American Urological Association Announces 2024 Cohort of Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy

BALTIMORE, March 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The American Urological Association’s (AUA) Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy is pleased to announce the 2024 cohort of mentees. The USMART Academy was conceptualized in 2016 by the AUA Office of Research and has helped dozens of emerging urologists representing a range of research areas.

The program was specifically developed to assist young urology physician-scientists in their transition to research independence with the help of professionals with exemplary reputations of mentorship and research funding.


“The USMART Academy holds immense significance for us at the AUA as it nurtures innovation and empowers the upcoming cohort of urologists,” said Dr. Randall Meacham, President of the AUA. “Effective mentorship is pivotal in propelling the urology field, and we take pride in providing such a platform.”

Thanks to the success of the USMART Academy and the growing consensus on the value of mentorship early in the research career pipeline, the program has increased its mentee positions since 2022 — now offering 15 mentees a spot in the Academy. The program also expanded its mission to increase mentorship specifically for budding physician-scientists from groups underrepresented in the biomedical workforce.

“We’re excited to welcome the 2024 cohort to the USMART Academy,” said Steven Kaplan, MD, chair of the AUA’s Research Council. “Year after year, this academy has facilitated meaningful relationships between the mentors and mentees, producing extraordinary research. We are excited to see what the 2024 cohort brings to the future of urology.”

Congratulations to 2024 USMART mentees:

  • Marcelo Bigarella, MD, Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Roderick Clark, MD, Assistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
  • Lauren Corona, MD, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)
  • Ashanda Esdaille, MD, Assistant Professor, Emory University
  • Izak Faiena, MD, Assistant Professor, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Kathryn Gessner, MD, PhD, Fellow, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kathleen Kan, MD, Assistant Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Pratik Kanabur, MD, Fellow, The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Andrew Katims, MD, Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK)
  • Nnenaya Mmonu, MD, Assistant Professor, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Tristan Nicholson, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Washington
  • Rodrigo Rodrigues Pessoa, PhD, Fellow, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Nabeel Shakir, MD, Senior Staff Physician, Henry Ford Health System
  • Glenn Werneburg, MD, Resident, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Chris Zhou, PhD, Fellow, University of British Columbia

Early-career physician-scientists and urology researchers interested in applying to the USMART Academy can visit

Established researchers interested in volunteering as mentors can contact the AUA at [email protected].

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology and has nearly 25,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.


  • American Urological Association Announces 2024 Cohort of Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy

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