Message from the Division of Urology,

The last year has brought a lot of growth and accomplishments in the Division of Urology. In education, this year we hosted Cheryl Lee, MD, who serves as Chair at Ohio State University Department of Urology, as the second Middleton Visiting Professor. We also welcomed a new class of interns with tremendous clinical and academic promise, from Ohio State University, Mayo Clinic Arizona, and the University of Utah. Clinically, we continued to grow and began offering reconstructive urology services at our South Jordan Health Center as well as greatly expanding community-based general urology. In addition, we have added two new clinical faculty - Elisabeth Mulroy, MD and Drew Durtschi, MD

From a research standpoint, the division submitted four RO1 grant applications to the NIH this fall and we should break the top 10 urology programs in the country, as ranked by the Blue Ridge Medical Institute Rankings (BRIMR), for NIH funding if we were a separate department by 2023. Research programs that continue to deliver milestones are in oncology, andrology, infertility, men’s health, neurogenic bladder, and health services research. We have also added new research faculty; Joemy Ramsay, PhD brings expertise in geospatial coding, exposure, and population health to multiple research efforts across the division.

Please let me know if you are interested in getting involved as an alumni or part of the urology community in the Intermountain West.


Jeremy B. Myers, MD FACS

Professor of Surgery (Urology)

Division Chief

University of Utah, Division of Urology



The Middleton visiting professorship was held on October 11th, featuring Cheryl Lee, MD, with attendance of the entire Division of Urology as well as many other community urologists. Alumni Scott Putman, MD made an appearance all the way from Zurich, Switzerland! Dr. Lee gave two expert lectures on racial disparities in bladder cancer care and outcomes, as well as mentorship and teaching surgery. Her insight on feedback in the OR and how this could positively affect learning surgery was invaluable and certainly generated some very thoughtful discussion. Truly we recognize more and more that ‘see one, do one, teach one’ is not an effective teaching style. Trainees need engaged coaches in the OR and also benefit from immediate and actionable feedback. 

Other highlights of the session included trainee research presentations on high-grade radiation injury after prostate cancer radiotherapy and mental health outcomes (Kevin Hebert, MD – reconstructive fellow), shattered kidney and whether this belongs in AAST grade 5 kidney injury (Soren Keihani, MD MSCI – PGY 3), artificial urinary sphincter outcomes in hypogonadism (Zachary Pfeifer, MD – PGY 4), impact of social context on the delivery of low-value cancer care (Kassandra Dindinger-Hill – research fellow oncology), and the complex relationship between hypogonadism and BPH (Kiarad Fendereski, MD – research fellow men’s health).

The Middleton VP will be a yearly event and is sure to continue as a great educational opportunity for the Division of Urology and the urologic community in the Intermountain West. 

Cheryl Lee, MD discussing health disparities in bladder cancer care.

Kassandra Dindinger-Hill (research fellow oncology) presenting her work with mentor Brock O’Neil, MD on social context and how it affects low value cancer care.

The Middleton VP was a great opportunity to bring together the entire division to discuss challenging cases, current research, and lives beyond urology.


The University of Utah Division of Urology welcomed three new interns to the fold this year. Devon Langston, MD from Ohio State University, Jordan Powell, MD from the Mayo Clinic Arizona, and Lyndsey Wright, MD from our own University of Utah. This is a stellar class and will accomplish great things in five years. 


Liem Snyder, MD joined the University and will be completing a two-year reconstructive urology fellowship. In their first year they will emphasize research focused on gender affirmation surgery and barriers to gender diverse surgical trainees. Dr. Snyder trained at University of North Carolina

Masaya Jimbo, MD, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic Rochester will complete two years of fellowship training in Men’s health, Andrology, and Infertility. Dr. Jimbo will complete a clinical year in his first year. 

Jessica Schardein, MD, from SUNY Upstate, will complete two years of fellowship training in Men’s health, Andrology, and Infertility. Dr. Schardein is starting with a research emphasis year.


University of Utah Health and Intermountain Health Care are collaborating to create a valuable educational meeting this winter. The meeting is called the Mountain Outdoor GU Lecture Series (MOGULS). It will be held at the beautiful, new, and modern Hotel Pendry, located at the Canyons ski resort. The meeting will take place from February 9-11, 2023.

Invited speakers include Hadley Wood, MD from the Cleveland Clinic (reconstruction), Claus Roerhborn, MD from UT Southwestern (voiding dysfunction and BPH), Kiersten Green, MD from University of Virginia (oncology), Manoj Monga, MD from University of California San Diego (endourology), and Daniel Spratt, MD from the University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center (radiation oncology). The meeting is designed to provide educational content for urologists with diverse interest and there should be something for everyone. No doubt the meeting will also serve as a conduit to see old friends and make new connections, as well as enjoy park city and some winter sports. 




Dr. Elisabeth Mulroy, MD began working about one year ago and provides general urology care at the South Jordan Health Center. She trained at University of Connecticut and graduated in 2020. She specializes in management of benign prostatic hypertrophy and kidney stones. 



