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Pediatric Urology Research

Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Urology Division of Pediatric Urology is researching new treatments for pediatric urology conditions. As leaders in the field, the division’s physicians and nurse practitioners publish original research, write textbook chapters and review articles in medical journals. Because of their strong commitment to research and partnership with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and IU Health, there are opportunities for qualified children to get the latest treatments for a variety of conditions through clinical trials.


Several pediatric urology faculty have received substantial grants for their research, including:

Active Research

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Research Program
    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is the most common cause of ambiguous genitalia in newborns. Riley Hospital for Children is recognized as a Comprehensive Care Center for the medical and surgical management of patients with CAH by the CARES Foundation. The goal is to deliver exceptional patient and family-centered care. The Division of Pediatric Urology has significant experience with both the medical and surgical management of children with CAH. This care is provided in a multidisciplinary fashion including urologists, endocrinologists, psychologists and ethicists. While much controversy exists among patient advocates, ethicists and physicians about how and when to perform or not perform surgery in CAH, very little is known about what outcomes are important to patients with CAH and their families. To address this neglected area of research and clinical care, researchers are focusing on assessing patients’ and parents’ perceptions with and without surgery.

    Lead investigator: Konrad Szymanski, MD, MPH 

  • Engaging families to improve the care of hypospadias patients
    Pediatric urologists are working to create decision support tools for parents considering urologic surgery for their children. Hypospadias is a condition in which a boy is born with a genital abnormality. The condition can be treated surgically or non-surgically, depending on the severity. This study was awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health in May 2017. Researchers are taking a comprehensive approach to improving perioperative care of hypospadias patients and developing a decision aid for families and physicians.

    Lead investigator: Katherine Chan, MD, MPH 

  • Randomized RoboticAssisted vs Open Surgery Benefits and Patient Centered Outcomes Trial
    Pediatric urology faculty are researching the differences between robotic and open surgery. This National Institutes of Health-funded study uses a randomized control trial comparing the two types of surgeries in patients. Patients would not know which surgery they received until 24 hours later, allowing researchers to study the benefits of each method.

    Lead investigator: Benjamin Whittam, MD, MS 

  • Spina Bifida Research Program
    Spina bifida (SB) is the most common congenital anomaly of the central nervous system associated with multiple health problems, including renal failure and urinary and bowel incontinence. Riley Hospital for Children is internationally recognized as a leader in this area, serving one of the largest populations of children and adults with SB in the world. While there are effective medical and surgical methods to treat incontinence, little is known about significant aspects of these patients’ lives, particularly how they function in adulthood. To address these knowledge gaps, researchers have been looking at the impact of incontinence on quality of life, long-term results of continence surgery, new methods of measuring renal function and life expectancy.

    Lead investigator: Konrad Szymanski, MD, MPH 

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications by YearThe Division of Pediatric Urology has made significant contributions to peer-reviewed literature. As shown by the graph to the right, it continues to publish clinically significant studies each year. In addition, a fellow or resident was listed as the first author on two publications in 2015, three in 2016, three in 2017 and seven in 2018.

Published Work by Faculty Experts

Faculty experts in the Division of Pediatric Urology publish their research in a variety of medical journals. View of a complete list of each of their published work at the links below.