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Lai Named American Urological Association Research Chair 

H. Henry Lai

Urologist-scientist Henry Lai, MD, will lead national efforts to advance research in urologic diseases as chair of the AUA Office of Research. 

On January 11, 2024, the American Urological Association (AUA) announced its Board of Directors has approved H. Henry Lai, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as the new chair of the AUA Office of Research. Lai will serve one year as a non-voting volunteer Chair‐elect starting June 1, 2024, before beginning a four‐year term as chair on June 1, 2025. 

As research chair, Lai will lead the research components of the AUA and Urology Care Foundation missions, focusing on implementing strategic goals. The main objective is to advance research in urologic diseases by engaging with the AUA Research Council and collaborating closely with the AUA Director of Research. Specifically, the chair partners with the AUA Office of Research and urologic research stakeholders to ensure the future of urology surgeon-scientists, enhance strategic programming in research funding and education and support AUA research advocacy in public and private sectors. 

“Dr. Lai’s extensive experience with research projects, practice-changing urology and the AUA makes him the perfect fit for this position,” said Steven Kaplan, the presiding chair of the AUA Office of Research. “The AUA Board of Directors, our team and I eagerly anticipate collaborating with Dr. Lai to advance urologic research education and enhance endowment support, all for the benefit of AUA members and the public.” 

Lai has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and AUA for over 15 years. He has been the principal investigator on many NIH grants, totaling over $18M of research funding. He is currently the chair of the NIH LURN (Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Research Network). Lai also received multiple awards from the AUA, including the Rising Stars in Urology Research Award in 2014. He has been a guideline panel member, and in 2022, he became the chair of the AUA Male Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) Practice Guideline Panel. He was an AUA Research Scholar from 2005-2006. He is nationally renowned for his research on interstitial cystitis and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). 

“I am extremely excited to be the next Research Chair of the AUA. As a urologist-scientist, I understand the challenges of obtaining funding and balancing research and clinical practice,” said Lai. “This is a critical moment in urologic research, and there is an emergent need to continue supporting it. I will work to increase funding, remove barriers to success, advance research programs and support a more robust and sustainable pipeline of researchers to ensure the future and success of urologic research.” 

Lai, who is the Gerald L. Andriole Endowed Professor of Urologic Surgery and a professor of anesthesiology, also serves as director of urologic research and urology residency program director at the School of Medicine. Lai attended Cornell University Medical College and completed his urology residency and fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Founded in 1902, 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.