Kassandra Dindinger-Hill, MS3, a medical student at the University of Minnesota, currently between my 3rd and 4th year, is completing a research fellowship with urologic oncology and mentors Alejandro Sanchez, MD and Brock O’Neil, MD.




Erica Farr, PA was one of three PA’s in the department of surgery to be recognized for excellence this year. The department of surgery employs close to 150 APCs and so this is quite an honor for Erica. Some of the nomination comments were:

“Erica has been with the urologic oncology section at Huntsman Cancer Institute for the past 6 years.  She is nothing short of exemplary and deserves recognition for her immense help in providing excellent care to our patients."

"Erica did not have any experience in urology prior to coming to our team.  She quickly became a PA leader in surgery and the clinics, a go-to person for patient and nursing questions and a teacher for new PAs and residents. She is compassionate, smart, motivated and a team player.“  


Mark Kelly and John Smith, DO co-direct the GU medicine fellowship. Mark Kelly began directing the fellowship after his return to earth after 365 days on the international space station. (-: (actually it is Stephen Summers, MD). (pictured right)

We are proud to announce that Drew Durtschi, MD will be graduating this winter. He is the first GU medicine fellow. This fellowship provides a year of intensive training in urology and is designed for internists or family medicine doctors. Fellows complete training in all aspects of adult urology spanning oncology, men’s health, reconstruction, and voiding dysfunction. Fellows also gain familiarity with inpatient care and the operating room, which enhances the understanding of surgical approaches and when they are appropriate. Training in clinic-based procedures, such as ultrasound of the GU system, prostate biopsy, cystoscopy, and vasectomy are emphasized during the fellowship. Dr. Durtschi will be joining University of Utah and will be based out of the Farmington Health Center. He will the second GU medicine specialist working in our division.  



Welcome to Joemy Ramsay, PhD who joined the division earlier in the year. She is an epidemiologist with expertise in geospatial coding and the Utah Population Database. Her work is in part supported by an RO1 looking at the pathophysiology of infertility. She specializes in linking exposure data in Utah to infertility and azospermia. This type of work can identify key environmental pollutants and how they affect declining sperm counts in men worldwide. 


Alexander Pastuszak, MD, PhD was awarded an RO1 earlier this year. The basis of the RO1 is investigating genetic factors in Peyronie’s disease. Dr. Pastuszak works closely with Michael (Ben) Christiansen, PhD and they have created a several knock out mice lines to analyze the specific effects of genes identified in earlier work. Ben Christiansen, PhD is working to link fibrosing disorders in the GU tract and elsewhere to Peyronie’s disease. The investigators hypothesize that these disorders may follow common pathways. 

Alejandro Sanchez, MD joined investigator Neli Ulrich, MS, PhD on her P50 grant obtaining a P50 career development award. He is working on understanding the obesity paradox in renal cell carcinoma. Obesity increases the incidence of RCC but paradoxically the cancers are not as aggressive as in non-obese individuals. Understanding how metabolism and obesity affects renal cancer is key to developing more effective therapeutics for patients. Dr. Sanchez is also supported by a generous gift from the Price family. 


Jessica Schardein, MD is the first-year fellow in Men’s health and Andrology and has received two prestigious society grants. Her description of the grants include:

The American Urological Association (AUA) Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award will allow us to study epigenetic profiles and gene expression changes in individuals with Peyronie’s Disease (PD). In this study, DNA is extracted from tunica albuginea samples obtained from patients undergoing penile prosthesis dplacement for DNA methylation analyses. RNA sequencing is subsequently performed to assess gene expression changes. The identification of abnormal DNA methylation and gene expression changes may allow for early screening of PD as well as risk stratification of affected patients. Long-term, this research could facilitate a more complete understanding of PD and eventually lead to the discovery of targeted therapies that can be used to individualize treatment.  

The Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) Research Fellowship in Andrology grant supported by Endo focuses on the mechanistic investigation of ALCAM, which is a gene in the corpora cavernosa implicated in erectile dysfunction (ED). This is the first study to functionally characterize the effects of this gene using cell-based assays and murine models. Specifically, CRISPR activation and interference is used to determine the impact of the gene on other genes and transcription. Erectile function of homozygous knockout and wild-type ALCAM mice is compared using nerve stimulated and pharmacologic intracavernosal pressure. We anticipate that gaining a better understanding of ALCAM’s role in ED through this research will provide insight into disease pathogenesis and this gene could be potential target in the modulation of ED in the future. 


Thus far in calendar year 2022, the Division of Urology has published 71 peer-reviewed manuscripts. This was a group effort and major publications came from each section in the division. 



The visiting professorship was attended by the entire Division of Urology and many community-based urologists. In order to continue the Middleton VP we are seeking to create an endowed fund. The VP will occur every year and promote the work being done at University of Utah, create an amazing educational venue, and honor the legacy of Dr. Richard G. Middleton.

Please consider donating to the fund so this fantastic educational endeavor can continue.

For more information on how you can support the Division of Urology and any other philanthropic questions you may have, please contact:

Kate Throneburg

Director of Advancement, Surgery

50 North Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
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