Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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The pediatric urologists and urologic surgeons at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are committed to the discovery of new therapies that will change the lives of our children today and for generations to come.

Douglass B. Clayton, M.D.

John C. Pope, IV, M.D.

Dr. Pope has been awarded a federal RO1 grant to support his current research. He is one of only a few pediatric urologists nationwide to receive this prestigious award.

His current research involves the study of bladder fibrosis (scarring) in diseases such as spina bifida, posterior urethral valves, and other forms of bladder obstruction (blockage).

In order for the urinary bladder to act as an adequate storage vessel, it must be compliant. This means that it must hold variable volumes of urine at low pressures. Failure of the bladder to do so results in elevated pressure that is then transferred to the kidney resulting in glomerular injury and ultimately renal failure.

In children, bladder outlet/urethral obstruction and neurogenic bladder disease are the most common causes of decreased bladder compliance. These disorders are important because they remain the most common cause for renal failure and renal transplantation in the pediatric population.

The goal of this research is to find mechanistic pathways that lead to the causation and progression of fibrotic human bladder disease. An understanding of the mechanisms of bladder fibrosis will allow the development of potential new therapies to limit, if not prevent, these conditions in the pediatric and adult population and lessen their impact on society.

Stacy T. Tanaka, M.D.

Dr. Tanaka's research studies the use of stem cells derived from the bone marrow as a potential treatment for the injured fibrotic bladder.

Normal bladder function involves two discrete processes: filling and emptying. As a normal bladder fills, urine is stored at low pressures. As a normal bladder empties, the bladder smooth muscle contracts in coordination with relaxation of the urinary sphincter.

Bladder injury can occur when the bladder needs to work too hard against obstruction caused by an anatomic blockage. The bladder injury can persist even after relief of the obstruction. As the scarred bladder becomes less able to store urine at low pressures, it transmits increased pressure to the kidneys. Kidney disease due to obstruction remains one of the most common reasons for end stage renal disease in children.

Last Edited: October 12, 2016
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