DSUI Researchers Present Record Number of Abstracts at SMSNA Meeting
Desai Sethi Institute of Urology (DSUI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine had a record-breaking year at the 24th Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA), November 16 to 19 in San Diego.
“DSUI’s team contributed to nearly 10% of the abstracts at the entire meeting,” said Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., director of reproductive urology at DSUI. “Of the 375 abstracts in the program, 33 were by our researchers, including faculty, fellows, residents and students.”
DSUI members moderated sessions and Miami Andrology Research Scholar (MARS) fellow Aymara Evans received a $25,000 SMSNA research grant for her work looking at depressive symptoms before and after men receive penile prostheses. SMSNA also awarded MARS fellow Alex Varnum the society’s Basic Science Abstract Prize for her cross-sectional analysis of the vas deferens and Its associated blood supply.
“The research we shared spans from clinical trials to translational laboratory and population epidemiologic research. We shared rare cases and case series of rare diseases that we see in Miami, as DSUI is a tertiary referral center for many uncommon urologic pathologies,” Dr. Ramasamy said. “Presenting at this magnitude at an important meeting like SMSNA mirrors DSUI’s national and international recognition in men’s health and reproductive urology.”
A Strong Showing for DSUI
SMSNA had a record attendance in 2023 and a record number of abstracts submitted, according to SMSNA President Mohit Khera, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.
“The University of Miami had a very strong acceptance rate and did very well,” Dr. Khera said. “SMSNA is considered the premier society in North America dedicated to progress and education in sexual medicine. Our mission is to innovate, educate and inspire the best practices in sexual medicine.”
One of the society’s fastest-growing sectors is the medical student and resident section, which was largely reflected in the record of abstracts submitted this year, said Dr. Khera.
“We as a society are seeing rapid growth in medical student and resident interest in sexual medicine throughout the country,” said Dr. Khera, professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Future generations of urologists and others who attended the fall meeting got exposure to international thought leaders in sexual medicine, who not only attended but also presented and gave lectures, he said.
Thomas Masterson, M.D., assistant professor of clinical urology at DSUI, moderated a session on epidemiology and risk factors.
“The major theme was looking at populations often not included in earlier studies of sexual medicine, including ethnic and race minorities and those with genetic connective tissue disorders,” Dr. Masterson said.
Bruce R. Kava, M.D., professor of urology and director of men’s health at DSUI, moderated the e-poster session “Male Medical,” which featured new research on erectile dysfunction.
“Our success at SMSNA come on the heels of DSUI researchers receiving top honors for abstracts at the American Society of Men’s Health, in October,” Dr. Kava said. “DSUI is becoming a recognized center of excellence in men’s health. We believe that with these efforts, we will enable men to live longer, more productive lives while still preserving an excellent quality of life.”
SMSNA Fuels Miller School Medical Student’s Research
SMSNA leadership announced grant recipients during the meeting, including Aymara Evans, whose research seeks to answer a question that DSUI faculty have seen anecdotally with penile prosthesis patients, according to Dr. Ramasamy.
“Prosthesis is a surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction,” Dr. Ramasamy said. “We have seen anecdotally that patients’ depressive symptoms improve after the surgery. Now, we’re evaluating this observation in a study.”
Securing the SMSNA grant as a medical student marks a crucial milestone in the early stages of Evans’ career.
“With its financial support, the grant affords me the freedom to focus on my research without the burden of financial constraints. This accomplishment not only represents acknowledgment from field experts, but also holds the promise of unlocking additional avenues for future research and collaborations,” Evans said. “The successful completion of the grant-funded research and subsequent publication of results will strengthen my academic portfolio, making me a more competitive candidate for future funding and career advancement.”