Message From the Chair

105,000+ patient visits

$3.5 million in research funding

$4.05 million pledged for philanthropy

290 faculty publications

Milestones are meant to be celebrated and surpassed.

2 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to find the strength we never knew we had. It has revealed our anti-fragile mindset in our mission to provide unparalleled, comprehensive, and innovative patient care.

For the year 2021, our milestones at the Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are a reflection of our collective efforts to save lives—through the patient care we are so passionate about, the pool of extraordinary talent we have built and continue to grow, and our groundbreaking research and scholastic activities.

It has been a year of unprecedented successes for us. The Mount Sinai Hospital is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation for urology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Our surgeons and scientists have pioneered the adoption of novel diagnostic techniques and minimally invasive treatments for prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers and a wide range of urologic disorders. The Transgender Program has been an outstanding success with an increase of 219 percent in the number of procedures this year. Additionally, there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of operations for advanced bladder cancer, a 20 percent increase in procedure volume for the kidney cancer program, and a 34 percent increase in the prostate cancer program volume from 2019 to 2021.

At Mount Sinai, we are incredibly fortunate to work with a group of people who represent the forefront of academic and clinical medicine. Mani Menon, MD, joins us as Professor of Urology, Director of Education, and Director of Precision Prostatectomy Program in the Department of Urology and Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer at The Tisch Cancer Institute. Considered to be one of the foremost surgical innovators in the world, Dr. Menon has revolutionized the field of urological oncology and laid the framework for the extension of robotics to other surgical disciplines. He is the recipient of awards including the Gold Cystoscope award of the American Urological Association (AUA), the Dr. B.C. Roy Award from the President of India, the Hugh Hampton Young Award, the Keyes Medal, recognized as the greatest individual citation awarded by the American Association of Genitourinary surgeons, and the St. Paul’s Medal from the British Association of Urological Surgeons.

Signifying our mission to power progress, our fundraising efforts continue to drive our work forward. The Department of Urology moved from 24th to 10th in the rankings of the NIH/NCI 2021 Funding Report by Blue Ridge Institute. Nihal Mohamed, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology and Evaluation and Training-The Center for Scientific Diversity, was part of a team that was recently awarded the NIH FIRST Cohort Cluster Hiring Initiative grant (U54) of $17 million (Principal Investigators Emma Benn, DrPH, Kirk Campbell, MD, Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, and Lynne Richardson, MD).

The research faculty who joined the department in 2021 include Juan Arriaga, PhD, Goutam Chakraborty, PhD, and Babu Padanilum, PhD. The clinical faculty who joined the program include Gregory Amend, MD, Kyrollis Attalla, MD, Zachary Dovey, MD, Dhruti Patel, MD, Rollin Say, MD, Vinayak Wagaskar, MD, and Osama Zaytoun, MD.

Continuing our long-and-proud history of research and discovery, the two endourology fellows, Jonathan A. Khusid, MD, and Alan Yaghoubian, MD, received the Valentine Research Awards in Urology from the New York Academy of Medicine (2021, 2022). Our Vice Chair for Research, Natasha Kyprianou, PhD, was invited to serve on the Research Advisory Board for the Florida Department of Health Cancer Research Program. Additionally, Steven Kaplan, MD, was appointed as the Chair of Research at the AUA.

We are also making progress in other ways. Our flagship initiative of 2021, The Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Prostate Cancer Screening Unit, was established with the goal to help address the racial disparity in prostate cancer. The initiative is committed to enabling early detection of prostate cancer in Black men, who are at a much higher risk for prostate cancer. The mobile unit provides PSA, DRE, ExactVu™ ultrasound, bladder scanning, and genomics services, helping to save lives through screening, early detection, and education.

On the community outreach front, our efforts have involved joining forces with local churches, health centers, and community groups. Our outreach work intends to bring awareness and education in support of the community by providing prostate cancer screenings and education in local neighborhoods. We have conducted programs to support these efforts at churches, street health expos, and charity events in Harlem.

Our Department remains committed to excellence in education and research. Ketan Badani, MD, Director of Kidney Cancer Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai, published a groundbreaking study in November 2021 in European Urology titled “SARS-CoV-2 RNA Detected in Abdominal Insufflation Samples During Laparoscopic Surgery.” The Department of Urology received Investigational New Drug application authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a personalized genomic vaccine to be used in phase 1 first-in-human trials.

Additionally, the Department also received IRB approval to commence phase 1 first-in-human study for ISM Mount Sinai-developed personalized genomic vaccine trials in men with prostate cancer and achieved the highest individual center enrollment across the phase 3 Blue Earth Diagnostics PSMA pivotal trials program.

I firmly believe that we will continue to make significant and meaningful contributions toward building better health and improving the quality of life for our community, and beyond.

Thank you for reading our Specialty Report. Please reach out to me with more thoughts and questions at ash.tewari@mountsinai.org.


Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, FRCS (Hon.)

Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, FRCS (Hon.)

Professor and System Chair, Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology, and Director of the Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai