to present at the upcoming AUA national meeting in Las Vegas.

Kidney Stones

Kelly Healy, MD

Dr. Kelly A. Healy’s main research interests complement her clinical practice and include the surgical and medical management of kidney stones, as well as upper tract urothelial tumors. As Chair of the Kidney and Adrenal Health Committee of the AUA Urology Care Foundation, she is also involved with developing kidney stone patient education resources.

Ojas Shah, MD

Dr. Shah is involved in research regarding medical and surgical treatments for kidney stones and kidney stone prevention in addition to upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma. He is involved in many clinical research trials regarding new surgical techniques in the start-of-the-art management of stone disease.

  • Haas CR, Smigelski M, Sebesta EM, Mobley D, Shah O. Implementation of a Hospital-Wide Protocol Reduces Time to Decompression and Length of Stay in Patients with Stone-Related Obstructive Pyelonephritis with Sepsis. J Endourol. 2021 Jan;35(1):77-83. doi: 10.1089/end.2020.0626. Epub 2020 Sep 7. PMID: 32668984.
  • Haas CR, Li G, Hyams ES, Shah O. Delayed Decompression of Obstructing Stones with Urinary Tract Infection is Associated with Increased Odds of Death. J Urol. 2020 Dec;204(6):1256-1262. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000001182. Epub 2020 Jun 5. PMID: 32501124.
  • Assimos D, Krambeck A, Miller NL, Monga M, Murad MH, Nelson CP, Pace KT, Pais VM Jr, Pearle MS, Preminger GM, Razvi H, Shah O, Matlaga BR. Surgical Management of Stones: American Urological Association/Endourological Society Guideline, PART I. J Urol. 2016 Oct;196(4):1153-60. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.05.090. Epub 2016 May 27. PMID: 27238616.
  • Matlaga BR, Chew B, Eisner B, Humphreys M, Knudsen B, Krambeck A, Lange D, Lipkin M, Miller NL, Monga M, Pais V, Sur RL, Shah O. Ureteroscopic Laser Lithotripsy: A Review of Dusting vs Fragmentation with Extraction. J Endourol. 2018 Jan;32(1):1-6. doi: 10.1089/end.2017.0641. Epub 2017 Nov 27. PMID: 29061070.

Outcomes Research

Doreen Chung, MD

Dr. Chung’s research is focused on outcomes. Some projects she has worked on have looked at the impact of diabetes on bladder function and sling procedures, the use of social media for patient education, the safety of mesh in transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse surgery, and outcomes of botulinum toxin injection in the bladder. 

  • Chung DE, Antosh DD, Umpierrez D, Barbosa Z, Yurteri-Kaplan L, Grimes CL. Differences between mid-urethral sling outcomes in diabetic and nondiabetic women. Neurourol Urodyn. 2020 Feb;39(2):738-743. doi: 10.1002/nau.24268. Epub 2020 Jan 3. PMID: 31899822.
  • Ji L, Sebesta EM, Stumbar SE, Rutman MP, Chung DE. Evaluating the Quality of Overactive Bladder Patient Education Material on YouTube: A Pilot Study Using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool. Urology. 2020 Nov;145:90-93. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.08.009. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PMID: 32827536.

Urologic Oncology

Christopher B. Anderson, MD

Dr. Anderson is an expert in urologic oncology and cares for patients with prostate, bladder, kidney, and testicular cancer. He primarily performs observational and population-based research on these cancer types and is also involved in clinical trials and tissue collection registries.

Mitchell C. Benson, MD

Dr. Benson continues to receive grant support from the T.J. Martell Foundation for both bladder and prostate cancer research. His particular interests and areas of expertise are Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) screening (developed PSA Density) high-risk prostate cancer. He has delivered a state-of-the-art lecture at the American Urological Association (AUA) meeting and bladder preservation for patients with aggressive bladder cancer.

Voiding Dysfunction

Matthew P. Rutman, MD

Dr. Rutman is active in clinical outcomes research in males and females with voiding dysfunction (including OAB, BPH, incontinence, Neuro-urology, urodynamics).

  • Tran H, Rutman M. Female Outlet Obstruction After Anti-incontinence Surgery. Urology. 2018 Feb;112:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2017.08.041. Epub 2017 Sep 6. PMID: 28888751.

Kimberly L. Cooper, MD

Dr. Cooper's clinical and research interests include voiding dysfunction, urinary tract infections, and minimizing antibiotic use by maximizing behavioral interventions and alternative therapies to prevent UTIs.

  • Reducing overprescribing of antibiotics for suspected urinary tract infections in a health sciences campus student health service. Sebesta EM, March A, Sayegh C, Li G, Love M, Badalato GM, Ferdschneider M, Cooper KL. Neurourol Urodyn. 2020 Jan;39(1):220-224. doi: 10.1002/nau.24173. Epub 2019 Oct 2. PMID: 31578755

Christina P. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Carpenter has a broad range of clinical and research interests, but she is particularly passionate about outcomes research given its potential for improving patient care and counseling of caregivers.

  • Carpenter CP, Tolley E, Tourville E, Sharadin C, Giel DW, Gleason JM. Hydronephrosis After Pyeloplasty: "Will It Go Away?". Urology. 2018 Nov;121:158-163. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2018.08.010. Epub 2018 Aug 18. PMID: 30125645.

Prostate Cancer

Sven Wenske, MD

Dr. Wenske leads the Department of Urology’s program on Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer and uses the Ultrasound-MRI Fusion technology for the execution of more precise and targeted prostate biopsies in the detection of prostate cancer. His practice also focuses on the use of ablative therapies in the treatment of primary and recurrent prostate cancer, such as Cryosurgery and HIFU. Dr. Wenske has published numerous research articles and has presented at national and international conferences on these topics.

Medical Education

Gina Badalato, MD

Dr. Badalato's research focuses on medical education in urology, both graduate and undergraduate. She has worked collaboratively to create the EMPIRE (Educational Multi-Institutional Program for Instructing REsidents) virtual didactic lecture series, in partnership with the New York Section of the American Urologic Association.

Patient Care Improvement

Julia B. Finkelstein, MD

Dr. Finkelstein’s research interests focus on quality improvement and innovation, including use of telecommunications technology to improve patient care. She is investigating pediatric urology provider use and comfort with telemedicine, specifically for prenatal counseling. For ColumbiaDoctors, Dr. Finkelstein serves on the Digital Health Executive Committee, for which she is the provider and patient experience lead. Dr. Finkelstein is also a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Council at NYP Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and is the physician lead for the 2021 CAUTI Reductive Initiative.

David Weiner, MD

Dr. Weiner's clinical and academic interests are centered around improving the efficacy and performance of patient care. He has worked with Dr. McKiernan to create an acute care urology service to meet these goals. The positive impact on patient care and outcomes has been shared at national and international meetings and is expanding into our department outpatient setting.