What we do
Lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) is caused by many non-cancerous diseases of the
bladder, including benign prostatic obstruction, urethral obstruction and neurological
diseases. Patients with LUTD suffer a range of symptoms such as increased daytime and
night time frequency, urgency, urinary incontinence, slow stream, hesitancy and
incomplete emptying. Continuous need for a bathroom, sleep cycle disruption,
debilitating incontinence and frequent urinary tract infections strongly affect their
quality of life and physical and emotional well-being. An estimated 45% of the worldwide
population is affected by at least one LUT symptom. Concomitant with the ageing
population, the incidence of multifactorial bladder dysfunction is steadily growing, and
now poses a common and recurrent problem in daily urological practice and an increasing
Prof Dr Fiona C. Burkhard at the Department of Urology, University Hospital Bern, is
guiding and coordinating the activities of the two collaborating groups: Team Biology,
conducting basic medico-biological research (Prof. K. Monastyrskaya) and Team Urogenital
Engineering (UGE), developing innovative engineering approaches to diagnosis and
treatment of LUTD (PD Dr. F. Clavica).
We combine the well-established clinical examination of the bladder function by
urodynamics with the cutting-edge multidisciplinary approaches including fluid
mechanics, pressure and neuronal activity analysis, and bladder gene expression
profiling technologies to build a comprehensive picture of the pathological processes
during LUTD. Joint analysis and integration of the multiple data advances our
understanding of the origin of bladder dysfunction. We are convinced that only by using
the know-how and synergies coming from different fields of knowledge will it be possible
to solve the conundrum of LUTD.
Our poster “Dysregulation of phospholamban and beta 3-adrenergic receptor expression might lead to bladder detrusor overactivity via SERCA inhibition” by Katia Monastyrskaya, Mustafa Besic, Ali Hashemi Gheinani, and Fiona C. Burkhard received the First Prize Best Abstract (Non-Oncology) by the European Association of Urology (Barcelona, 2019)
Our manuscript “Urinary miRNA profiles discriminate between obstruction‑induced bladder dysfunction and healthy controls” by Michelle von Siebenthal, Mustafa Besic, Ali Hashemi Gheinani, Akshay Akshay, Salomé Lizun-Platoni, Nadine Kunz, Fiona C. Burkhard and Katia Monastyrskaya has just been accepted for publication in Scientific Reports. Congratulations to all authors, keep up good work!
Get in Touch
You need more information? Fill out the contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.