Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery, Division of Urology
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Project title: The Urinary Microbiota and Host Inflammation in Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

David M. Underhill, PhD – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Jennifer T. Anger, MD MPH – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Dermot P. McGovern, MD PhD – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Suzanne Devkota, PhD – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Michael Freeman, PhD – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, patient-reported outcomes, molecular immunology, cell biology, culture-independent microbial profiling, bioinformatics and data science, clinical phenotyping

Project Description:
A growing body of research into storage lower urinary tract symptoms (storage LUTS) -- highly prevalent, debilitating urologic conditions that include overactive bladder and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome -- suggests a potential role in disease development and progression for the diverse microbial communities of the urinary tract. To explore the pathophysiology of storage LUTS, we will examine the differences in these urinary bacterial and fungal communities and their interactions with host inflammatory responses, including an investigation of potential host genetic susceptibility factors associated with an increased risk of disease. The novel application of large-scale systems biology approaches to the urinary tract and the integration of these data with detailed clinical phenotyping is reshaping our understanding of these syndromes and will facilitate profound advances in the approach to clinical classification as well as the management and treatment of benign urologic conditions.