The Urology Care Foundation, the official foundation of the American Urological Association, greatly appreciates the support of the Western Section of the American Urological Association in enabling the Research Scholar Award program to offer a two-year award for 2018. Following a rigorous peer-review process conducted in October, we are excited to announce that we were able to fill this award with an exceptional early-career investigator.

Kevin Batai, PhD

Congratulations to Ken Batai, PhD, who will begin his two-year award on July 1, 2018! Dr. Batai’s study, titled “Identification of Clinical and Molecular Characteristics Predicting Renal Cell Carcinoma Prognosis: Therapeutic Precision in a Racially Diverse Population,” will be conducted at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center under the mentorship of Benjamin Lee, MD and Nathan Ellis, PhD. He will first compare clinical and molecular characteristics of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) among Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and European Americans to identify clinical characteristics and molecular signatures, which are associated with RCC aggressiveness and predict progression. Associations between molecular profiles of RCC patients and response to therapeutic agents, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors or PDL‐1 checkpoint inhibitors will also be examined.

We are also delighted to report that Alan L. Kaplan, MD completed his one-year award, titled “Value-based care redesign in urology: Can quality and cost data feedback change physician behavior,” at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA under the mentorship of Mark Litwin, MD, MPH and Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH. The training and funding he received during the award period enabled Dr. Kaplan to secure a position as Physician Lead for Clinical Integration at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital—a unique public-private partnership serving South Los Angeles. He is also preparing a manuscript for publication based on his work as a Scholar.

Hosu Sin, PhD, working at Stanford University under the mentorship of Margaret Fuller, PhD, recently completed the first year of her two-year research award, titled “Elucidating fundamental regulators of male meiosis.” Dr. Sin has made significant progress with her research and presented her findings to-date at the 2017 AUA Annual Meeting and the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Japanese Biochemical Society & Molecular Biology Society of Japan.

Finally, David C. Johnson, MD, MPH continues to work on his two-year project, titled “The effect on hospital system finances of episode-based bundled payments for patients undergoing radical prostatectomy: the business
case for value based cancer care redesign,” at UCLA under the mentorship of Mark Litwin, MD, MPH and Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH. We look forward to updating you on his progress this coming summer.

The generous support of the AUA Western Section has contributed significantly to the careers of these researchers, and is an investment in improving the lives of patients suffering from urologic diseases.