Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine has been awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health U01 grant to study the prevention of lower urinary tract symptoms in women.
The $3.7 million grant will be awarded over five years to a Stritch team, led by co-principal investigators Elizabeth Mueller, MD, MSME and Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, FACS, FACOG, who are renowned reconstructive pelvic surgeons who see patients at Loyola University Health System's Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Center in Maywood. Loyola is among the nation's most recognized leading centers for female pelvic floor disorders. Loyola, along with five other centers, will design and implement studies to prevent symptoms such as urinary incontinence from middle school to post-menopausal women.
Urinary incontinence (UI) is the most common pelvic-floor disorder, affecting nearly half of all women in the United States.
"Although millions of women struggle with urinary tract symptoms, many avoid seeking care," said Dr. Brubaker, dean and chief diversity officer, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "This grant will allow us to explore the way we may be able to prevent bothersome urinary symptoms and bring greater awareness to these issues."
The Loyola center was the first of its kind in greater Chicago. It is still one of the few centers in the country that offers a single location for the multi-disciplinary diagnosis and treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders.
Loyola physicians and researchers Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, MS; Cynthia Brincat, MD, PhD; Alan Wolfe, PhD; and David Shoham, PhD, MSPH, also will be involved with the grant.
"We are looking forward to collaborating with our research partners to advance a life-altering area of care for women," said Dr. Mueller, associate professor at Stritch and director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Loyola University Health System.