For nearly 30 years, the urology division on the MCV Campus was synonymous with Warren W. Koontz, Jr., M.D. This fall, the medical school will celebrate the creation of the Koontz Research Professorship in Urology.
It is the first fund on campus to bear his name. As was his wish, the Professorship is dedicated to the support of the research mission of his division, in recognition of the importance of research to develop new treatments that provide patients with the best possible care.
Now a professor emeritus, Koontz, himself, generously supported the fund. Donors to the fund also include his protégés, many of whom have followed in his footsteps by establishing themselves as leaders in the field. The Department of Surgery also made a gift to the fund, as did a number of grateful patients, including Tom Eggleston and Charles and Sybil Thalhimer.
Adam P. Klausner, M.D., will be the first holder of the Koontz Professorship. The associate professor of surgery and director of neurourology is described by colleagues as an exemplary model of a surgeon-scientist. In the relatively short time since joining the faculty in 2004, he has initiated six studies on the MCV Campus and at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he has an additional appointment.
Klausner’s research has drawn support from the American Geriatrics Society, which awarded him its Jahnigen Career Development Award to support his work with normal pressure hydrocephalus. The neurological disorder results in bladder dysfunction as well as impacting memory, cognition and the ability to walk. The two-year, $200,000 AGS grant will allow Klausner to better identify which patients will benefit from the standard treatment of implanting a shunt to relieve the pressure caused by the build up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles.
On the basic science front, Klausner collaborates with Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Paul Ratz, Ph.D. Together they study the signaling process involved in the involuntary contraction of the muscle that lines the wall of the bladder.