SBUR History

Overview and Mission

The Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR) is a US-based basic urological researcher’s society formed in 1986. Members include molecular biologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, andrologists, oncologists, biochemists and clinical urologic scientists from academia, industry and government. SBUR scientists’ expertise includes the study of urologic cancers (prostate, bladder, kidney, testis, penis), the biology of prostate growth, kidney and bladder function, autoimmune urologic diseases, infectious diseases, neurourologic diseases, male reproductive biology, infertility and erectile dysfunction. The 470 active members in the US, Europe and Asia include 234 PhDs, 145 MDs, 39 MD-PhDs and 52 other Researchers.

SBUR was organized to

  • Provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of basic scientific topics related to urology
  • Develop educational forums concerning scientific advancements related to the field of urology
  • Promote collaborative investigations among member scientists with an emphasis on the interchange of expertise among clinical and basic scientists
  • Promote the communication and interests of urologic disease investigators with national funding agencies, industry representatives and academic institutions with regards to urology related research
  • Serve as a resource for research information and expertise to clinical urologists through the American Urological Association

History and Evolution

In early 1985, Dr. Timothy L. Ratliff, then a young urologic researcher, discussed the idea of the SBUR with Dr. Warren “Skip” Heston and Dr. William Catalona, two senior scientists who offered enthusiastic support. The SBUR-organizing meeting was held in 1986 at the AUA Annual Meeting in New York. A group of about 15 scientists finalized the idea of a new society. Drs. Evelyn Barrack, Ralph Buttyan, Donald Coffey, Warren Heston, Dolores Lamb, Chung Lee, David Lubaroff, Timothy Ratliff, Gregor Reid, and Roy Smith were among the attendees. At the meeting, Dr. Ratliff, the Founding President of the SBUR, assumed the responsibility of organizing the first scientific meeting in 1987. Dr. Chung Lee worked diligently with Dr. Ratliff and was instrumental in modifying the bylaws to conform to the legal requirements for SBUR as a non-profit society in Illinois. Dr. Paul Peters, then Secretary of the AUA, provided space for the first SBUR scientific meeting at the 1987 AUA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Leaders of urology programs throughout the country were uniformly supportive of organizing SBUR and many provided travel expenses for urologic scientists to attend the first meeting. The first SBUR scientific meeting was attended by about 50 translational researchers, and everyone considered the meeting a success.

SBUR membership has expanded and basic research has been translated to the clinic under the leadership of series of outstanding Presidents. When the urological research field grew and SBUR matured as an organization, the formal, independent annual meeting of SBUR was begun in 1992. The first Fall Meeting was held at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and 145 members attended. The most recent SBUR Fall Meeting was held in Dallas, Texas November 13 – 16, 2014, attended by 173 people and the scientific theme was “Omics in Urologic Research – New Frontiers Driving Precision Medicine.” The SBUR Fall meetings grew to welcome an association with our colleagues in the European Society for Urologic Research [ESUR]. Joint meetings were held in Rotterdam in 1995 and Asiloman, CA 1997 before a formal relationship was established. Every other year, the SBUR Fall Meeting is held as an international joint meeting with ESUR and alternates between European and US cities. The most recent international joint meeting of the 11th World Congress on Urological Research was held September 10 – 12, 2015 in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The SBUR has a deep and enduring commitment to the functions and initiatives of the AUA and its members. The SBUR was founded to serve as a home for researchers dedicated to basic and translational urology research. The SBUR is committed to providing a continuum of scientific research and professional development experiences for all urology researchers at every stage of their careers. SBUR members currently interact with and support the AUA and the Urology Care Foundation by:

  • Mentoring and training Urology Care Foundation Scholars;
  • Reviewing Urology Care Foundation Research Grant Applications;
  • Serving on the AUA Education Committee;
  • Serving on the five working groups of the AUA Research Council;
  • Organizing Sectional Research Forums throughout the year as requested;
  • Providing education and research guidance for residents and fellows;
  • Collaborating with the Urology Care Foundation in organizing the Research Forum at the AUA Annual Meeting;
  • Co-organizing and participating in the AUA Summer Research Conference;
  • Collaborating with the Urology Care Foundation in developing workshops, e.g. the Leadership Program and the Mentoring Program, for Urology Care Foundation Research Scholars;
  • Providing three SBUR members to serve on the Urology Care Foundation Research Council;
  • Serving on the Program Committee of the AUA Annual Meeting including abstract review;
  • Serving on the AUA Curriculum Committee;
  • Serving on the Legislative Affairs Committee of the AUA;
  • Serving as a specialty editor for the Journal of Urology®;
  • Serving as regular reviewers for the Journal of Urology®;
  • Organizing and serving as faculty of the AUA Grantscraft Course;
  • Serving as reviewers for abstracts for the AUA Annual Meeting and presenting basic-science summaries at the “take-home messages” sessions at the AUA Annual Meeting;
  • Serving on the Infertility Best Practices Committee;
  • Serving on NIH Study Sections to provide true peer review for urologic grants;
  • Assisting with the scientific rationale for creation, contacts at NIDDK and population of a special study section that is now permanent, the UKGD (Urologic and Kidney Development and Genitourinary Diseases) Study Section; and
  • Assisting with the response to HCFA when residency funding was decreased to preserve a research component in the urology residency training experience.


The SBUR is excited to work closely with the AUA Foundation and the rest of the AUA to assist in developing and implementing new and existing initiatives of the Urology Care Foundation that will advance urology research and foster career development of MD and PhD urologic researchers. Perhaps most importantly, the SBUR is committed to providing the scientific training environment and networking between translational researchers and urologists to enable the success of the unprecedented investment that has been made by the AUA to develop the Urology Care Foundation Scholars Program. This strong partnership between the SBUR and the AUA is ultimately critical for bringing novel improvements to healthcare as it relates to genitourinary diseases.