Children's Hospital Colorado

Urology Research at the Department of Pediatric Urology

Researchers in our Department of Pediatric Urology work to improve the treatment and care for patients with urologic conditions. Our team’s expertise in basic, translational, clinical outcomes and quality improvement research are aimed at understanding urologic conditions present at birth and how best to treat them. Research drives our mission to minimize interventions and maximize outcomes for our young patients.

Dr Vemulakonda talking with a patient
Research article

Children’s Colorado’s robust GU Anomalies Program is participating in Johns Hopkin’s Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy clinical trial and conducting its own research related to complex fetal GU anomalies.

Department of Pediatric Urology research advancements

Some of our research areas include bladder development, urologic oncology, prenatal imaging and congenital hydronephrosis. Our research focuses on identifying and implementing new and better treatment practices — more effective, less invasive — with the goal of making life easier for kids, adolescents and even adults with urological conditions, here and around the nation. 

"Parents feel a weight in making the right decision for their child. Even though we push for shared decision-making, many parents just want the physician to make the decision."
Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD

Urology professional education videos

In these short videos, our pediatric urology experts offer insights into the advanced treatments and specialized clinical care they provide at our hospital.

What our research means for kids

While many childhood urological conditions are not life-threatening, all of them make a very real and often long-term impact on quality of life. Read about just a few of our efforts below.

  • Pediatric urologic surgeon Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD, works with researchers at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego and Texas Children's Hospital to study treatments for infants diagnosed with hydronephrosis before birth. The research looks at how those variations in treatment impact kidney function in children with kidney obstruction. The goal is to develop guidelines for surgical testing and treatment to improve the long-term outcomes of these patients.
  • Pediatric urologic oncologist Nicholas Cost, MD, is currently investigating the impact that urologic cancers (kidney, adrenal, bladder, testicular) have on kids and how they can best be treated to maximize cure, but minimize side effects. He works with the Children's Oncology Group to offer the latest treatments and collaborate on research. In addition, our Pediatric Urologic Oncology Program has its own ongoing local investigation in the lab and the clinic that is studying the impact of chemotherapy on bladder function in children.
  • In collaboration with the Department of Pediatric Radiology and the Society for Fetal Urology, pediatric urological surgeon Jeffrey Campbell, MD, is working to refine prenatal imaging tests to identify urinary and genital organ irregularities at and before birth.
  • In collaboration with Anna Malykhina, MD, and Nao Iguchi, MD,at the University of Colorado, and Duncan Wilcox, MD, are studying the effect of partial bladder outlet obstruction to assess signs of the obstruction. By studying hypoxia pathways, they hope to find new types of treatment. In addition, they are studying the interaction between bladder and bowel nerve function and its possible effect on children with dysfunctional elimination syndrome.

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